The Origin Of The Cuban Mojito
Some argue that the popular drink originated in Puerto Rico while others say it originated in Cuba yet the details are unclear.
One theory says that Sir Francis Drake invented the mojito and named it El Draque after himself. Another theory says that African slaves who worked in Cuban sugar cane fields during the 19th century discovered Guarapo, a sugar cane juice, which contributed to the creation of mojitos.
It is also said that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed the drink as a regular of the bar, La Bodeguita del Medio, in Havana Cuba, writing My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita on the wall of the bar.
No matter how mojitos gained their popularity, one thing remained the same, mint, sugar, and lime were always the stars of the show.
Mojitos In Cuba The Real Thing
You dont need to go to Hemingways favorite to find a great mojito in old Havana every bar and restaurant will be pretty skilled in churning mojitos out. Im not even sure that La Bodeguitas was the best mojito I had in Havana they were all so good it was pretty hard to distinguish them. I also sampled tasty flavored versions like watermelon mojitos , but I still kept coming back to the classic version of the mojito.
At old Havanas La Bodeguita, they mix and muddle a lot of mojitos.
Cuban mojitos have only a few ingredients and shouldnt be particularly hard to make. But if youve tried mojitos at bars outside of Cuba, you might have noticed that they can be very hit or miss. Im convinced improper muddling is to blame. If the ingredients dont marry together just so, they can have a harsh flavor.
I wanted to recreate those refreshing mojitos I loved in Havana but in pretty much the opposite environment, my tiny Manhattan apartment . To make my mojitos as authentic as possible, I made sure to pick up the same Cuban rum I saw used at every single bar in Havana Havana Club three year white rum.
Secrets To Real Authentic Cuban Mojitos
So the first secret to making your mojitos as the Cubans do is to use aromatic bitters! It balances out the sweetness of the mint and sugar. The brand I use is called Angostura, a product from the Caribbean islands that you can easily find in the US and globally.
Secondly, there is a trick to muddling the mint. Normally mudding results in brown smashed mint leaves in the drink which is not pretty or tasty.
PRO TIP: Simply muddle the bottom of the mint stem into the sugar and lime juice. And finally, they didn’t leave the lime peel in the glass, which makes the drink a little bitter due to lime peel.
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Go to Cuba, it is amazing. The cars and cigars are great, but the people, food, art, and architecture will delight you!
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Can I Use Mojito Mix Instead
Sure! If you find mojito mix at the store and want to try it out, go for it. Keep in mind the bottled stuff is never as tasty as making it from scratch with fresh ingredients, but its nice when youre pinched for time. If youve never made a true Cuban mojito, I highly recommend trying out the real thing first.
Cuba Souvenir: Havana Three Year Rum
Havana Club rum has been around since 1934. Although its readily available all over Cuba, Havana Club rum is of course impossible to buy legally in the United States since the Castro embargo.
But it is perfectly legal to bring back Cuban rum for personal use if you visit Cuba. Make sure to buy the white rum if you plan to use it for mojitos. The pricier Havana Club seven year dark rum is also tasty but is too dark for mojitos. While you can pick up the classic Havana Club 3 year rum anywhere in Cuba, buying it on your way out at the airport is the easiest .
To replicate the look of Cuban mojitos, I recommend buying a pair or more of Havana Club club glasses that bars use to serve the mojitos. I bought mine in a hotel gift shop for about one CUC each. I also swiped a few of those Havana Club plastic stirrers from the bar to use in my drinks back home.
All the ingredients for authentic Cuban mojitos.
After googling and testing online Cuban mojito recipes, I came up with this classic version that seemed to most resemble the mojitos I loved in Havana.
My mojitos were a success.
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Mojito Made With Havana Club 3
Mojito made with Havana Club 3 Years is a true taste of Cuba! Enjoy the sensorial experience of making an authentic Cuban Mojito at home by following our simple Mix, Muddle, Mix recipe. Be sure to make enough to share with your friends!
- 2Teaspoons White Sugar
- 50 mlHavana Club Añejo 3 Años
- 3Ice Cubes
An Authentic Cuban Mojito Recipe From Old Havana With A Cambodian Twist
This authentic Cuban mojito recipe is based on the mojitos we sipped in Old Havana on our first trip to Cuba in the mid-Nineties. Its a refreshing drink that is a perfect sip for a sultry day in the tropics. As we live in Siem Reap, we gave it a Cambodian twist.
This authentic Cuban mojito recipe is based on the countless rum-based mojito cocktails that we sipped on our first trip to Cuba in the mid-Nineties. Thirst quenching and refreshing, it was just the thing we needed after hours spent in a sweat strolling the empty streets of Old Havana or ambling along the Malecon.
