In terms of the Mojito’s history, we know it was invented in Cuba and that’s about it. The most oft-repeated origin story has the Mojito refreshing the 16th century’s most colorful privateer/slaver/admiral/politician Sir Francis Drake. Apparently the captain and his crew were plagued by dysentery and scurvy during their raids on the Spanish New World. In Cuba, they discovered a crude form of rum, lime, sugar and mint and called it a cure (at least for the terrible affliction of sobriety). Like all things regarding colonization of the New World, the reality is likely far more unpleasant. And if you’re curious about the Mojito’s fabled curative powers, bear in mind that Drake died of dysentery in 1596. History lesson aside, the Mojito is a quintessential warm weather cocktail, an invigorating combination of grog and garden served with Caribbean flair.
Mix it Up
In Havana, lemon juice is often used in lieu of lime. If you find our version too sweet, reduce the simple syrup to just 0.5 oz. For complexity and a bit of flair, build the crushed iced up out of the Collins glass and add Angostura bitters to the ice (think of a snowcone).
Victor Jules Bergeron Jr., better known as Polynesian restaurant chain founder Trader Vic, created this tiki classic and published it in Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide in 1947. The drink isn’t a far cry from the Hemingway Daiquiri, which also includes rum, lime, sweetener and maraschino liqueur. But the blended Beachcomber swaps out...