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The Mojito

This traditional Cuban (pronounced moh-HEE-toh) highball possibly evolved from a drink named after Sir Francis Drake, the "El Draque". Records from 1586 describe it as a medicinal to fight scurvy. This makes the Mojito one of the oldest cocktails in “the book”. One story suggests Mojitos were the second favourite drink (after Daiquiris) of the writer Ernest Hemingway (another says this was a clever fabrication to drum up business for a particular bar). Cocktail scribe and blogger Jason O’Bryan transcends the history, stating “The Mojito… isn’t invented so much as inevitable: mint grows where limes and sugar cane grow, and soda water because it’s damn hot outside. If, as a culture, you’ve got all that stuff and you never think to put them together, I’m sorry but you don’t get to come out to play.”

This simple summer refresher’s citrus and mint flavours mask the potent kick of the rum, making another round almost mandatory and ensuring the Mojito’s popular longevity. While there are countless recipes for the Mojito , we will start with the IBA standard drink and you can take it from there. The pleasure of making this simple cocktail at home is being able to adjust the amount of lime, sugar and Rum to suit your personal preference. Or you can hunt down La Bodeguita del Medio’s (in Havana, Cuba) recipe for the mythical Hemmingway Mojito and dive down the rabbit hole of “truthiness” that is cocktail history . Whichever way you do it, this "Latino cousin" to the American "Mint Julep" will be one of the most refreshing cocktails in your repertoire when the balance is right.

  • 40ml Quality White Rum - preferably drier styled (see suggestions below).
  • 2 teaspoons super fine Sugar (or simple syrup to taste)
  • 30ml fresh Lime juice.
  • 6 fresh mint sprigs
  • Soda Water

Method: Muddle mint leaves with sugar and lime juice into a Collins glass (or highball). Add a splash of soda water and fill the glass with cracked ice. Pour in the rum and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig(s) and serve with straw. While the above is a modern, standard recipe for a Mojito you can try these variations: Try a high proof Agricole Rum for more kick. Or take half of the juiced lime and cut it into four wedges to add to the glass. Another variation is to add bitters to cut the mojito's sweetness (or mint bitters to turbo charge the fresh element). Some also use "guarapo" (raw sugar cane syrup) in place of the powdered sugar.