Considered the ultimate summer cooler, once you master this refreshing blend of mint, lime, and sugar, it will be your go-to cocktail for all your summer get-togethers. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or decide to experiment with flavors like fresh strawberry or coconut, this article will teach you the secrets to mixing up the perfect Mojito.
1-2 teaspoons fine sugar or simple syrup.
8 mint leaves.
Juice of 1/2 lime.
3 oz. (88ml) white rum, or 2 jiggers.
1 teaspoon fine sugar or simple syrup
4-6 mint leaves.
4 fresh, hulled strawberries, cut into quarters.
Juice of 1/2 lime.
3 oz. (88ml) white rum, or 2 jiggers.
1-2 teaspoons sugar or simple syrup
8 mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 oz cream of coconut
3 oz. (88ml) white rum, or 2 jiggers
Making a Classic Mojito1. Find a tall, sturdy glass. A short glass will make your drink look sloppy and crowded, and glass with fragile sides may break when you begin muddling. If you are worried about a watered-down drink, you can add more rum later. Just keep in mind this cocktail is a cooler, so it's meant to be sipped over time and not chugged.
- A pint glass or collins glass works well for Mojitos. Pint glasses are usually a little thicker, but you may prefer the straight cylinder of the collins glass.
2. Add mint, 2 teaspoons sugar, and lime juice to the glass. You should have enough lime juice to completely cover and wet the sugar. Because limes don't all hold the same amount of liquid, 1/2 lime may not be enough. Squeeze in more juice from the remaining half.
- Hierba Buena (or yerba buena) is the variety of mint used in a traditional Cuban Mojito, but spearmint may be easier to find. You can also try peppermint or pineapple mint.
- Superfine granulated sugar is the classic sweetener in a Mojito. The granules help open up the mint when you muddle, and a fine sugar dissolves better in liquid than a coarse sugar, like Turbinado.
- You can also use simple syrup instead of granulated sugar. This will ensure your drink is sweet throughout and there won't be any grit from undissolved sugar.
3. Press the round end of a muddler into the glass and gently twist several times. You should stop when the room smells of mint before the mint begins to tear apart. You're not trying to pulverize the mint--the purpose of muddling is to release the oils in the mint leaves, which only requires a little crumpling or bruising. If you shred your leaves, the veins will release chlorophyll and your Mojito will taste bitter and grassy.
- You may want to slice the juiced half of the lime into wedges and add it to your drink to be muddled. The peel can add a little extra lime flavor and complexity to the drink. Make sure you don't smash the pith (the white layer between the flesh and the peel)--it's very bitter.
- If you don't have a muddler, you can use the back of a spoon (wooden, preferably) or the handle of a rolling pin. Muddlers should be made of unvarnished wood (so no resin makes its way into your drinks) and should have a round side and a side with teeth.
- Unless you are using the Hierba Buena variety of mint, make sure you do not have any items in your drink. In spearmint, the flavor is concentrated in the leaves--the stems only contain bitter chlorophyll and can ruin your drink.
- If you are using Hierba Buena mint, you'll want to put in two full springs, stem and all. The flavor from the Hierba Buena comes from the stems and is more citrusy and herbal than other types of mint.
- If you like your drink a little stronger, add more rum now. This is preferable to using a short glass to make a more concentrated drink since you can still leisurely sip on your tall Mojito.
5. Add four ice cubes and top with club soda. Ice cubes are preferable to crushed ice--crushed ice melts faster (which will make your drink colder) but will water down your beverage.
- Club soda has a clean and unobtrusive flavor that will not affect the taste of your Mojito. You can mix things up with a lemon-lime flavored soda or local mineral water.
- Garnish with a lime wedge, sprig of mint, or a sugar swizzle stick.
Making a Strawberry Mojito
- If you're not into the texture of muddled strawberries, you can also puree them in a blender and add with the rum. Your cocktail will be a little smoother, and you can even strain out the little seeds if you want.
- Make sure your strawberries are hulled (the stems removed).
- Because the strawberries are naturally sweet, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar. (A classic Mojito uses about two teaspoons of sugar, this recipe cuts that in half.)
- To avoid releasing bitter chlorophyll from the mint, use the leaves only and discard the stems. Don't shred the leaves when you muddle, they should appear crumpled when you're finished, not torn and smashed into oblivion.
- The texture of the sugar will help release the flavorful oils from the mint. The sugar will absorb the oils, plus the flavor of the strawberry, making your cocktail even more delicious.
- If you decided to puree your strawberries, add the puree to your drink now. You can also add a few small slices of strawberry if you like the look of fruit in your glass.
- Garnish with a strawberry and sprig of mint.
Making a Coconut Mojito
1. Put the mint leaves, 2 teaspoons sugar, lime juice, and 1 oz: (30 ml) cream of coconut into a tall, sturdy glass. Make sure you shake the can of cream of coconut well, as it can settle while sitting in the can.
- Coconut milk and cream of coconut are not interchangeable, so don't try to substitute. Coconut milk is too thin and doesn't have the rich thickness of the cream of coconut.
- There is a difference between "coconut cream" and "cream of coconut". Coconut cream is unsweetened, and cream of coconut is very sweet, almost like condensed milk. If you can only find coconut cream, you will have to sweeten it quite a bit before it is suitable for a cocktail.
- If you can only find the cream of coconut in powder form, mix it with a little water so it is thick and has the consistency of condensed milk. Taste it before you add it to your drink to make sure it is sweet enough.
- If you don't have a muddler, use the back of a metal spoon or the end of a wooden spoon or rolling pin.
- If you are nervous about muddling, you can hold the mint leaves in the palm of one hand and clap your other hand on top of them. It won't be as effective, but this will bruise the leave enough to release some of the mint flavors.
- Allow your ingredients to sit for a few moments after muddling so the sugar can absorb the mint and coconut.
3. Pour in 2 jiggers (3 oz or 88 ml) of coconut flavored rum: The cream of coconut will already give the drink a nice, refreshing taste of coconut, so if you want to keep it subtle, you can use an unflavored white (or light or silver) rum instead.
- Mix the drink to incorporate all the flavors and prevent the cream of coconut from settle on the bottom of the glass. Your drink should turn a milky white.