Mojito

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There are so many bad Mojitos out there that I just had to share what I think is the most perfect, simple Mojito recipe. While a lot of people want to overthink the drink, I think it’s important to take a step back and look at the cocktail for what it truly is: a Rum Collins (with lime in place of lemon) with the addition of mint.

That’s it, folks, I’m sorry to say. While some people would rather argue all day about the differences between these two classic cocktails, I think it makes more sense to focus on the similarities (shouldn’t we strive to be like that with more things in life?)

Just remember that while we’re looking to find common ground between drinks, the Mojito is still not a Mint Julep with rum.

I like to use Matusalem Platino or Bacardi Silver rums in my mojitos. Since they were Cuban companies before the tide of revolution sent them packing for Puerto Rico, I feel it’s the closest I’m going to get to real Cuban rum in my mojito during this pointless embargo that both countries are suffering through. That said, experiment with other silver rums and see what works best with your palate.

Mojito Print Me

  • 1 large sprig mint
  • ½ oz/15 ml simple syrup
  • Half a spent lime hull, and
  • ¾ oz/22.5 ml of lime juice
  • 1½ oz/45 ml white rum
  • 1½ oz/45 ml chilled club soda or sparkling mineral water
  1. In a 16 ounce glass, gently muddle together the mint and the simple syrup
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Top with crushed ice and mix with a straw until drink is combined and glass is frosty.

Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com

146 Replies to “Mojito”

  • pete says:

    wheh! my AC is out and it’s 104. I think this mojito recipe just saved my life

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks, Pete! Glad I could help…

  • Scottes says:

    I recently compared Havana Club Anejo Blanco, Ron Matusalem Platino, and Bacardi Superior. I was surprised at how close the Ron Matusalem tasted like the Havana Club. Though all 3 were similar, showing the Cuban style, the Bacardi was easily the worst of the bunch. It had the roughest taste, the harshest burn, and seemed like it was trying to copy the Havana Club, but failed miserably. The Matusalem was very close, only slightly different, and highly recommended when the HC isn’t available.

    http://scottesrum.com/tag/comparisons/5-white-rums/

  • Jonathan says:

    Here’s a fun twist, replace your mineral water with a fizzy fruit soda like passion fruit. Huzzah!

  • Scottes says:

    I’m with Jonathan – that sounds fantastic! What a great twist.

  • Denise says:

    Just as a bit of info, Bacardi is still made in Cuba, as well as PR. It ran off to PR to take care of the US market. We get Bacardi from Cuba here in the UK, as we do not have a problem with Cuba. It is good fun to take a bottle of Cuban rum to friends in the states and have them read the label. Puts a bit of a smile on their kissers, while they smoke their cigars!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hey, that’s great information, thanks, Denise!

  • CK says:

    Since I don’t do enough regular muddling at home to necessitate a muddler, do you recommend another method of mint leaf semi-mushing? Like, would using a spoon against the side of the glass work fine?

  • Jeffrey says:

    CK

    That would work perfectly!

    JM

  • Craig says:

    My key lime tree in the back yard has finally matured enough to provide ample fruit. We love its unique flavor in margaritas and G&T. Seeking your opinion on its use in mojitos and in general.

    The Persian limes from the grocery store are more familiar to most people, but there is definitely a distinct difference between them and the key lime. Which would you serve your customers?

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hey Craig

    Key limes have quite a bit more citric acid than Persian limes, so I would imagine you’d have to use more sweetener to balance that out.

  • e.b. adkins says:

    ok. i hear the bacardi/cuban rum thing. ive just got to hate a bit because bacardi is a major cash contributor to the republian party and is actively lobbying congress to deny havana club their trademarked name in the us when the embargo is lifted. we all have our politics and everyones edjucated opion is valid but these guys have horrible corporate ethics. they were in time magazine along with enron and halliburton as contributors in that silly tom delay campagn contributions scandal. and they advertise to the lowest common denominator as they say. anyhow. mojito = dry white rum.
    appletons white or flor de cana are my go to rums. im partial to the barbancourt white which, made from cane sugar, is probably not dry enough to be traditional.

