7 Astonishing Facts About Mojito

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The Mojito is a refreshing rum-based cocktail with a storied history and enduring popularity around the world. This classic highball drink originated in Havana, Cuba, where its combination of rum, mint, lime, sugar, and soda water proved the perfect antidote to the Caribbean heat.

From its disputed origins to its rise to global fame, here are 7 fascinating facts about the Mojito cocktail:

1. Its History Dates Back to the 16th Century

'Interesting Facts About Mojito

While the exact origins of the Mojito are unclear, one common theory points to the famous English privateer, Sir Francis Drake. As the story goes, when Drake arrived in Havana in 1586, his crew fell ill with scurvy and dysentery1. Local South American Indians shared a remedy made from aguardiente de caña (a crude rum), lime, sugarcane juice, and mint. This medicinal drink was known as “El Draque” after Drake’s nickname “The Dragon”.

Over time, rum replaced the raw aguardiente, and mint became a standard ingredient. By the 19th century, the modern Mojito emerged, eventually taking its name from the African word “mojo” meaning “to place a little spell”, referring to its perceived magical healing powers.

2. Ernest Hemingway Helped Popularize It

American author Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor to Havana’s famous La Bodeguita del Medio bar in the 1930s and 40s. He became such a fan of their Mojito that the bar now displays a framed note handwritten and signed by Hemingway: “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita”.

This endorsement from the famous novelist helped cement the Mojito as a favorite cocktail both in Cuba and abroad.

3. It Was James Bond’s Beachside Drink of Choice

In the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day2, Pierce Brosnan as Bond is seen enjoying Mojitos on the beach with Halle Berry’s character Jinx. The placement of the Mojito in this iconic scene gave the cocktail another major boost in popularity.

According to Bacardi, sales of rum and mint soared following the movie’s release. Some also credit this product placement with introducing the Mojito to a younger generation of drinkers.

4. Bacardi Helped Make It Globally Famous

Mojito cocktail, Refreshing mint with rum and lime, cold drink or beverage

Bacardi rum and the Mojito have been closely linked since the early 20th century. As the Mojito grew in popularity in Cuba, Bacardi capitalized on its momentum.

The company promoted the cocktail in its advertising and printed Mojito recipes on its rum bottles. After the Bacardi family was exiled from Cuba in 1960, their rum—and the Mojito—spread across the world.

5. Fresh Lime and Mint Are Essential

While just five core ingredients go into a Mojito, its flavor relies heavily on the quality of the lime juice and mint.

For the best Mojito, use freshly squeezed lime juice, never bottled sour mix. Only fresh lime provides the bright citrus flavor that balances the sweetness.

The mint should be vibrant and aromatic. Gently muddle it before adding the rum to release its essential oils without bruising the leaves.

6. The Classic Recipe Has Inspired Countless Variations

From fruit-flavored Mojitos to spice-infused riffs, bartenders around the world have dreamed up creative twists on the classic Mojito formula.

Some popular variations include Strawberry Mojitos, Coconut Mojitos, Mango Mojitos, Watermelon Mojitos, and even Mojitos made with ginger beer or jalapeño peppers.

While these recipes offer fun new flavors, purists argue the original 5-ingredient Mojito remains unmatched.

7. Mojito Day Celebrates the Cocktail on July 11

July 11th is designated as National Mojito Day3, though the origins of this unofficial holiday are unclear.

Regardless, it’s a great excuse to fix yourself a classic Mojito—or explore one of its many variations—and toast to the refreshing flavors of lime, rum, and mint!

Creative Mojito Variations to Mix Up Your Routine

Once you master the original, try these fun flavor variations for a new twist:

Strawberry Mojito

Strawberry Mojito

Muddle 5-6 strawberries with the mint and lime. Replace 1 ounce of rum with strawberry liqueur.

 Coconut Mojito

Coconut Mojito

Use coconut rum and garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

Watermelon Mint Mojito

Watermelon Mint Mojito

Muddle chunks of seeded watermelon with the mint. Rim glass with watermelon schnapps for color.

Cucumber Mojito

Cucumber Mojito

Muddle 4 cucumber slices. Garnish with cucumber ribbon.

Mango Mojito

Mango Mojito

Add chunks of ripe mango. Use half mango rum and half white rum.

Southwestern Mojito

Southwestern Mojito

Replace club soda with ginger beer. Top with a dash of chili powder or hot sauce.

Raspberry Mojito

Raspberry Mojito

Muddle raspberries. Rim with raspberry liqueur.

Skinny Mojito

Skinny Mojito

Halve the simple syrup and use zero-calorie club soda.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mojitos

What kind of rum do you use for a Mojito?

A crisp, light rum is ideal to allow the lime and mint flavors to shine. A white or silver rum like Bacardi is perfect. Stay away from spiced, flavored, or dark rums.

What is the difference between a Mojito and a Rum and Coke?

A Mojito is refreshing and crisp, with lime juice, mint, and soda water. A Rum and Coke combines rum with cola and usually has a sweeter, heavier taste.

What is the difference between a Mojito and a Margarita?

While both are refreshing cocktails, a Mojito contains rum, while a Margarita is tequila-based. A Mojito also includes mint, lime, and soda water for a different flavor profile.

Can you make a Mojito without alcohol?

Absolutely! Omit the rum and use club soda or sparkling water. Add extra lime juice and mint for a refreshing non-alcoholic “Virgin Mojito.” Kids and non-drinkers can still enjoy the bright mint-lime flavors.

Why do you muddle the mint?

Gently muddling the mint releases its aromatic essential oils and infuses the cocktail with a refreshing herbaceous flavor. Muddle lightly to prevent bitterness from the leaves.

How long do Mojitos last?

Mojitos are best enjoyed right after making them. The lime juice will start to taste bitter once exposed to air, and the soda water will lose its bubbly freshness. Drink up immediately for maximum pleasure!

What glassware do you serve a Mojito in?

Serve Mojitos in a tall highball glass, ideally 10-14 ounces. This leaves room for the soda water and ice cubes without spilling over. Collins glasses also work well.

Mojitos: The Quintessential Summer Cocktail

After learning about the interesting history, essential ingredients, and proper preparation of the Mojito, one thing is clear – this classic Cuban cocktail remains a hot weather favorite for good reason!

The harmony of rum, mint, lime, and sugar makes the Mojito the ultimate thirst-quenching, indulgent sipper. Its balance of sweet and sour flavors with a smooth yet potent rum base makes for a dangerously drinkable cocktail.

Don’t save your Mojito-sipping just for National Mojito Day on July 11. Whip up a batch of this iconic highball at your next backyard barbecue, rooftop happy hour, beach vacation, or anytime the summer sun has you craving some refreshment.

Now that you’re armed with expert insider tips, you can craft an authentic, restaurant-quality Mojito without even leaving your kitchen. Just don’t forget the garnish! No Mojito is complete without that signature lime wedge.

We hope this guide has helped deepen your appreciation for the storied Mojito. From its disputed origins to its impressive evolution into a globally loved cocktail, this Cuban elixir has certainly earned its place in the pantheon of classic drinks.

So get out your tall glasses, pick up some fresh mint, and get muddling! ¡Salud!

  1. A 400 Year Old Cocktail | The Mojito!, https://www.kevinkos.com/post/mojito-old-vs-new []
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Another_Day []
  3. https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-day/national-mojito-day-july-11 []

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