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Cuban Mojito Recipe Perfected By Our Friends At Havana Club
Were heading down the homestretch of our first-ever Month of Rum celebration just five days left til we name a winner in our VIP RumFest Escape Sweepstakes! If you havent thrown your hat in the ring as yet, : two VIP passes to the 2012 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, plus $500 for travel expenses .Once we do name a winner, I, for one, plan to toast his or her good fortune with the drink featured in todays post: El Mojito.
Not a very uncommon drink selection, I know, but the thing is I plan to make my Mojito EXACTLY as outlined in the video.
Whats so great about that?
Well, for one thing, the recipe is about as authentic as you can get. El Mojito was born in Cuba. The drink has been enjoyed among the islands populace since the 1800s, but arguably no place did more to elevate El Mojitos status outside the island than a little Havana bar called La Bodequita del Medio. This is the famous spot where Ernest Hemingway drew inspiration for some of historys greatest novels while mowing down round after round of Mojitos til the wee small hours. Its also where todays little video instruction was shot, so you know this Mojito method is the real deal.
For another thing, well, I did say that I plan to make my Mojito EXACTLY as outlined in the video, right? That would mean I intend to use the very same very special rum required to make a perfect Mojito: Havana Club tres años.
Last updated by Steve Bennett on 02/04/2022
How To Make The Best Cuban Mojito Cocktail
The Mojito is made with five basic ingredients: rum, sugar, mint, lime, ice and club soda. Its fairly simple to make, provided that you use good quality ingredients and make it by the traditional method of muddling the mint gently . Many Mojitos go awry when the mint is over-muddled , which causes the mint to release bitter flavors, and not to mention, breaks up the mint into too many annoying pieces that float around in your glass and get stuck in your teeth
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An Authentic Cuban Mojito Recipe
This authentic Cuban mojito recipe is the recipe we learnt on our first trip to Cuba in the mid 1990s. There was very little tourism in Cuba at the time and the country was incredibly under-developed wonderful from a travellers perspective, but not for the locals, for whom life could be challenging. Still, weve never seen such happy people, perhaps not until we came to Cambodia.
It was largely European tourists exploring Old Havana while Canadians were flocking to the beaches of Varadero. We were there for the history, culture and local life to soak it up as much as to photograph it. Id finished my communications degree, majoring in film and writing, and Terence was still completing his, concentrating on film and photography, and it was only a year earlier that wed purchased our first Nikon cameras for a trip to Mexico.
At the end of a morning exploring and photographing every nook and cranny of the crumbling, faded, pastel-painted city, wed retreat to the nearest café or bar for sustenance, hoping that theyd have something for us to eat although we knew thered always be a drink. Drenched in sweat, wed sink into chairs and order our Cuban mojitos usually served in modest glass tumblers, partly dissolved white sugar sitting in the bottom, and packed with aromatic mint. Getting something to eat was another story.
The Classic Cuban Mojito Recipe
A mojito is a pretty simple drink. However its combination of sweetened citrus and mint take just enough edge off of the white rum to make this a perfect summery drink.
Fresh mint leaves are essential to capturing the classic mojito flavor, This makes it the perfect summer drink to use up your fresh garden mint.
Making a mojito is so simple:
- Combine lime juice, sugar, and mint
That it! Your drink is served and its time for a summer sipper!
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If You Like This Try These
The Mojito is a clean and simple highball, made with just one spirit. In that family is another rum drink, the gingery Dark and Stormy, which hails from Bermuda. And the Daiquiri, Hemingway’s real drink of choice, is another, tangier rum cocktail with deep roots in the Caribbean.
If it’s mint you’re after, the Mint Julep is packed with it, and bourbon.
What Is A Mojito
A mojito is a classic Cuban highball cocktail served on the rocks made of white rum, real cane sugar, lime juice, club soda, and fresh mint. All the flavors complement the rum so well.
It is said that the name originates from the name mojo which is a Cuban citrus marinade used for several Cuban dishes.
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How To Make Real Cuban Mojitos
Step 1:In each glass: add 2 teaspoons of white cane sugar and the juice of half a lime. In Cuba, they don’t place the lime into the glass, just the lime juice!
STEP 2: Next place one long mint stem into each glass and simply muddle the bottom of the stem only NOT THE LEAVES into the sugar and lime juice.
Two reasons for this: one you don’t get a strong bitter taste when you over-muddle the mint leaves, and they stay pretty and green not brown and bruised.
This PRO TIP came from the bartenders we met on our trip and was confirmed with my good friend Abel who is a Cuban travel guide, and trust me, he knows a thing or two about mojitos!
STEP 3: Next, add 1 shot of white rum, and 3 drops of aromatic bitters.
STEP 4:Add a few ice cubes, in Cuba, they don’t add lots of ice because it is not commonly used, top with a splash of sparkling water, add mint garnish, mix, and sip away!
