You’re here for the perfect mojito recipe. Ask and ye shall receive.
As the late summer turns to autumn, perhaps you start to crave the crisp air of a winter day and wake up to falling snow. But that feeling doesn’t compare to the one that hits you in the dead of winter. You look outside and suddenly the grayness feels oppressive. The air feels vindictive. You wish the trees would wake up.
Friend, you’re summer sick. The doctor’s order: a mojito.
More Than Your Regular Mojito
There are plenty of things to love about a mojito. For one, its defining flavor is that of mint, which you’re likely to have growing in your garden or window/balcony box — and if not, there’s a farmer selling it nearby. There’s the fact that it pairs perfectly with fruity weed like Blueberry OG and Kaya Maestro.
You can also throw together a mojito in a couple of minutes for an after-work refresher, and making a pitcher for your friends will never hurt your popularity. Mojitos are easy to make and will take you a maximum of 10 minutes, even for larger batches. Their color and flavor bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Another perk of the mojito: It doesn’t have to be excessively sweet-o. Some recipes urge you to abandon all restraint and dump sugar into your glass by the heaping shovelful. But we must remember that the true core of this drink is rum, and in the Caribbean, it’s a crime punishable by death to oversweeten your rum (read: a lie). So we will instead opt for a subtle sweetness provided by honey, a natural, unprocessed alternative that’s also way healthier for you.
Less sweetness also lets the drink’s essence shine through. It’s not a Slurpee — it’s a complex dance of delicate flavors ranging from sweet to tart to bright and fresh. But let’s be honest, you can also make it super sweet too if that’s your thing.
A Brief History of the Mojito
If asked where the mojito comes from, you might wave a hand somewhere toward the tropics and say, “from down there somewhere.” You’d be correct, but let’s get more specific: It comes from Cuba.
Cuba was first settled in 1000 BCE by the Guanahatabey people of South America. The Spanish didn’t arrive until 1492, when Columbus showed up and, in typical fashion, slapped a Spanish name on it (Isla Juana) and announced that it was Spain’s. The Spanish held the island until 1898, when the US and Cuba fought to expel them in the Cuban War of Independence and the Spanish-American War.
The basis of the mojito is rum, which is made from fermented sugarcane juice or molasses. Because Cuba was the sight of major sugarcane production for several centuries, it makes sense that the mojito would come to life there.
And yet the actual history of the mojito is shrouded in mystery. It may have been seen as a medicinal drink to prevent disease and illness, though moonshine would have been the original spirit of choice — the pirate Francis Drake purportedly replaced moonshine with rum when the drink was given to him.
The drink was named “El Draque,” or “the dragon,” after Drake. The term “mojito” came from an African word for magic, “mojo.”
After Hemingway gave it a boost of popularity, James Bond and Johnny Depp sealed the deal in later films. It’s now a staple drink in the US and beyond, and in 2013 was actually the most popular cocktail in the world.
The Mojito Recipe
A mojito is like drinking a swimming pool. Wait, no, let’s try that again — a mojito is drinking the FEELING of a swimming pool. It is the sun on a warm summer day. It is the joy of a backyard cookout, of late nights in the warm air listening to music with friends, of the intoxicating heat of a tropical paradise cooled by the minty freshness of an invigorating libation and rum.
- Prep Time 3 Minutes
- Cook Time 3-10 Minutes
- Total Time 10 Minutes
- Serves 8 People
- Calories 242 kcal
- 80 mint leaves, plus extra for decoration
- 2 cups of white rum
- 1 cup of squeezed lime juice, no seeds
- ⅓ cup of honey syrup
- Club soda
- Add mint, rum, sweetener, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle the mint until it’s diced but not too fine.
- Throw in some ice cubes and cover the shaker. Shake it for 15 seconds.
- Strain the ice and larger mint leaves out of the drink, pouring it into a glass filled with ice. There should be around an inch left at the top of the glass for a single serving, or 2 inches for an 8-serving pitcher.
- Top the glass off with club soda. Garnish it with lime and extra fresh mint leaves.
- Pro tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can also perform all the steps with the serving glass. This will skip the step of transferring from a cocktail shaker and give you fewer dishes to clean afterward.