Mojito is an ancient cocktail for a very simple reason: it is made with the easiest ingredients to find in Cuba. So much that even in the days of pirate Francis Drake was in use some sort of alcoholic beverage made of brown sugar, lime juice and rum.
This ancestor of the current Mojito was so pleasing for the pirate that in his honor was named Draque, as he was affectionately called by his friends.
But aside from history, do you want to learn how to prepare this great Cuban cocktail? We hope so, because here is the original Mojito recipe from Cuba with love!
Ingredients for making the original Mojito drink
- 4 cl of Cuban white rum
- 3 cl of lime juice
- 7 leaves of hierba buena or mint
- 2 tablespoons of refined white sugar
How to make the perfect Mojito cocktail
The Cuban Mojito, which is part of the great family of the Julep cocktails, assumes that you use real hierba buena or spear mint (a kind of wild mint with a delicate flavor) and that you don’t muddle the leaves, but gently slap before putting in the glass.
In a highball put two teaspoons of white cane sugar and the juice of half lime. Stir well, add mint, pin down with the pestle, add some ice, rum and fill with a splash of soda.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of lime. If you want, but it’s not contemplated in the original recipe, garnish with some wild berries and strawberries.
For preparing a “Criollo Mojito”, which means local, add 2 drops of Angostura. A little bit of bitterness make wonders!
You don’t need any special attention to prepare a good Mojito and not mohito as many mistakenly write. As first advice: just be delicate with the pestle and never ever wildly crush hierba buena, still less mint, which could release bitter, unpleasant flavors.
On the contrary Mojito was born as a refreshing cocktail and must have a good balance between sweetness, alcohol and minty suggestions.
Cultivating you own hierba buena is a must for any Mojito-lover and not just a Zen exercise to relax yourself: with little effort you will have an excellent stock of mint for all the year. It is not difficult, even a leprous green thumb should be able to keep alive a half dozen plants of mint. If you’re lazy just look from your grocery store.
Finally note: Mojito is a refreshing but mostly seasonal cocktail, drink it during spring and summer, after your first crop of hierba buena.
Mojito cocktail video
If you have a few minutes check out this video to see bartender Vinny “Pepper-Leg” Abbagnale making the perfect Mojito.
Suggested Mojito food pairings
Let’s choose fish, shellfish and spicy foods or chicken kebabs: pair it with paella, spicy chicken wings, chicken curry, pasta with pesto or shrimps and zucchini risotto.