Originating from Havana, Cuba, the Mojito is among the oldest cocktails we know. The history of this traditional minty drink starts as early as the 1500s. Sir Francis Drake was stranded in Havana and had to cure his crew members. He mixed up a concoction that should calm stomachs and cure scurvy. The result was a drink we today know as the Mojito.
And the classic Mojito is without a doubt one of the most delicious and most popular cocktails made with Rum. A cocktail you can get almost everywhere in the world. But despite its simple recipe and lean list of ingredients, you often get a mediocre drink. And also, online, you will find countless recipes on this classic Cuban cocktail, but only a few of them are worth trying.
Above all, it all comes down to treating the cocktail and its ingredients with respect. Following a traditional recipe and using quality products will make for an amazing Mojito. Use enough mint, the right kind of sugar, fresh lime juice, and only slap the mint instead of muddling it. That is because muddling can release bitter flavors of mint, which you certainly want to avoid in your Mojito cocktail.
If you get everything mentioned above right, all that is left is finding the best Rum for your Mojito. -But this can be a tricky task. Palates are different, and even a classic recipe leaves room for interpretation. Traditionally a great Mojito is based on a crisp and white unaged Rum. But there are other options, too. Therefore, here is my hand-picked list of Rums for a Mojito. Best comes last.
Best Rum for Mojitos
Choosing between so many different Rums can be difficult. Especially if Rum is not your favorite spirit, this can feel overwhelming. But do not worry, the list below includes some splendid options. Just pick the one that applies most to your tastebuds and enjoy your next Mojito.
Flavors: Vanilla, toffee, and cacao
Pampero Blanco is a crisp and very clean white Rum. The pot and column distilled liquor ages for two years in former Bourbon barrels. During this time, the Rum develops a slightly golden color, which eventually is removed by a charcoal filtration process. The result may be too clean for a sipping Rum. But used as the base of a Mojito, it works great.
The Rum shows light notes of vanilla, toffee, cacao, and even a hint of coconut. Combined with fresh limes and mint leaves, it makes for a light Rum (only 37.5 ABV) to use as a base for your Mojito.
Flor de Cana 4 Years
Flavors: Citrus and coconut
Flor de Cana is one of the first Rums on this list. And this 4-year-old Extra Seco Rum is a solid selection. It's affordable, of decent quality, and works great when mixed in cocktails. However, there's one thing that might put you off. As the bottle already says, the spirit is extra dry. That results in a light body with only a slight sweetness.
So, if you're into more fruity and tropical Rums, Flor de Cana 4 Years might not be for you. Otherwise, this can be one the best reasonably priced Rum you can get.
Flavors: Citrus, Vanilla, and toffee
Bacardi Rum is one of the best-known Rum brands in the world. Its origin lies in Cuba, and the famous Bacardi Superior is one of the most-used Rums in a Mojito. The flavor profile of Bacardi Superior is light, citrusy, crisp, and floral -a great match for our Mojito.
Another big plus is that you can get this Rum almost everywhere in the world. So no matter if you want to make some Mojitos at home, in Africa, or in the middle of South-East Asia, Bacardi should be available everywhere.
Cruzan Light Rum
Origin: U.S. Virgin Islands
Flavors: Vanilla, coconut, and oak
Produced in St. Croix on the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cruzan Light Rum is one of the cheaper options to make a good Mojito. Aged in oak barrels for four years, the Rum is full-bodied with a clean finish. It's meant to be a mixer, not a sipping Rum. But if you use it accordingly, it is a good and affordable option.
Like other light Rums, Cruzan is filtered after aging in the barrel. The result is an almost transparent and only lightly straw-colored spirit.
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla, and banana
Rhum Barbancourt White is a Haitian Rum made out of pure cane sugar juice. It's a crisp liquor with an above-average sweetness and some earthy notes. The flavor profile isn't overly complex, but that isn't bad when used in a cocktail.
Rhum Barbancourt uses traditional French techniques that are usually applied when making Cognac. Translated into the production of Rum, the product is then aged to develop more intense flavors.
The notes of tropical fruits and the slightly grassy taste make Rhum Barbancourt an appealing alternative to a classic white Rum. Also, the low price point of this bottle makes it an excellent choice if you have to prepare a large number of drinks.
Havana Club 3 Year old
Flavors: Vanilla, banana, and sugar cane
Of course, Cuban Rum is the traditional choice when making a Mojito. And Havana club has some of my favorites. The classic 3-Year-old white Rum is the most popular and best-selling Rum in their offering. Due to being aged in ex-Bourbon barrels, the spirit shows a light straw color.
