Mojito best practices that you want to know
There are several secrets to making a truly excellent mojito, all of which I’ll be divulging here, but the most important is to use more mint than you think you want, and to muddle the hell out of it. The most common mojito mistake is to go light on the mint and just swish it around the glass — it is remarkable how many bars turn this great, simple cocktail into a bucket of lime-sugar-water with a whole bunch of rum and mint at the bottom and a glass of clear seltzer at the top.
Unlike a mint julep, a mojito shouldn’t have just a kiss of mint: a proper mojito will be redolent with the stuff, the aroma and flavor blending with juicy lime for a clear, clean, refreshing cocktail that’s equally at home on the beach as it is in a high-end cocktail bar.
One of my favorite places for a mojito in Manhattan is Amor Cubano in East Harlem. The bartenders there are generous with the mint, they take their time — and effort — muddling, and then they garnish with a piece of raw sugar cane, which I love.
Click here for the Best Mojito Recipe.
This article was originally published on August 22, 2015.
World’s Best Mojito Recipe
Let me tell you something, I have spent a ton of time trying different recipes for a great mojito. And as many of you know the mojito is a rum based Cuban cocktail that goes absolutely perfect with a fine hand rolled cigar. A mojito happens to be great with a cigar because it’s clean, fresh, and a great palette cleanser, but mojitos are great for more than just cigars. Heck I like to make myself a mojito as soon as I’m done working for the day with or without a cigar in my mouth. Women love mojitos as well, my wife isn’t a cigar smoker but she loves mojitos just as much as I do. So lets get to it and make a great mojito!
First you will need to grab a rocks glass and the ingredients:
- One shot (or so) of rum
- 2 slices of lime
- 6 mint leaves
- Club soda (you can use plain water as a substitute)
- Simple syrup (you can use sugar as a substitute but the simple syrup REALLY makes this drink taste the way it should)
The first step is to squeeze just one of the two lime slices into the glass. Throw the squeezed lime peel away. Save the other lime slice for later.
Next, toss all of your mint leaves in the glass except for one (save one mint leaf for later).
Now we will pour in about a 2 tablespoons (or just one) of simple syrup (alter based on your tastes). If you don’t have simple syrup simple you can use 1.5 Tablespoons of sugar. However, simple syrup makes the drink MUCH better. Simple syrup is easy to make, just boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until it turns clear and then remove from heat, let cool, and put in a container into your fridge. Simple syrup is great for a number of cocktails so there is nothing wrong with having some on hand.
Next we muddle the mixture. Do not be too harsh on the mint, just bruise the mint. The idea is to squeeze out some mint flavor without destroying the mint leaves. You don’t want small crushed pieces of mint leaves getting stuck in your teeth. If you don’t have a muddler you can use the back end of a wooden spoon.
Toss in the remaining lime slice.
Fill the cup with ice.
Add one shot (or so) of rum. I like to use plain white rum but I’m sure any rum will do. You can add more or less rum depending on your tastes.
At this point the liquid mixture in the glass should be about half full (or half empty depending on your worldview). Now it’s time to fill the rest of the glass with club soda. You can use plain water if you don’t have club soda. Sometimes I use half water and half club soda when I want less carbonation.
Now carefully mix the ingredients together. Don’t over mix it. You don’t want to kill your club soda bubbles, but more importantly a mojito should be a complex drink. Similar to a complex cigar the flavors should shift a bit as you drink it. Therefore you don’t want to mix it so much that the drink becomes monotonous.
Now we are almost done with our mojito. Take your last mint leaf and rub it around the rim of your rocks glass. This will give a subtle mint taste at the start of the drink while the muddled mint at the bottom will provide a subtle mint finish. Delicious!! Remember folks, it’s all about creating complexity in flavor. After you are done rubbing the last mint leaf on the glass rim you can throw away that final leaf or toss it in the drink.
And there you have it, the perfect mojito! This mojito recipe is easier than most other mojito recipes and I personally think it’s way better. The main difference with this mojito recipe and others is that most mojito recipes will require dramatically more lime juice, and they use sugar instead of simple syrup. Also, many mojito recipes are designed for a larger glass which means more club soda making the drink much more carbonated – I think the mojito tastes better as more of a cocktail style drink and less of a “foo foo” style drink.
If you have ever been to the cigar bar in Vegas called Rhumbar or Casa Fuente you will find that their mojitos are very similar to this mojito recipe.
Oh and there is one final step… fire up a fine cigar and enjoy your mojito!
What makes this Mojito recipe so great
- It’s super simple to make! Just combine the drink ingredients together, muddle the mint, shake, and pour over ice!
- It’s so light and refreshing – a great drink for a warm day.
- It’s really versatile – add more or less sugar, mint, or rum to customize it to your liking!