  • Dan says:

    Denise, Bacardi is not made on Cuba any more, in any shape or form. But they are working hard to keep the image as _the_ Cuban rum.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacardi
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havana_Club

  • AMFA says:

    Experts on the Mojitos,
    I am a bartender in the Portland Or area and this has got to be my favorite drink of choice for the summer and would like to perfect it. Any sparkling water ok or do you suggest a specific kind? Any the fizzy passion fruit thing sounds great….but kinds do you suggest? Thanks

  • Jeffrey says:

    AMFA

    I like using San Pellegrino (unflavored) because the bubbles are smaller than most others’.

  • Bob says:

    I’m surprised you would say not to use seltzer but “fizzy fruit soda” is a “nice twist”? That seems weird to me.

    I took your suggestion to not use seltzer as a move toward purity and I would think that some “fizzy fruit soda” would be a move in the opposite direction.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Bob

    I was being nice. Use mineral water. Shhh…

    Jeff

  • Jeremy says:

    I’m confused by this beverage, as it is moving up in popularity at my casual gatherings. More and more people are asking for Mojitos.

    It baffles me. I’d like to think I’m making them adequately, but I don’t like the taste of them, at all; and Mint is hard to come by, where I live, in the Sonoran Desert.

    Seriously, what is the draw to this beverage?

  • loucifer says:

    Okay – great site – and I am a huge Mojito Fan – Imagine the horror when I went to the fridge to get some chipped ice and found none…

    I frantically looked for any ice in freezer at all and was at a loss except for some frozen cranberries or a couple kids freezies. I really wanted a Mojo after reading this so I went with the frozen cranberries – it was actually a different yet surprizingly good alternative to chipped ice – and it gave the glass another funky color.

    I agree that you really need to go Cuban on the rum – I was first introduced to the Mojito in Cuba – in a younger life – the non Cuba rum always tastes a bit lack luster.

    Anyways great info on a wicked drink.

    Ciao

    L

  • Carrie says:

    It’s 107 outside – your Mojito hit the spot. NICE!

  • rick says:

    The recipes call for all sorts of rums, ice size, size of bubbles in the soda water etc., but no mention of the type of mint to use.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Great point, Rick.

    Traditional Cuban mojitos call for ‘Yerba Buena’, which is the blanket term for the herb we know as mint. The varieties most commonly found in Cuba are:

    Apple mint
    Foxtail mint
    Hairy mint
    Woolly mint
    Cuban mint

    Here in the States, I recommend using apple mint if you can find it, or the variety found most commonly here and in Mexico, spearmint.

    I don’t recommend peppermint in a mojito.

  • Gareth says:

    Hi all,

    Jeffrey: Thanks for the great website. Apologies in advance for this mammoth but i feel strongly about this.

    I feel that Bacardi should be avoided due to it’s repeated human rights violations against the people of Cuba all the why touting itself as the ‘authentic’ Cuban rum.

    http://www.rcgfrfi.easynet.co.uk/ratb/boycott/wysk.htm for further information if you want to know why.

    It is also actually, to my knowledge, now solely based in the Bahamas; Denise, if you could share the source of your info i would be most grateful and most humbly apologetic if proven wrong.

    Now I am not in any way affiliated with any campaigning action, i make cocktails in a restaurant in London. I have the luxury of using Havana Club and i understand that a good quality white rum may not be available to those of you in the states but i would entreat you all to at least bear the true cost of supporting this company in mind when next ordering.

    I know that people primarily go to bars and drink cocktails to relax and unwind and escape life’s pressures, and that, consequently, making a drink with care and positivity is a barman’s prime directive. I also now, however, that every action makes a difference (however small) and boycotting certain brands is a valuable and underused power we, as drinkers of rum AND as professional bartenders, have and should use.

    Cheers.

  • Thanks, Gareth. You’ve certainly given us some things to think about.

    However, I do know that at least one part of your information is incorrect: Bacardi does indeed have facilities in the Bahamas, which were established in 1965 to avoid some sort of European taxes. However, with a recent change in laws they have decided to close their Bahamian facilities and consolidate everything in Puerto Rico.

    As for the alleged human rights violations commited by Bacardi, I’m going to let someone else look into that – I ain’t touching it!

  • Gareth says:

    Then, on that count, I humbly apologise!

  • Gareth says:

    I was, however though, just trying to highlight the fact that Bacardi is no longer based in Cuba.

  • I guess I didn’t read Denise’s comment closely enough, but you’re right. Bacardi is definitely not still made in Cuba, Denise.

  • karnie says:

    Just found your website…love it….love Mojitos. Was introduced to them on a cruise this fall to Mexico……….need I say more?

