Classic Cocktails 101: The Mojito

By NY Barfly
Created March 8, 2017
Mojito Cocktail
The classic mojito cocktail features muddled mint leaves and lime for a refreshing warm weather beverage. MORE+ LESS-

Learn the basics of this favorite mint and lime infused drink. 

Ladies and gentlemen, start your muddlers! The mojito is a classic blend of rum, sugar, lime and mint that has been crushed to release the full burst of flavors and aromas in those leaves. Yum. This old-school drink is still popular today, and here's your primer to the muddling magic.

The History

The mojito is Cuba in a glass. There's a lot of debate about who first combined these ingredients, but there's no doubt that it started on this Caribbean island, where it is still enjoyed to this day. The creation entered the popular consciousness largely due to author (and notorious boozer) Ernest Hemingway, who was an avid fan of the drink.

The Essentials

Don't cheat on this one – fresh lime and mint are essential to a solid mojito. If you use syrups or lime juice you get to skip the muddling, but that misses the point – the flavor of this cocktail should smack you in the face, and store bought substitutes won't do the trick.

The Ingredients

2 ounces rum

1 ounce seltzer

1-2 teaspoons sugar

6-8 mint leaves

Half a lime

The Recipe 

Build the cocktail in a pint glass or cocktail shaker. Add mint, sugar, and half a lime (cut up into four pieces). Muddle until lime and mint is broken down. Then, add rum and ice, and stir. Pour into a Collins glass and add seltzer until glass is full. Garnish with a lime wedge and a mint spring.

Some Modifications

If it can be muddled, you can throw it into the mix. A wide variety of fruits can be added to the recipe - light rum goes with everything, so throw in some blueberries, strawberries, watermelon (or all of the above). Since these drinks are typically made one at a time, you can freely experiment.

Don't have a muddler? No special bar equipment? No worries. You can make this ditty at home without a muddler – just place the mint and lime into a glass and use a wooden spoon to mash them up. Anything with a blunt surface will do the trick. 

When to Drink It

The burst of mint adds a chillness to the ice-cold cocktail, so it's no surprise that this one is typically enjoyed during the warm months. Garden parties or outdoor bashes are a prime opportunity to mix up a pitcher, but the drink is a festive addition to any party where a hit of green is called for (hello, St. Patrick's Day).

So grab those mint leaves and get muddling!

If you're looking for some mojito inspiration, check out these fun modifications on the classic cocktail.