How To Make An Authentic Cuban MojitoMarch 31, 2020
Few cocktails rival the classic Cuban mojito. This beloved drink of American author Ernest Hemingway is the perfect summer cocktail with its sweet taste and fresh ingredients. With Cuba boasting warm temperatures year-round, there is never a bad time to enjoy a mojito on the island.
The mojito originated in Cuba, but the story of its origin varies from tales of pirates who believed a mojito could cure scurvy to more recent claims that this unique beverage was first served in the Cuban restaurant La Bodeguita Del Medio. Though the stories of its origins vary, the key ingredients and methods to prepare a traditional Cuban mojito remain the same.
FOLLOW THESE STEPS AND GET A TASTE OF CUBA RIGHT AT HOME:
FIRST, COLLECT YOUR INGREDIENTS
- Sugar (1 tsp.)
- Lime (half a lime)
- Spearmint (about five leaves with stem)
- Cuban rum (2 oz.)
- Club soda (a splash)
Combine the Sugar, Lime & Mint
Cuba’s tropical climate and fertile soil allow sugar cane, lime trees and spearmint to grow in abundance. These three ingredients lay the foundation of a mojito. Whether making a mojito for one or for a large group, Cubans traditionally combine all of the ingredients within each separate glass. You are not likely to see a pitcher of mojitos on a menu in Cuba.
Start by pouring the sugar into the glass. Next, squeeze the lime. The mint requires more attention. A traditional Cuban mojito is made with spearmint. Use a wooden muddler to grind the stem of the mint, but be careful not to crush the leaves. Do this until the stem is limp and sugar is dissolved.
NOW FOR THE RUM
Americans have savored the forbidden nectar of Cuban rum since the Spanish-American War, enjoying it neat or in a traditional mojito. Cubans do not pull out measuring cups when adding in the rum. They use their eyes to measure the precise amount. For less experienced mojito makers, add about 2 ounces of rum.
Top it off with Ice & Club Soda
Now that the main ingredients have been combined, fill the cup with ice and add a splash of club soda.
Even if you follow these steps exactly, you may notice that your mojito tastes different than the one you remember ordering in Havana. Maybe it’s the sugar cane that doesn’t taste as sweet as the sugar cultivated in the eastern part of Cuba. Maybe you are missing the freshly picked spearmint that tastes stronger under the island sun. The hum of salsa and rumba music playing in the background on a rooftop in Havana also contribute to the rich flavors of a Cuban mojito, making it more of an experience than just a summer cocktail.