The Classic Cuban Mojito

Mojito

The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
285 Calories
1g Fat
42g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 92mg 459%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 434mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The mojito originated in Cuba at a time when the quality of the rum was not what it is today. By adding a few simple ingredients, bartenders could mask the undesirable aspects of the country's rum and make a more palatable drink. Over the years, the rum improved and the mojito's fame spread immensely. Today it is one of the more prevalent tropical cocktails.

A simple mixed drink of rum, mint, and lime, the mojito grabbed international attention when Americans escaping Prohibition ended up in Cuba sipping drinks while soaking up the sun. For regular visitors to Cuba, it became a popular drink and was supposedly second to the daiquiri on Ernest Hemmingway's list of favorite cocktails.

This classic cocktail relies on fresh lime, mint (or spearmint), quality light rum, and club soda and sugar to taste. A muddler and a stirring spoon are the only tools required and it all comes together in just a few minutes. As with many of the best cocktails, the mojito is very easy to make, and it's one of the most refreshing and flavorful drinks you can mix up, which is why it's among the world's most popular cocktails.

0:37

Click Play to See This Refreshing Mint Mojito Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves

  • 2 to 3 ounces club soda (divided; to taste)

  • 1 lime (cut in half)

  • 2 ounces light rum

  • Garnish:

    1 mint sprig

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the sugar, mint leaves, and a splash of club soda to a highball glass.

  3. Muddle just enough to dissolve the sugar and release the flavor of the mint.

  4. Squeeze the juice from the two halves of lime into the glass. Drop one squeezed half into the glass.

  5. Add the rum and stir well.

  6. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

For the Best Mojito

Here are a few recommendations to make a top-quality mojito:

  • While white rums are typically preferred, consider a high-end aged rum. Because rum is the mojito's only liquor, it is a critical element that will determine the final taste of the cocktail. Choose a ​premium rum like Appleton Estate, Mount Gay, or Ron Matusalem.
  • Stay away from spiced rums because the spices detract from the freshness of the mint and lime.
  • Although old-style club soda will suffice, try a boutique soda instead, such as Fever-Tree or Q Mixers. Both were designed specifically for use in cocktails and will instantly upgrade your mojito.

Variations and Substitutions

If you want to experiment with your mojito flavor, here are a few suggestions for variations and substitutions:

  • Use a different sweetener: A splash of simple syrup, raw sugar, honey syrup, agave, palm (or coconut) are excellent sweeteners, but some will also change the color of the drink.
  • Try a different soda: Add an interesting (but soft) layer of flavor with lightly sweetened sodas like Dry Soda's cucumber or lavender. Many hard seltzers are good alternatives to club soda too.
  • Fruity twist: Muddle in extra fruits. Pineapple, watermelon, and raspberry mojitos are favorites. Use a combination of pomegranate seeds and juice for a delicious pomegranate mojito.
  • Make it party-sized: Try a mojito sangria, a fun and simple pitcher drink with white wine.
  • If you don't have a muddler, use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the leaves with the sugar and club soda.

How Strong Is the Mojito?

The mojito is a surprisingly light cocktail. When made with an 80 proof rum, the alcohol content will be somewhere around 13 percent ABV (26 proof). That makes it equivalent to a glass of wine, only far more refreshing.