Romance in a glass – The story behind Mojito

There are some drinks that evoke emotions, like the mention of mojito gives you a feeling of breezy summer evening in the company of friends. It electrifies your being and overwhelms you with a sort of headiness, it is all the romance you need for an evening. A popular Cuban highball, mojito is by far one of the most popular and favourite drinks in the world today. The cocktail is created with the help of assorted drinks, such as rum, lime juice, and soda water, with mint and sugar. It came from a time when Cuban rum was strong, relatively heavy with fusel oils. So the best way to make it soothing was to create this mammoth of a cocktail that took the world by storm.

Behind the drink

Unlike most random cocktails created by bartenders in search for infamy, the mojito is a meticulously crafted drink, believed to be Cuba’s greatest export to the world. Sold by proprietor Angel Martinez at his restaurant opened in 1942, the drink was then called Bodeguita del Medio, and it attracted some famous names. The likes of Nat King Cole, Pablo Neruda, and even Fidel Castro visited the restaurant to try this wonder of wonders. Martinez is often credited with popularising the drink, which was originally created to cover the crude taste of Cuban rum. Starting humbly from the fields of Cuban farmers, the drink eventually swept the bars of Havana, and it was here that visiting Americans first tried it. Of course during that time America was under the Prohibition Law.


Some people suggest that the earliest known mojito was made in the 1500s, when explorer Sir Francis Drake landed in Cuba to sack the city of its gold. His attempts were unsuccessful, but an associate of his named Richard Drake concocted the first mojito with crude rum, sugar, lime, and mint, and called it “El Draque.” Others suggest that African slaves working in the sugarcane fields invented the drink. The African word “mojo,” means to cast a little spell. And one can surely agree that the drink is a sort of a spell for most palates.

The drink can be made with light rum, yes, but the taste is only inspired from the stronger variants, so including even a little of strong rum can give this drink a complexity like no other.

Mojito, Havana club

Mojito around the world

In Havana, you will find that many bars go on to add Angostura bitters to cut down on the sweet taste of the mojito. Also, bars in Havana at times use lemon juice rather than fresh lime as it is ideally supposed to be. You can also try the Rose Mojito, which is a rose-flavoured variant of the drink that was first created at the Albert’s Schloss bar in Manchester, England.

You might have also head of Virgin Mojito, which is basically a mojito sans the alcohol, so be careful before you order. Know your drinks better.

Some of the best rums to create your mojito are the Havana Club 3 years old, Ten Cane, and Cruzan Estate. Having said this, the Havana Club could be your best bet.

The most famous person known for his love for mojito is the American author Ernest Hemingway, who by the way used brown sugar and champagne along with the regular rum, mint, and lime juice.


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