Even though this mojito recipe is so simple, people often have loads of questions. Here are some of the more common ones.
The Best Mojito Recipe
Pretty much everyone who knows me knows I’m a Margarita connoisseur with an obsession bordering on addiction, but when summer temperatures start to rise I start craving Mojitos instead.
It all started when Teacher bought some Mojito flavored coolers for me to try. Since I can’t stand mint in any form except gum I was positive I wouldn’t like them. But to be a good wife I tried one.
To my great surprise I actually liked it. A lot.
Teacher, being the most wonderfulest husband in the whole world, searched for the best Mojito recipe so he could make Mojitos for us at home. We prefer to make food and drinks at home whenever we can – it’s cheaper, and healthier because we avoid the additives and chemicals in processed products.
Best Mojito Recipe – by Teacher
As always, higher quality ingredients will yield a higher quality Mojito. If you’re looking to save a little money, opt for a cheaper club soda and spring for the better rum. We haven’t noticed a huge difference in club soda brands, but a cheap rum is a waste of money. Besides, if you use enough rum it won’t matter what club soda you use, right?
Best Mojito Recipe Ingredients
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 fresh lime
- 1 generous shot (2 oz) white rum
- 1/2 shot (1oz) simple syrup or 3/4oz Agave
- 1/2 cup club soda
- 1 cup ice
Best Mojito Recipe – Directions
Assemble your ingredients. If your local supermarket doesn’t have fresh mint, try a farmer’s market or an ethnic store. Our usual grocery store was out of mint but we found some at a nearby Hispanic grocer.
Or grow your own! This is my first year growing mint – I hope it grows as quickly as it’s supposed to.
Slice the lime half into 4-6 wedges and place in the bottom of a glass. Add the mint leaves.
Don’t they look pretty!
Peanut saw me taking photos and said “Gramma, take a picture of ME!” How could I resist?
OK, back to the Mojito recipe…
Muddle aka smash the living daylights out of the lime and mint leaves. You could use various cooking implements to do this, like the handle of a butter knife or a wooden spoon, but a muddler is really the best tool for the job.
See, now they’re all squished and juicy. I think muddling the lime and mint a lot makes the best Mojitos because it brings out more of their flavors.
Pour in the rum. I like to substitute dark and spiced rum in my Mojito recipe now and then, but Teacher generally prefers traditional white rum.
Add the simple syrup or Agave, as in the next photo. Simple syrup works better than sugar for sweetening cold drinks because sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold liquids. Simple syrup is just pre-dissolved syrup so it mixes in easily.
Make Simple Syrup
To make your own simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Store in refrigerator for up to one month.
This year we decided to try Agave instead of simple syrup to sweeten our Mojitos. We chose light Agave because the bottle says it doesn’t add any taste, and it works great! You don’t need as much Agave as simple syrup, so start with about 2/3 the amount and adjust as needed.
Did you know that Agave nectar comes from blue agave, just like Tequila does? So that means that Agave is kind of like Tequila’s baby sister. Tee hee!
The sweetener will be the heaviest liquid so it’ll sink to the bottom. You can mix it into the rum now, or wait until the end and mix everything together.
Add ice to the glass. We prefer large cubes but you can use crushed if you like.
Pour in the club soda. Give it a couple of stirs to mix the flavors, but be careful not to mix too much or you’ll lose all your fizz. Taste, and adjust ingredients as needed. I prefer a sweeter Mojito so I usually add an extra squirt of simple syrup or Agave to mine.
We generally only make Mojitos on the weekends, and have learned that club soda doesn’t keep its fizz from one weekend to the next – even when we put the top on really tightly. Since I think the best Mojito is a fizzy Mojito we buy small bottles and open a new one each weekend.
Mmmmm! Mojitos on a Saturday night… Time to sit back, put my feet up and relax.
Oh, by the way – you can make virgin Mojitos by omitting the rum, like we did in the smaller glass for Jo-Bear.
After you try our Best Mojito Recipe let me know what you think of it!
Do you prefer a sweet Mojito like me? Or one with more Club Soda? Less lime? Blasphemy! Some other way? Send me your variations!
11 Refreshing Mojito Recipes to Bookmark for the Hottest Days of Summer
When a pitcher of beer is feeling too heavy in the dog days of summer, look to the minty goodness of a fresh mojito to save the day. Below, 11 of the most refreshing ways to cool yourself down, from Southern sweet tea mojitos to a lemon ginger cocktail that's just right for summer colds.
A Thai-inspiredbeverage with a boozy kick.
1 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
10 Large Fresh Basil Leaves, stems removed and discarded
Orange Slices, for garnish
Additional Basil Leaves for Garnish
In a medium pitcher, combine the orange juice, simple syrup, and basil. Use a wooden spoon or a muddler to crush the basil leaves in the bottom of the pitcher. Stir in the rum and club soda. Serve immediately in individual glasses over crushed ice. Garnish with orange slices and fresh basil.
