Classic Cuban Mojito
by Darcy O'Neil on August 2010
The Mojito (pronounced: moe-hee-toe) is a classic Cuban cocktail most closely tied to Cuba's famous La Bodeguita del Medio bar. This drink is extremely refreshing and is a great cocktail to order on a hot summer day or when hitting the dance floor. The basic drink is remotely similar to limeade, but that's where the comparisons stop.
The first noticeable addition is mint. This provides a refreshing spark to the drink. The use of mint provides a cooling sensation on the tongue and lips when drinking, this is part of what makes it an exceptionally refreshing drink. Secondly, the rum gives the drink a little kick and balances out the drink. The limes provide the thirst quenching sourness that so many people crave in the heat. If possible, use key limes (Mexican limes) for this drink as they provide a crisp flavour. Also a good white rum, like Havana Club (3 Year Old) will give the drink a more authentic flavour, but any white rum will do. Using simple syrup is will help make your Mojito's better, since granular sugar doesn't dissolve to well in cold liquids. Gritty Mojito's aren't very appetizing.
When preparing your Mojito, gently muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup and lime juice. You don't want shredded leaves floating around in the drink. It doesn't make for good presentation and you just need to bruise the leaves to release the essential oils. After muddling pack lots of ice over the mint leaves to keep them from floating around. Add your rum and then top off with the soda water.
Some recipes call for bitters, but a genuine Cuban Mojito does not contain bitters.
Since the Mojito has gained more popularity, people have been creating unique and tasty variations. To keep this drink fresh try adding Perrier, lime flavoured Perrier or champagne in place of the club soda. You can also add berry puree, such as raspberry or mango. Or check out the Centaur which is a cognac and ginger ale cocktail based on the Mojito.