PRO TIP: Use good white rum from the US or Puerto Rico, Cubans typically use Havana Club 3 year white rum~ but we can’t get that here in the USA, the Europeans and many countries in the world can so enjoy the real experience if you can get your hand on authentic Cuban rum.
How To Make A Cuban Mojito
- Dissolve the sugar. In a highball glass, add the cane sugar and lime juice. Gently stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Muddle the mint. Add the mint leaves to the bottom of the glass. Gently muddle the mint with a muddler until the leaves release their oils .
- Add in the rum. Pour in the white rum and stir to combine with the lime, sugar, and mint.
- Top with club soda. Fill the glass with ice then top off the drink with club soda. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime wedges/slices.
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Three Famous Cocktails Celebrate Their Day
Their transcendence in the taste of one generation after another in diverse parts of the world has earned them a special date on a global scale.
The Piña Colada, the Mojito and the Daiquiri, three great icons in the world of cocktails, celebrate their International Day on July 10, 11 and 19, respectively.
It is a date to enjoy them, taste their characteristic fresh and tropical flavor in the worlds bars. But if there is a perfect place to celebrate it is Cuba, and an ideal rum to prepare them, Havana Club.
Alfredo Guerra, Global Brand Ambassador, comments that, although the largest island in the Caribbean joined the production of rum a little late, it was here that this cheerful descendant of sugar cane went from being a simply interesting drink to a classic and modern spirit. What was thought about rum up to that moment, totally changed with Cuban rum. Thus a product emerged that everyone could enjoy, lighter, more refined, balanced and easy to combine.
And it is this new style of rum that makes it possible for these great cocktails to emerge that, despite being among the oldest, have transcended and are found today in almost all bars around the world, whether in their original recipe or in their many versions.
It is highly unlikely that the Daiquiri and the Mojito would have been created without the Cuban Light Rum in its most traditional and popular expression: the Carta Blanca.
The origin of the Cuban Mojito
What To Serve With Cuban Mojitos
When Im serving mojitos, Im typically looking for a summer-inspired or tropical-themed meal to go along with them. Think of the food you would serve at a backyard barbecue with your neighbors or a dinner party with friends where everyone hangs out on the patio afterward for cocktails. Thats what Im talking about!
Not sure what to serve with mojitos? Here are some of my favorite dishes to pair with this refreshing Cuban mojito recipe:
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about this Cuban mojito recipe:
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Souvenir Recipe: How To Make Classic Cuban Mojitos With Cuban Rum
All it took was one balmy afternoon spent at the ancient wooden bar at La Bodeguita to convert me. Somehow, the mix of cool mint, a blast of white rum, and a hit of sugar, all muddled together became the most refreshing drink Id ever tasted.
The classic Cuban mojito is best enjoyed in its natural environment in Old Havana, Cuba preferably at Hemingways favorite mojito bar. Sit at the bar and watch as the bartender lines up the glasses by the half-dozen, expertly melding the ingredients with a wooden muddler.
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Thanks to the former President Barack Obama, embargo laws against the country of Cuba have been loosened. This includes the legality of cuban rum, cigars, and other goods for non-comercial use in the USA . Like many Americans, I was intrigued by Cuban culture and lifestyle. So, I made the quick trip from Florida to Cuba to explore the beautiful country and put my 6+ years of Spanish to good use. Oh, and learned to make a mighty mojito, from locals, along the way…
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Cuba The Mojito And Hemingway
Cuba is considered the birthplace of the Mojito, but its exact origins are the subject of much debate. One story traces the cocktail back to a drink known as El Draque that was originally comprised of mint, lime and crude cane spirits, such as aguardiente, and created by Sir Francis Drake, the notorious Elizabethan sea captain and pirate. Another theory traces the Mojito to African slaves who worked in the Cuban sugar cane fields during the 19th century.
However, the most popular of the claims to Mojito fame is that it was invented at Havanas La Bodeguita del Medio in c. 1942 and made famous by author Ernest Hemingway. According to popular myth, the Mojito was Hemingways favorite drink at the bar, as evidenced by an autographed inscription on a white plaque displayed above the bar that says, My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita.
La Bodeguita del MedioHavana, Cuba 2001
The origins of the name, Mojito, are similarly disputed. Some say that it comes from the Cuban lime-based sauce, mojo, used to flavor various dishes, such as chicken with mojo sauce. Others say it is derived from the Spanish word, mojadito, which means a little wet). Yet others say it came from the African word, mojo, which means to place a spell.
But regardless of which historical account is true or you want to believe, there is one thing that is absolutely indisputable: the Mojito Cocktail is deliciously refreshing and the perfect summer cocktail!