A spicy option that brings the heat.
Half of a Large Mango, peeled and sliced
2 Jalapeño Slices (with seeds)
Orange Slice and Extra Jalapeño slices for garnish
Add mango slices to a food processor or blender. Cut the lime in half and juice half of it with the mango. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Juice remaining lime half into a cocktail shaker. Add mint leaves, jalapeño slices, and sugar and muddle to release mint and pepper flavor. Add mango puree and Sailor Jerry Rum and shake. Pour straight into an ice filled glass, top with sparkling water, and lightly stir.
When you need something super sweet and bubbly.
10 Fresh Mint or Orange Mint Leaves
Mandarin Oranges, sliced into wedges
½ cup Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water in Mandarin Orange
Add sugar cubes and orange triangles to glass and muddle. Take mint leaves in one hand and slap it with the other to release flavor and add to glass. Add orange juice and rum. Add ice until just below the rim of the glass, using a spoon to stir. Top off with Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water in Mandarin Orange. Garnish with additional orange triangles.
Squeeze each half of the lemon into two 16 oz. mason jars or tumblers then place lemon half in glass. Add 5-6 fresh mint leaves to each glass then muddle with a wooden spoon. Fill glasses with ice then add 2 oz. sweet tea flavored vodka and 1/2 cup lemonade or club soda (or a mixture) to each glass. Screw on top and shake to combine or stir to combine then serve.
Add the mint and lime juice to a tall glass. Muddle together to extract the flavor of the mint. Add in rum, blood orange juice and simple syrup. Top with sparkling water and ice. Serve immediately.
Bookmark for when you've got a summer cold and don't want to sweat through a hot toddy.
1 inch of Ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1 tblsp. Lemon Simple Syrup
In the bottom of a glass muddle the ginger, mint, and simple syrup. Add ice to the glass. Pour in the rum and then top with the soda, stir well to combine.
A delicious fruit cocktail that's the light treat you need on sweltering days.
¼ lime wedge, with extra for garnish
In a glass, add ¼ lime, spearmint leaves, agave nectar, and ripe raspberries. Gently crush ingredients with a muddler and fill glass with ice. Add in white rum and top with club soda. Garnish with lime wedge before serving.
1/2 Lime, cut into quarters
1 tblsp. Lite Coconut Milk
Add lime quarters and mint to the cup of a shaker. Muddle the mint and lime. Add the rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk. Add a handful of ice to the shaker. Place the lid on the shaker and give the mixutre a few vigorous shakes. Pour the mixture over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a wedge of lime, fresh mint, and slice of pineapple.
Your standard mojito, with Irish flair.
5-7 Mint Leaves, gently pressed in a tall glass
Shake these ingredients with ice. Double strain over fresh ice in the tall glass that has the mint in it. Top with soda water and garnish with the mint.
2 tblsp. Fresh Blackberries
2 tblsp. Fresh Raspberries
Take two short cocktail glasses and fill with equal parts blackberries, raspberries, mint leaves and Truvia. Squeeze lime wedges into the glass and pour in rum. Muddle the mixture together breaking up the berries and bruising the mint. Add in ice and top with seltzer. Gently stir to combine.
A fresh idea from Azure at the Palazzo for your next BBQ (and the best way to use watermelon leftovers).
1 1/2 oz. Owls Brew "White & Vine" (White tea with lemon and watermelon)
3/4 oz. Marie Brizard Watermelon Liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon/Agave Sour (see above recipe)
4-5 1" Cubes fresh Watermelon
In a mixing glass gently muddle mint and watermelon. Add remainder of ingredients with ice and shake. Pour contents into a Double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with fresh mint.
Which Rum is best for a Mojito?
I am going to start by saying, I live in Iowa. We are a control state, so basically, the state purchases all the alcohol and sells it to any business that sells alcohol. They decide what we can carry. So our choices are pretty limited compared to other states in the US.
I use Bacardi because it is inexpensive and tastes good. It has an overall taste that works well with the flavors of a mojito. And it is readily available in most places, even in our controlled state.
Some other popular choices include Appleton White Rum, Havana Club Anejo Blanco Rum, and Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum. Use the rum of your choice. Just make sure you are using a Cuban rum or Puerto Rican rum. The environment in which the ingredients are grown is what influences the flavor of the liquor. That flavor cannot be replicated in a rum not made in the Caribbean.
Now, it's your turn! Grab your shaker and your ingredients, and get mixing. Let us know how your mojito turns out!
More Craft Cocktail Recipes
How To Make a Simple Syrup Recipe
Simple syrup is probably the most basic and one of the most widely-used of these ingredients in creating craft cocktails..
