A classic mojito is the perfect summer cocktail. It’s super refreshing with tons of lime, mint and a little sugar to bring out the flavors. If I could only drink one cocktail for the rest of my life – a classic mojito is at the top of my list! This recipe is easy to follow and I even included a pitcher recipe – because we all know one drink isn’t enough.
Luckily, we can switch things up and drink mojitos one day and other cocktails on other days. I love this apricot rosemary gin fizz, blood orange margarita, cucumber pomegranate vodka lemonade, a rhubarb Moscow mule for early summer and of course the whiskey based Penicillin cocktail.
As much as we would like, drinking only alcoholic drinks during the summer isn’t going to cut it. For a hydrating and refreshing non-alcoholic drink I recommend hibiscus tea, ginger lemon iced tea and homemade berry cordial.
What is a mojito? Where does it come from?
Mojito is just the best cocktail ever. It originated in Cuba when their rum wasn’t great. To mask the unpleasant taste of the rum, they made it tastier by adding lime, mint and sugar.
During the Prohibition Era in the States, it became popular to travel to Cuba. That is when the cocktail reached international stardom. Today, the rum has gotten better, but this tropical drink is still somewhere at the top of the list of cocktails ordered. I know for sure it is at the top of my list at least!
I have tried Cuban mojitos in Cuba. And I need to be honest, that stuff is STRONG. I bet they had three times as much rum as I have in this recipe, maybe even more. The mojito is, in my opinion, much better when lime, sugar and mint highlights the drink and is not masked by way too much rum.
But either way, the beauty of a mojito is that you can add and subtract as much as you like – as long as you have the basic mojito ingredients there!
Ingredients to make the best classic mojito
What’s in a mojito is just a few basic ingredients:
- White rum
- Lime juice
- Fresh mint
- Club soda / soda water
- Ice, preferably crushed
Because this cocktail has so few ingredients, it’s important that the ingredients are of high quality. Hello freshly squeezed lime juice! You can use any kind of sparkling water or soda you like, I sometimes even use a citrus flavored soda like Sprite. It comes down to your own preference – but something fizzy!
To make a ginger mojito: Use ginger beer instead of soda water, and muddle a little fresh ginger along with the mint and sugar!
What rum is best to use?
I am not saying your rum has to be expensive. Not at all! After all, the bartenders masked the taste of bad quality rum when making a mojito in the past, so you can get away with a decent white rum. But don’t use a spiced rum, because the spices crash with the freshness of citrus and mint!
I usually use a Bacardí Carta Blanca as in the photos here (not sponsored!), or Havana Club Anejo Blanco. To site Bacardí’s own website, a Bacardí Carta Blanca is smooth and subtle with notes of almond and vanilla, it doesn’t dominate like gin or disappear like vodka. Perfect for classic rum cocktails like the Mojito. Further reading: 5 Best Rums for Your Mojito.
Do you shake a mojito?
I do understand this question. As a general rule, citrusy drinks should be shaken. However, a classic mojito is just stirred. A cocktail with club soda shouldn’t be shaken, although you could shake the drink before adding the club soda. But stirring is just even easier right – no need to clean a shaker!
Mojito with simple syrup instead
Many don’t like it when there’s sugar granules in their cocktails. Stirring should dissolve the sugar completely, but it takes a few minutes (like in this vodka lemonade). Real sugar will taste better and more authentic. However, a simple syrup can be an easy way to be completely sure there aren’t any sugar granules.
Because a simple syrup is 1 part sugar and 1 part water, you should use the double amount of simple syrup than regular caster sugar. To make a simple syrup, add equal parts sugar and water to a saucepan. On medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool completely and store covered in the fridge. It’s perfect when you want a quick drink such as a whiskey sour.
Virgin Mojito Recipe
As I mentioned above, we just can’t always rely solely on alcoholic beverages all summer long. To make a mojito virgin, or known as a mojito mocktail (which just means non-alcoholic), you can simply add sparkling water/club soda instead of the white rum. Easy and delicious!
How to make a classic mojito
To make mojito from scratch is the only way to make mojito. In a glass, add freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar and fresh mint leaves. Muddle with the end of a large wooden spoon or anything similar in shape. Muddling releases the juices from the mint and the mint, sugar and lime juice incorporates perfectly with the alcohol.
Rub the glass with fresh mint. Fill the glass 2/3 with crushed ice, pour over the rum and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, add in club soda or any sparkling water. Even citrus flavored soda can work, like Sprite, although the drink will be a little sweeter.
Garnish with lime wedges and more fresh mint.
How to make a pitcher full
A mojito is perfect to make as a pitcher drink. It is also fairly light, about the same alcoholic content as a glass of wine. So a glass or two or three is totally acceptable (in my book at least!). Invite all your friends and enjoy this pitcher mojito and a watermelon salad!
It is actually literally the same method as in a glass, only that it’s larger quantities of ingredients. Add lime juice, sugar and mint into a pitcher and muddle to release the juices and blend the flavors. I like to add in the squeezed limes as well. Add in ice and white rum and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Top with club soda. Perfect for about 6 glasses!
Garnish with more lime wedges and fresh mint – both in the glasses and in the pitcher. Enjoy!
Did you like this classic mojito recipe? Here’s more refreshing drinks:
- Refreshing Hibiscus Tea (non-alcoholic)
- The Penicillin Cocktail
- Classic Whiskey Sour
- Ginger Lemon Iced Tea (non-alcoholic)
- Cucumber Pomegranate Vodka Lemonade
- Apricot Rosemary Gin Fizz
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.
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