The medium-bodied Rum has an intriguing and complex flavor profile. Delicate notes of mellow oak, molasses, pineapple, and vanilla work perfectly when mixed with fresh mint and lime. To me, this is the best choice when you're on a budget.
Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum
Flavors: Toffee, citrus, banana, and spice
Mount Gay is a native Barbadian Rum brand and true expert for aged Rum. However, their Eclipse Silver Rum is also a wonderful expression. The refreshing spirit carries notes of tropical fruits like banana and citrus. It's full-bodied, super smooth, with a pronounced banana note that works wonderfully in a Mojito.
While this certainly is not for sipping, the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum is perfect for mixing in cocktails. The lack of harsh alcohol notes and its compatibility with fresh flavors make it a fabulous fit for a sweet and fruity Mojito.
Botran Reserva Blanca Rum
Flavors: Currant, molasses, and cinnamon
Originating from the highlands of Guatemala, Botran Reserva Blanca is a Rum that's full of fruity flavors. This Rum is distilled from fermented sugar cane honey and the ages in a Solera process. After barrel-aging in several different casks, the Rum is filtered with charcoal to remove the brownish color.
This Rum is intensely flavorful. Notes of oak, a spicy cinnamon taste, notes of honey and caramel, and lots of fruity flavors create a complex and potent flavor profile. You can also enjoy Botran Reserva Blanca Rum neat. Yet, when used in mixed drinks, it unfolds its true potential. Try it for a unique and different take on a Mojito.
Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
Flavors: Vanilla, banana, and coconut
Wray & Nephew's white overproof Rum is a staple in Jamaican homes. Used not only as an ingredient in cocktails but also as medicine, you can find it in almost every household. The overproof Rum is potent and bold with a unique character. It certainly is not for the faint-hearted and not the first Rum to recommend using for a classic Mojito.
But this Rum is something special. -For Rum newbies, Mojito lovers, and Rum experts alike. The full-bodied and punchy Wray & Nephews is an excellent Rum to try in a Mojito when looking for something different. Just be careful. With more than 60% ABV, this spirit packs a punch. Especially on a hot summer day, a Mojito mixed with this fiery Rum can take you out quickly. So choose your measurements wisely.
Diplomático Planas Aged White Rum
Flavors: Coconut and coffee
Diplomático is a renowned Rum brand from Venezuela. Made from fresh and natural spring water Diplomático Rum is more famous for its dark Rums. But Planas Aged White Rum also is a beautiful white yet aged Rum that works perfectly in a Mojito. Clean in taste and with a super smooth finish, the Rum shows notes of coconut, pineapple, and coffee, too.
The spirit is barrel-aged for six years and during that time develops a dark color and complex flavor profile. Before bottling, Diplomático Planas Aged White Rum is charcoal filtered to achieve a clean and transparent look.
Probitas Blended White Rum
Origin: Jamaica and Barbados
Flavors: Sugar cane, banana, custard, and citrus
Probitas Blended Rum is -as the name suggests- a blended Rum with an unusual approach. The blend consists of two Rums from two distilleries of different Caribbean islands. While one part is distilled by Hampden Estate in Jamaica using a pot still, the other part is a column-distilled Rum by Foursquare distillery in Barbados. Sounds unnecessarily complicated? It makes sense when you consider that environmental conditions influence the flavor.
This Blended aims to replicate the flavor profile of classic Cuban Rum. But the result is more than that. It brings together light and grassy notes with the typical funkiness of Jamaican Rum. Probitas surely is one of the more extravagant options on our list with a unique backstory.
Origin: Dominican Republic
Flavors: Demerara, coconut, vanilla, and almond
Matusalem Platino is a crisp and fresh white Rum from the Dominican Republic. Originally Matusalem was founded in Santiago de Cuba. That was in 1872, almost 150 years ago. However, their Platino expression is made in the Dominican Republic and represents the mid-price section. It's an above-average Rum that works exceptionally well for mixing.
The Rum has a strong note of Demerara sugar and coconut, which resonates well with fresh mint and lime juice. If you like the coconut forward flavor, it's a secret weapon for making amazing Mojitos. And if you prefer your Rum straight, Matusalem Platino can be enjoyed on the rocks as well.