The best Whiskey Sour Recipe uses an Egg White
To make the best whiskey sour hands down, no questions asked you MUST use an egg white. The combination of bourbon, lemon juice, and bitters are perfect.
The Mojito is one of the most popular rum cocktails served today, with a recipe known around the world. The origins of this classic drink can be traced to Cuba and the 16th-century cocktail El Draque. Named for Sir Francis Drake, the English sea captain and explorer who visited Havana in 1586, El Draque was composed of aguardiente (a cane-spirit precursor to rum), lime, mint and sugar. It was supposedly consumed for medicinal purposes, but it’s easy to believe that drinkers enjoyed its flavor and effects.
Eventually, rum replaced aguardiente and the name was changed to the Mojito. It’s unclear exactly when this transpired, but the Mojito first appeared in cocktail literature in the 1932 edition of “Sloppy Joe’s Bar Cocktail Manual, a book from the famed Havana institution.
Appropriately, almost all of the ingredients in the Mojito are indigenous to Cuba. Rum, lime, mint and sugar (the island nation grows sugar cane) are joined together and then lengthened with thirst-quenching club soda to create a delicious, lighthearted cocktail. The drink is traditionally made with unaged white rum, which yields a light, crisp flavor. Using Cuban rum will score you points for authenticity, although many modern Cuban rums are lighter in style than their predecessors, so you might try experimenting with white rums until you find one that you like best.
The Mojito is slightly more labor-intensive than other cocktails because it involves muddling the mint, but the end result is worth the effort. The mint combines with the other ingredients for an extra dose of refreshment that, while often associated with summer, can be enjoyed any time of the year
If you prefer your cocktails with a dash of literary history, you’re in luck. The Mojito is said to have been a favorite of Ernest Hemingway who, according to local lore, partook of them regularly at the Havana bar La Bodeguita del Medio.
What You Need to Know About the 4 Key Mojito Ingredients
Most agree that the best rum for a mojito is a white rum, also known as silver or blanc. You want a light, crisp drink. Try these:
- – Made in Puerto Rico, this is often the go-to for the classic cocktail. – From Mexico, this light rum works well. – This rum of Jamaica packs a punch. – Go classy with this richer, more flavorful option.
2. Simple Syrup Recipe
If you’re not sure where to buy simple syrup, we have good news for you. For this Mojito recipe simple syrup, you’ll only need two ingredients.
- Get 1 part water and 1 part sugar.
- Over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan.
- Set the heat to low and stir continually until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is clear (about 3–5 minutes). Boil it longer if you want thicker syrup.
- Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then pour into a sealable glass jar. Store in the refrigerator and use it to make a variety of cocktails.
Fresh! If bottled lime juice is all you have, head to the store. Fresh limes will be worth the trip. Pro tip: Roll the lime before cutting and squeezing.
Fresh! (See a pattern?) Summer is always better with a bounty of fresh mint, so pick it from your home garden or buy it — but don't skip it.
Now let’s make some of these superb summer beverages.
Muddle simple syrup and 2 mint sprigs in a cocktail shaker. Add rum and lime juice. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.
Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into a tall Collins glass filled with ice. Top off with club soda garnish with more mint.
How would you rate Mojito?
Yes! This is perfect. Mojita made with another liquor is also really good especially when replacing clear rum with vodka. Tequila has also made an excellent substitute in place of rum as it delivers that edge of the flavor as rum yet it has it’s own unique taste. Thanks.
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
On the Border Mexican Mojito
You don't need rum to make a great mojito—just check out this variation on one of the most popular cocktails of the new millennium. Where white rum is usually found in this drink, America's largest casual Mexican food chain mixes in silver tequila and Cointreau orange liqueur. Add to that a little sweet-and-sour mix and a squirt of agave syrup and you have a tasty mash-up of margarita and mojito. Agave syrup is used as a sugar substitute, and it can be found in many markets now, or in specialty and health food stores. The same brand of agave syrup On the Border uses in their Mexican Mojito recipe (Wholesome) can be found at Whole Foods.
This recipe is available in
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- 2 lime wedges
- 3/4 ounce 1800 Silver Tequila
- 3/4 ounce Cointreau Liqueur
- 1/4 cup sweet-and-sour mix
- 1/2 ounce agave syrup
- Splash soda
1. Drop mint leaves and lime wedges into a 16-ounce glass and use a muddler (or a wooden spoon) to smash mint and lime, extracting the juices.
2. Fill the glass with ice.
3. Add tequila, Cointreau, sweet-and-sour mix, and agave syrup. Slide a shaker over the top of the glass and invert it a couple times until the agave nectar is incorporated. Remove the shaker from the glass, add a splash of soda, a straw and a sprig of mint.