The mojito is a traditional Cuban alcoholic drink that may date as far back as the 17th century. It is one of the most famous rum based highballs and has enjoyed tremendous popularity in the last several years, partly due to the efforts of Bacardi in reviving the popularity of it through new products and advertisements.
Although contested, many attribute the modern mojito to have been invented at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba. The author Ernest Hemingway has been permanently associated to the Mojito as he frequently drank them at this hotel, and inscribed "Mi mojito en la Bodeguita" on the wall of the bar, where it has been saved and can still be viewed today.
The traditional mojito is made from five ingredients - rum, lime, sparkling water (club soda), mint and sugar. The mint is muddled with the lime juice and sugar (either cane or powdered) and sometimes the lime wedges as well. The rum is added and mixed with club soda, and stirred gently to lift the muddled items for presentation. Some areas of Cuba add a dash of Angostura bitters as well.
Many variations of the mojito are becoming more popular with fruit flavored rums or vodkas being substituted for the classic Cuban or light rum.
Here are some tips to help you make a great mojito.
- Most people do not add the mint stems to the drink. If muddled or bruised, they can give off a very bitter taste. However, at the La Bodeguita del Medio, they add two mint stalks (stems and all) as well as the club soda to the glass before muddling, so there is a lot of confusion as to whether using the stalks is "correct" or not. Depending on the species of mint you are using, you may need to experiment.
- Make sure you squeeze the lime wedges into the glass before muddling everything.
- Try the recipe with a few drops of Angostura Bitters!
- As a variation, some people use ginger ale instead of soda water.
- If mint and lime isn't your thing, see all our other mojito variations.