How to Make a Mojito + Recipes

National Mojito Day is celebrated on the 11th July each year. Mojito was invented in Havana, but the exact time is unclear. It is considered to date as far back as the 16th century. The first version was called ‘El Draque’ after Francis Drake, an explorer. Unlike most cocktail bars around the world, in Cuba, the drink is made with ice cubes rather than crushed ice. Some places chop the mint, and others add a few drops of angostura bitters. Whatever variation, the cocktail is always refreshing.

The classic Mojito recipe is made with only a few ingredients: lime, sugar, rum, mint and soda water. I have created a few simple twists on the classic recipe, all full of fresh and fruity summer flavours.

A few tips before you get started:

Mint: Do not muddle the mint. Instead, gently “smack” the mint between your hands before adding it into the glass. This will release the oils, giving you that fragrant aroma without damaging the leaves.

Sweetener: There are many ways to bring sweetness to Mojito. Brown sugar is probably the most popular choice, but you could use a syrup instead. See my previous article The Essential Guide to Cocktail Sweeteners for guidance.

Lime: Always use fresh lime. Ideally, you’d use at least half a lime for one drink. You’ll get more juice if the limes are at room temperature. Roll the fruit around on the counter under your balm before cutting it. This will help to release the juices.

Rum: Light and golden rums are ideal, but you can also choose a flavoured rum for more tropical Mojito.

Ice: Feel free to use cubes or crushed ice. If I’m only making one or two drinks, I add ice cubes inside a clean tea towel and use a hammer for crushing. You might be able to buy crushed ice directly from the supermarket, which definitely makes Mojito making a bit easier.

Equipment: You’ll need a tall glass, a jigger or other way to measure the rum and syrups (if using), a bar spoon for effortless stirring and a muddler. Of course, you can use different tools for muddling, but nothing really beats an actual (ideally a wooden) muddler. You can find more information about the essential equipment for making cocktails at home here.

Mojito cocktail
Tray of Mojitos

Recipe ideas

Mango Mojito

50ml Ron Santiago de Cuba Anejo

A handful of fresh mint

2tsp Brown sugar

5 Lime wedges

4 Slices of Mango

Soda water

First, muddle the lime and sugar at the bottom of the glass. Add the mango slices and rum and muddle some more. Smack the mint before adding into the glass, add ice and give it a gentle stir. Add some more ice if needed and a dash of soda water.

Mango Mojito

Tropical Mojito

50ml Plantation pineapple rum

15ml Demerara syrup (adjust to taste)

A handful of fresh mint

5 Lime Wedges

Coconut water

Soda water

In the bottom of your glass, muddle the lime wedges. Then add the syrup and rum. Smack the mint before adding into the glass to release flavour. Carefully stir the ingredients together and add ice. Top up with some coconut water and soda. Give it another gentle stir and garnish with extra mint.

Tropical Mojito cocktail

Spiced Berry Mojito

50ml Rum Malecon 12yo

25ml Spiced red currant syrup*

4 Lime wedges

A handful of fresh mint

Red currants

Soda water

In the bottom of the glass, muddle the limes together with the syrup. Add mint (don’t forget to smack it!) and some crushed ice. Then pour in the rum, add the red currants and give it a little stir. Add more ice and a dash of soda.

*To make the spiced red currant syrup, simply add sugar, water, red currants and some spices to a saucepan. I used a cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamom. Muddle the berries well to release all the flavour. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat, cover with a lid and leave to sit for one hour. Once cooled down, strain well and store in the fridge.

Berry Mojito with Ron Malecon

Frozen Coconut Mojito

50ml Merser & Co rum

50ml Coconut milk

25ml Lime juice

2 Bar spoons of agave syrup (adjust to taste)

Ice cubes

This recipe requires a blender, although if not available, shake and served over ice.

Combine all ingredients, including the ice, in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve.

Frozen Coconut Mojito

What is your favourite twist on Mojito?


*Some of the links used are affiliate links. By buying through the links I may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you.

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