World Mojito Day: Here’s how to create the classic Cuban cocktail
World Mojito Day is celebrated on July 11 across the world to appreciate and enjoy this wonderfully refreshing summer cocktail that has been made for almost a century, at bars, in homes, for barbecues, at parties, at the beach or by the pool, for various occasions and for all sorts of get-togethers.
Before the pandemic, World Mojito Day was marked by bars and restaurants all over the world hosting fun events like Masterclasses and by running offers on their classic mojitos, and serving innovative mojitos. This year, the celebrations have gone digital with many masterclasses and workshops being hosted online.
History of the mojito
Known to have its origins in the late 1500s as a remedial concoction, the cocktail, El Draque (The Dragon) was created by Sir Francis Drake for his ailing crew aboard his ship. The drink consisted of lime, cane sugar and mint and aguardiente (an alcoholic beverage). It was famous in the Caribbean for its medicinal magic.
Fast forward to more than 3 centuries later! Don Facundo Bacardí Masso, founder of Bacardí Limited, set up his distillery at Santiago de Cuba in 1862. Around this time, a newfangled cocktail was created with Bacardi Carta Blanca White Rum, where the rough aguardiente was combined with fresh mint leaves, lime, super fine sugar and soda water to create an iconic mojito. This mojito found its way into bars and cocktails very quickly, especially across Cuba and eventually the world.
The name ‘mojito’ is derived from the west African term ‘mojo’, meaning little spell or magic potion. The balance of fresh mint and lime with caster sugar is perfectly matched by the delicacy and crispness of rum, which gives this cocktail its real “mojo”!
Mojito in pop culture
With time, the world’s most loved cocktail gained more popularity with the story of novelist and Nobel prize winner, Ernest Hemingway sipping on the mojito at the iconic La Bodeguita Del Medio in Havana, Cuba.
It was also immortalised by modern day James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, enjoying a mojito while flirting with Halle Berry, insisting that she try the cocktail, too, in ‘Die Another Day’ (2002). If 007 himself recommends the mojito, it ought to be good, eh?
Raising a toast across the world
Celebrated as one of the most iconic cocktails in the world, the mojito has been stirring taste buds since the early 1900s. Bars and restaurants all over the world celebrate the day by hosting fun events like Masterclasses and by running offers on their classic mojitos.
Since it also happens to be the first cocktail most bartenders learn how to perfect, ask them about it and they’ll definitely have a fun story for you.
Celebrating World Mojito Day in 2020
While you may not be able to party it up Cuban style, you can still celebrate World Mojito Day with family and friends by putting together your own delicious and unique version of the mojito. Sign up for mojito making workshops or look up some special recipes of the classic mojito online. Mojitos go best with nearly everything! Sip on it alongside tandoori prawns, grilled fish, and chicken satay or even a light al fresco style lunch.
While the Classic Mojito recipe calls for only five simple ingredients, what makes this cocktail so exceptional is you can twist its flavour profile by incorporating seasonal ingredients.
The traditional recipe calls for rum, sugar, lime, soda water, and plenty of mint, but this classic has been revamped many times over, incorporating seasonal fruits and herbs.
Here are some of my mojito recipes to try out at home..
50 ml rum
4 lime wedges
10 fresh mint leaves
20 ml sugar syrup
25 ml soda water / club soda sprig of fresh mint
Glassware: Highball glass
Garnish: A sprig of mint
- Take the lime wedges, squeeze them in the glass and add sugar syrup. Gently press together the limes and sugar with a muddler.
- Bruise the mint leaves by clapping them between your palms. Rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in.
- Next, half fill the glass with crushed ice, add the rum and stir.
- Top with crushed ice, a sprig of mint and club soda.
50 ml rum
25 ml Jamun Fruit Syrup* (recipe below)
20 ml lime juice
4 to 5 mint leaves
Glassware: Highball glass
Garnish: Mint sprig
- Bruise the basil leaves by clapping them between your palms, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in the highball glass
- Next, fill the glass with crushed ice, jamun fruit syrup, lime juice and rum and stir.
- Top with crushed ice, and garnish with mint sprig
Jamun Fruit Syrup
40 Jamun fruit
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
* De-seed all the jamun fruit and place the fruit in a blender. Blend until smooth and strain the liquid.
* Next, add the strained liquid into a pan, with ½ cup of water and sugar.
* Cook on slow flame for 20 mins.
* Allow to cool, refrigerate and use as required.
Watermelon Basil Mojito
50 ml rum
3 to 4 chunks watermelon
2 to 3 basil leaves
20 ml fresh lime juice
15 ml sugar syrup
Glassware: old fashioned glass
Garnish: Basil leaves sprig and a wedge of watermelon
- Take watermelon, sugar and lime and muddle gently in an old-fashioned glass.
- Bruise the basil leaves by clapping them between your palms, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in.
- Next, fill the glass with crushed ice, add rum and stir.
- Top with crushed ice, a splash of club soda and garnish with a basil leaves sprig and a wedge of watermelon.
(All representation pic credits: Shutterstock, Recipe pics from author)
Edited by Asha Chowdary
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)