If the Mojito almost tastes like it’s good for you, that’s because it is—sort of. At least, that was the thought at the time it was created. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, but a heavily circulated tale is that 16th century sailors and pirates discovered the drink in Cuba and used it as a cure for dysentery. If you have dysentery, we would not recommend you try to get rid of it with a Mojito. But the mix of rum, lime and mint is good for other things—like drinking on a beach. Or drinking by a pool. Or drinking pretty much anywhere.
The Mojito’s simplicity makes it ripe for variation. Making your own, signature Mojito is as easy as adding different seasonal fruits, like mango in this case. For the best possible version of a Mango Mojito, get the ripest ataulfo mango you can—those are the smaller, all-yellow mangoes (also called “honey” or “Champagne” mangoes). To know if it’s ready, press the fruit with your thumb. It should give but not collapse. Ataulfos are sweeter than larger mangoes, and the juice you can muddle out of them will make you feel as if you are in a tropical paradise, no matter where you’re drinking it. If you want to keep your Mojito experimentation going, try adding peach, strawberry, coconut water or passion fruit.