Thanks to its refreshing mix of sugar, lime, and mint, the simple mojito is a classic summer drink, perfect for sipping poolside or to take the heat from a hot city night. It may be a simple cocktail, but there’s a lot to know about this humble beverage.
The History of the Mojito
The origins of this zesty refresher are widely debated. It is generally agreed that Havana, Cuba, is the birthplace of this cocktail, where it was drunk as a remedy for topical illnesses. Originally it was made with aguardiente (a crude form of rum), lime, sugarcane juice, and mint. Some say the drink was inspired by the arrival of Francis Drake, and that the drink was originally named Draque or Drak.
Others say the drink was actually invented on board Drake’s ship to relieve the sailors of scurvy and fever. Another theory is that the drink originated from the African slaves that worked the Cuban sugarcane fields in the 19th century. In the 1800s, Don Facundo Bacardi Masso established the Bacardi Company, and the aguardiente was swapped with rum, creating the drink we know and love today.
Recipe – How to Make It Yourself
To make this refreshing summer cooler, you’ll need all the ingredients listed below, plus something to muddle with, like a bar spoon or rolling pin, a highball glass, crushed ice, and a measuring glass.
- 1.5oz (50ml) of white rum
- .75oz (25ml) of lime juice
- 1-2tsp of sugar, or 1/3 shot of sugar simple syrup
- 3 mint leaves
- Top with club soda
- Crushed Ice
- Squeeze or pour the lime juice into the glass
- Add the sugar syrup and mint leaves and muddle together, crushing the mint to release the oil
- Half fill the glass with crushed ice, add the rum and stir together
- Top with more crushed ice, soda water, and garnish with mint
The simplicity of the classic recipe makes it very versatile. So it’s easy to concoct delicious and easy variations. By adding fruit like berries, pineapple, or watermelon or flavored syrups or bitters, or even coconut water, you can easily add a delicious twist to the standard offering. Transform it into a frozen slushy by adding all the ingredients and ice into a blender.
Grapefruit Champagne Mojito
In this recipe, we simply add the juice of one pink grapefruit to the mix and substitute the soda water with champagne or prosecco for a touch of luxury. Use a vegetable peeler to take some peel from the grapefruit. Use this when muddling and for garnish. Muddle the sugar, mint, lime juice, and grapefruit peel. Remove peel. Add crushed ice, rum, and grapefruit juice. Stir, top with champagne, and add the mint and grapefruit peel to garnish.
Swap the Rum
If you’re not a fan of rum, then you can swap it out for tequila or even vodka. Alternatively, spice up the traditional recipe by using spiced rum or coconut rum.
There are many ways to enjoy this classic cocktail! Experiment and find your favorite.
Try adding a splash of pineapple like this one from Blaylocks Whiskey Bar