The mojito is a drink of the 21st century. Although it appeared centuries ago, it has gained a new level of status in the world of cocktails in the last 15 years. Its popularity is well-deserved; the combination of rum, lime, mint, and soda is light and refreshing on the palette, festive yet calming. A properly made mojito seems to always speak to good times without going overboard, a cool choice in warm weather.
- 10-12 fresh mint leaves
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 2-3 tbsp. white sugar
- 1.5-2 oz. rum
- 5-7 oz. club soda
- Add 2 wedges of lime and 8 mint leaves to a highball glass and muddle. Add sugar and 1 more lime wedge and muddle again. Add ice to glass, then rum, and finish with club soda to fill the glass. Use remaining mint leaves and lime wedge to garnish.
There is debate as to the origins of the drink, but the conversation almost always turns to Cuba as the homeland of the cocktail. Dating back to the days of rum runners and pirates, the mojito is as refreshing now as it was then. Like rum itself, the mojito has traveled from the Caribbean to be enjoyed around the world, but perhaps nowhere as fervently as it is enjoyed in Miami.
In fact, this May, the City of Miami named the mojito the official cocktail of Miami. It is enjoyed in various forms, with more mint or less mint, white rum, coconut rum, or a darker rum. People debate the use of sugar versus a simple syrup. At the end of the day, a mojito is a perfect cocktail to enjoy with friends or by oneself, celebrating or relaxing, made at home or enjoyed out on the town.
Luckily, it’s easy to prepare impressive mojitos at home with little more than highball glasses and a muddler. For exciting twists on the classic mojito, consider using a flavored mint—we prefer the homegrown garden varieties the most. Orange mint, pineapple mint, and apple mint are tasty options. Some mojito fans insist spearmint should always be used, and for something truly different, try chocolate mint. Another dramatic way to enhance your mojito is to muddle another fruit in with the lime. Using half the required lime, add some pieces of fresh pineapple, mango, or peaches to your mojito muddle for a fresh, fruity flavor.