Mojito: Everything about this Cuban Classic
poolside favourite cocktail

Poolside favourite

What’s in a Mojito that makes this cocktail such a global hit? Originating in Havana, the Mojito is Cuba’s most popular contribution to the global bar scene. More labour intensive than most cocktails, it is often blamed for “muddler’s elbow” (mixology’s equivalent to the “tennis elbow”, which is basically aching joints due to muddling – the process of crushing fruit, ice and garnishes like mint leaves in cocktails).

The lime and mint create the perfect counterbalance to the rum, resulting in what many consider to be the ideal tropical cocktail. For this reason, copious quantities of Mojitos are consumed poolside, when summer hits most tropical and warmer regions, including our very own sunny South African shores.

Join us as we splash, shake, and muddle our way to creating these refreshing delights.


What is in a Mojito anyway?

A Mojito is considered one of the classic cocktails and is made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint leaves and soda. Some believe it was originally a medicinal recipe used by the South American Indians, other reckon it dates back to the time when African slaves were brought to Cuba, and it was used on ships to treat scurvy due to its Vitamin C contents.

Brought into the limelight by, amongst others, American Novelist Ernest Hemingway during his time in Cuba. The cocktail’s popularity continues to grow as it is seen as a healthier alternative to normal cocktails with a higher alcohol content. The combination of sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavours is intended to complement the rum, is one of the many reasons the mojito is so popular.

When preparing a mojito, fresh lime juice is added to sugar (or syrup) and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with a muddler. The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils and should not be shredded. Then rum is added, and the mixture is briefly stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint leaves up from the bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with crushed ice and sparkling soda water. Mint leaves and lime wedges are used to garnish the glass.

You can have a mojito, I can have a mojito – we can all have mojitos!

Mojitos can also be enjoyed in a low-calorie alcohol-free version which is why they are also considered to be a great choice of drink amongst non-drinkers. Mojitos are a good source of Vitamin C which make them effective immune boosters and limit viral infections. Combining mint and lime juice also aids in promoting healthy digestion.

Staying refreshed while also being health conscious seems like the right way to head into the Festive Season!

Follow this easy cocktail recipe to make a refreshing Mojito at home.