El Dorado 3 Year Old
Flavors: Mint, vanilla, chocolate, and oak
El Dorado's 3 Year Old Rum is another slightly aged Rum excellent in a Mojito. This Rum is one of the few on our list that also works when consumed neat. Some might even say it's better to drink this wonderful Rum on its own rather than in a cocktail. The flavors are unique, and the spirit itself is super smooth.
It's a mellow and well-balanced Guyanese Rum that's bold and rich in flavor. The deep and complex profile combined with the unusual notes makes this Rum extraordinary. Besides the classic notes like vanilla, oak, and sugar cane El Dorado's straight expression shows some rarer notes like mint and chocolate. And besides that, you can also taste hints of butterscotch and even hints of blue cheese.
Plantation 3 Stars
Flavors: Fudge, vanilla, and nut
One of the best Rums for making a Mojito is coming from France. The Plantation 3 Stars is produced in Cognac and based on a Trinidad Rum aged for three years. This base is then filtered to remove the dark color and the heavier tannins. Finally, the Rum gets blended with unaged Rums from Barbados and Jamaica as well as an aged Jamaican Rum (12 years).
"3 Stars" represents the three major countries producing Rum: Trinidad, Jamaica, and Barbados. It's a fantastic blend with a rich body. The taste is complex, with fudge, vanilla, and nutty notes and a hint of toffee. You can very well sip Plantation 3 Stars on the rocks, but it works a treat in Rum cocktails like a Mojito or Daiquiri.
Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
Origin: Puerto Rico / Cuba
Flavors: Pineapple, banana, and vanilla
If you're looking into traditional recipes for making a Daiquiri or Mojito, you will read "Dry Cuban Rum". And while the rest of the world could get it, it once was almost impossible in the US. The problematic situation between Cuba and the United States wouldn't allow it. But at least for the Rum, there's hope.
Havana Club Añejo Blanco follows an old Cuban family recipe. And just recently, this recipe made it out of Cuba and is now produced and bottled by Bacardi in Puerto Rico. The spirit has a slight sweetness, subtle fruity notes, and a long finish. A bold Rum that stands out even when mixing with other bold flavors.
Best Aged Rums for Mojitos
A traditional Mojito always includes a crisp white Rum instead of an aged one. However, as this list shows, many of those "white" Rums are actually aged and then filtered. That is because aged Rums are usually more complex and rich in flavor. Therefore, making a Mojito based on a dark Rum will turn out less fresh and more mellow. Yet, in case you're up for such an experiment, here's our list for the best aged Rums for Mojitos.
Plantation Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum
Flavors: Grilled pineapple, Demerara, peach, and cinnamon
Plantation Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum is based on Plantation Original Dark Rumis truly is a wild one. After infusing it with pineapple for three months, the spirit ages in oak casks once more before bottling.
The pronounced notes of grilled pineapple and peach create an overall very fruity taste. Balanced with sweet notes of Demerara and a spicy mix of cloves, cinnamon, and pepper Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum is a beautiful Rum to sip neat. But used in a Mojito, it creates a very tropical and mellow cocktail that is very different from the traditional recipe.
Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
Flavors: Toffee, citrus, cooked fruit
The flagship expression of Mount Gay Raum is distilled from molasses. One part is produced using a pot still, the other with a column still. Both products are later blended before the aging process starts.
The taste is quite dry but carries sweet notes from toffee and caramel mixed with spicy notes from black pepper. It's a typical Barbadian-style Rum that goes well with mint and fresh limes.
Bacardi Añejo Cuatro
Origin: Puerto Rico
Flavors: Caramel, toffee, oak, and vanilla
A relatively new release by Bacardi from 2018. This Rum ages for four years in ex-Bourbon barrels. And to me, this one is an exquisite choice for mixing a Mojito. It's aged long enough to develop a rich and sweet taste but not too long to be overly heavy on it.
In a Mojito, this Rum offers a nice and sweet counterbalance to the fresh and tart flavors from mint and limes. Certainly one of my favorite dark Rums for making a Mojito.
When making your next Mojito, first check our list and pick your favorite Rum. If you can't decide, I recommend going with Havana Anejo Blanco, Plantation 3 Stars, or El Dorado 3 years. Each of those will make for a gorgeous Mojito while being reasonably priced.
And in case you're curious about making a Mojito with Dark Rum but don't want to go all-in, try to add a float of Dark Rum on your traditional Mojito. That adds a bit of the complexity and flavor profile you would get in a Dark Rum Mojito without losing out on the crispness and freshness of the classic.