Similar to others, the origin of the Mojito is quite misty.
A drink that people love to order and bartenders hate to make. The classic Mojito is a beautiful concoction of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint. This combo leaves behind a sweet, citrus, and minty flavor that complements the white rum. It’s the perfect drink to sip on a hot summer day.
The Mojito originated in Havana, Cuba, although the exact birthplace is up for debate. One theory is that South American Indians went ashore in Cuba and came back with the ingredients. The components included aguardiente de caña, which meant burning water, a crude to rum, and local elements of lime, sugarcane juice, and mint.
Another theory that many believe is that Sir Francis Drake, one of the privateers sponsored by England’s Queen Elizabeth I, had involvement in 1586. Drake had landed off the Cuban shore with a cargo of Spanish treasure. King Philip II of Spain had warned his governor of Drake’s arrival and his intent to steal the Aztec gold. While they were prepared, they were widely amazed when Drake sailed away from the riches port after only firing a few shots. Everything was left intact, but Drake’s visit was a major event, perhaps something worthy of naming a drink after.
Despite where the drink came from, the cocktail was certainly consumed during the worst cholera epidemics to hit Havana. People were known to consume a Mojito a day, made with the local cane spirit, to prevent getting sick.
Regardless of the believed origin, the Mojito is insanely popular. Not to mention the hundreds of different variations of the cocktail.
Check out our classic recipe for a Mojito.
- 2 oz. White Rum
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. Sugar (can be a simple syrup mixture)
- 4 Leafy Mint Sprigs
- Club Soda
- Lime for Garnish
Preparation: In a tall cocktail glass, add the sugar and a few mint sprigs. (Save some for garnish) Muddle the mint and sugar until the mint is fragrant. Pour the rum and lime juice in and gently stir to dissolve the sugar. Fill the glass with ice and top off with club soda for a little bit of fizz. Gently stir to bring some mint to the top and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint that has been clapped between your palms. (This releases the oil of the mint).