Mojito: Cuba’s Ultimate Refreshment T he astoundingly refreshing mojito is one of the most popular drinks on Miami Beach and for good re...
Mojito: Cuba’s Ultimate Refreshment
The astoundingly refreshing mojito is one of the most popular drinks on Miami Beach and for good reason. It comes from neighboring Cuba and is a very welcome cocktail for residents and tourists alike because it is sweet and citrusy yet delivers a slightly buzzy feel, ideal for lazy beach days. In its most basic form, the Mojito is made with just 5 simple ingredients that include white rum, lime juice, sugar, fresh mint, and soda water.
While there is no dispute that Cuba is where the Mojito originated, the exact origin is more mysterious. Some say it came about from a similar drink in the 16th century called El Draque, which was named after Sir Francis Drake. The story goes that in 1586, he sailed toward Havana, Cuba, but was worried of the epidemics on board his ship with scurvy and dysentery. A small boat was sent from Drake’s ship to bring back the necessary remedies for these ailments and when it returned, it brought with it a type of rum made from sugar cane mixed with lime, mint, and sugarcane juice. While it was named the Mojito then, this was the first notation of these ingredients combined together.
Other historians argue that the Mojito did not come about from this way. Instead, they say it was the African slaves that worked in the Cuban sugar cane fields in the 19th century who we have to thank for this wonderful libation. Guarapo was the name of the sugar cane juice that was traditionally used in the making of Mojitos back in Cuba, and it was a common drink among the slaves. Interestingly though, this version never had lime juice.
So it’s mysterious in origin, and there are arguments regarding how it got its name too. Some say it comes from the famous Cuban seasoning called “mojo” which is made from lime and is outstanding on meat and fish. Others say it comes from the word “mojadito” which means “a little wet.” But let’s put aside all that arguing, shall we? After all, the Mojito is one fantastically refreshing alcoholic beverage that if you’ve never tasted before, you must try.
It was also a favorite of famed author Ernest Hemingway. If it was good enough for Papa, then we say bottoms up! That light minty flavor melded with the lime makes for a truly refreshing drink that you’ll appreciate the most on hot days.
Order one the next time you’re at your favorite bar, or try your hand at making one at home. To make it right, you’ll need 2 ounces of light rum (though go a little heavier on the pour if you wish), club soda, fresh mint leaves, lime, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar. A muddler is the key to making this drink properly. You’ll use it to crush (or muddle) the mint and a lime wedge together in a tall glass. Doing this releases the aromas as well as the juices. Add another wedge of lime and sugar and keep muddling. Add ice to the glass on top of your muddled goodness and then pour in the rum followed by the club soda. Garnish away and go grab yourself a sunny spot by the pool from which to enjoy it fully.