Mojito cocktail on wood table

Classic Mojito

By Timo Torner / Last updated on November 30, 2022 

First published on August 26, 2021 

The Mojito is a perfect summer cocktail and a crowd-favorite during that time of the year. It's a light, refreshing drink with a perfect balance of fresh, sour, and sweet.

The Mojito is one of the most famous Rum cocktails today. The simple recipe and the memorable name, known to people in every corner of the world, have a long history going back to the 16th century.

Yet, the original recipe being so simple, many versions you can get are quite a poor take on it. They use just a few leaves of mint and sugar syrup instead of granulated brown sugar and don't give the Mojito the love it deserves. So, this Cuban cocktail needs a little attention to detail.

Jump to Recipe | Ingredients | How to make | Which sugar? | The right mint

The ingredients of a great Mojito

For making a fantastic Mojito, it is essential to use quality ingredients. So here's what you need:

  • White Rum: Generally, any white Rum works. Yet, I like to stick to Cuban Rum - to respect its origins and because they have some fantastic products: Bacardi Silver Rum works well, but my preferred choice is Havana 3 years.
  • Fresh mint: Mint is the secret star of this cocktail. Some leaves are muddled, some for garnish. Use plenty because you want that fresh kick with every sip of your Mojito.
  • Fresh lime juice: Don't use the bottled version. Squeeze some fresh limes to bring that beautiful tartness to your drink.
  • Sugar: Now to one of the most crucial parts. Don't use regular white or brown sugar, don't use superfine sugar, and please also don't use simple syrup when you want to mix up a classic Mojito. Stick to some proper cane sugar like it's common in Cuba.
  • Club soda or sparkling water: Always use highly carbonated soda that's properly chilled. Otherwise, it will melt the ice too quickly, and the drink will fall flat.

How to make it

Now, you need ice, a Highball glass, a cocktail shaker, and a juicer. Also, press and roll the limes before juicing them. That will make your life a lot easier.

  • Step 1: Add Mojito mint, lime juice, and cane sugar into a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle to dissolve the sugar and release the flavor of the mint. Be careful not to rip the leaves into tiny pieces.
  • Step 2: add the Rum and plenty of ice cubes. Shake the contents well for 10-15 seconds.
  • Step 3: Fill the Highball glass with crushed ice and add additional mint leaves (slap them before using them for an intense aroma).
  • Step 4: Strain your cocktail into the glasses and top it up with chilled club soda. 
  • Step 5: Garnish with a mint sprig.
Two Mojito cocktails on dark background

Pro Tip 1: Sugar or Simple Syrup

I said it before: simple syrup does not belong in a classic Mojito cocktail. It might be okay to substitute sugar with syrup for many other cocktails. But not here.

Further, be picky regarding which sugar to use. That means no regular white or brown sugar, if possible, and definitely not superfine or powdered sugar.

The best option is granulated cane sugar. That, by the way, is the original ingredient to many Latin American Rum cocktails. If you want to get something special, try Demerara or Turbinado. Those two are less refined and add plenty of flavor to your Mojito cocktail.

Pro Tip 2: The mint

Mint is the secret star of every Mojito. Slap it gently before prepping the cocktail to release its essential oils. Also, these two varieties work best:

  • Spearmint (right) : Spearmint has a pretty intense mint flavor, but comparing it to peppermint, it tastes less like toothpaste and candy canes. -Pineapple Spearmint works even better.
  • Mojito mint (left): It's your best option and seems the obvious choice but often is disregarded. It is milder in flavor with a hint of citrus. For a very long time, this mint variety was impossible to get outside Cuba. But that changed a little over ten years ago. Now, you can find Mojito mint in all parts of the world.
Mojito mint (left) vs spearmint (right)
Mojito cocktail on wood table

Mojito

A classic Cuban rum cocktail with fresh mint, lime juice, and rum.
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: cuban
Keyword: Rum Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 257kcal
Cost: $2.50

Ingredients

  • 2 oz White Rum Havana Rum 3 years
  • 1 oz Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Cane sugar
  • 10-15 Mojito mint leaves plus additional for garnish
  • 2-4 oz Chilled club soda
  • 1 Sprig Mojito Mint for garnish

Instructions

  • Add Mojito mint, lime juice, and cane sugar into a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle the ingredients to release the flavor of the mint. Be careful not to blend the mint leaves into tiny pieces. They should more or less stay intact.
    1 oz Lime juice, 10-15 Mojito mint leaves, 2 tbsp Cane sugar
  • Make sure the sugar almost completely dissolves before you add the Rum and plenty of ice. Shake the cocktail for 10-15 seconds.
    2 oz White Rum
  • Fill a Highball glass with ice cubes or crushed ice. Also, add additional mint leaves and make sure you "slapped" them before. That will release their beautiful aroma.
  • Strain your cocktail into the glasses and fill it up with chilled club soda.
    2-4 oz Chilled club soda
  • Slap the mint sprig and use it to decorate the Mojito.
    1 Sprig Mojito Mint

Nutrition

Serving: 7.25g | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.6g | Protein: 0.2g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 72mg | Sugar: 34.3g | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mojito very alcoholic?

No, Mojito is not overly alcoholic. With an average of 10 - 15 % ABV (Alcohol By Volume), it's almost on par with a premium red wine. But the mix of sugar, mint, and lime juice makes the cocktail dangerously easy to drink.

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