  • ND says:

    @Craig: Since I’m a bit of a lime pervert, I have to say that Key limes (aka West Indian or Mexican limes) are so way much better than Persian (or tahiti) limes, they’re actually in a different taste galaxy—there’s just no substitute for a real Mexican lime. Fortunately, our climate is really great for growing them (and half the guys in our government are a bunch of commies, so we’re great friends with Cuba, and can get the good stuff at most franchise liquor stores… viva la revolucion!)

  • Paul says:

    I know you are a bartender and I might be making a giant mistake asking but could you post the recipe for a no jito. I don’t know if the amounts of each part change. I had one recently and loved it, I prefer to not drink alcohol and also so my daughter can have some. Thank you in advance.

  • Paul

    I guess I would just suggest you leave out the rum – problem solved!

  • Paul says:

    That’s easy, Thanks.

  • Mojito Man says:

    Hi to everyone… i really dont want to get into the havana club Bacardi discussion, as i am lucky enough to have both available here in europe…. i do recomend a few others if you would like to change your mojitos flavour a bit….. i definitelly recomend Morgan Spiced (i heard its really easy to get in the US) and one less known 10 Cane Rum it really brings a really good flavour into the mojitos.
    And just for the record, i know the traditional way of doing the mojito is using the sparkiling water, but my personal favorite is actually without any sparkle at all, with a little bit more syrup (i like sweet stuff) and compensate the amount of sparkling water with extra rum… believe me…it will be worth the try.

  • Mojito Man says:

    And by the way Jeffrey, thank you for your time….

    I’m sure you could just spend it doing something else, but you did choose to share all this with the rest of us! 🙂

  • Michaelg says:

    One solution to the sweetness issue is a trick I do that works perfectly for both mojitos and margaritas. Skip the simple syrup. Use the fresh lime, but supplement it with some good limeade (a shot or two only, depending on taste). Use good stuff such as Newman’s Own or Santa Cruz Organics. Takes the edge off the drink, but keeps the sweetness limey!

  • Mojito Man says:

    Nice 🙂
    Gotta try it!

  • Thanks, everyone, for all of the spirited (no pun intended, really) discussion on this topic. It makes the time I spend working on this site worthwhile, and I really appreciate it.

  • One thing, though, Michaelg:

    I do love me the Newman’s Own limeade, but let’s break it down into its constituent pieces. At its most simple, limeade is comprised of fresh lime juice, sugar, and water. So in effect you’ve just taken some of the original ingredients in a Mojito and added preservatives, pasteurized the lot, put it on a shelf for a few weeks, and then added it to your drink.

    So why not just use simple syrup in the first place, and use a little less if you’re concerned about sugar intake?

    Just my $.02

  • Gareth says:

    Hey all,

    What a fantastic thread!

    Just a quick one; I really think that using sugar instead of simple syrup is the way forward when making mojitos as it acts as an abrasive when muddling and gets more oil out of the limes. If you shake the drink after muddling then there’s no grittiness and, if resources are limited, hey presto! you make your own crushed ice in the process. After exhaustive research i can heartily recommend this tactic.

    Happy muddling!

    😉

  • dim zappas says:

    hi people
    please take a look at my opinion about the mint: do not muddling the mint, just bruise the leaves inside the glass just to automatized your drink, and dont cutting in small pieces the mint is not good looking.
    Thank you

  • Michaelg says:

    “Why not just use simple syrup in the first place, and use a little less if you’re concerned about sugar intake?”

    Good question, and the answer is basically that it’s easier. Look, even Gareth chimes in right after saying try sugar instead of simple syrup. The argument goes on and on and gets more complicated. The answer, just put a shot of limeade WITH your 1/2 fresh squeezed juice. The answer is that these folks, whether they be Newman’s, Santa Cruz, Odwalla or Simply Limeade – there’s one available in every good grocery, and I’m not talking about Minute Maid or Western Family – work out the mixing of the sugar, lime and water for you. All you have to do is toss a shot in your classic tequila-Cointreau-lime juice margarita, or into your mint-rum-soda-fresh lime juice mojito, topped with club soda – oh excuse me Jeffrey, San Pelligrino! Either way, it takes the edge off, and the only problem you’ll have, folks is the irresistability…

    Cheers,

    MichaelG

  • Britt says:

    Jeff…I understand that the mojito is a drink of the tropics but when you live in Buffalo NY, you have to bring a bit of the tropics to you!! Plus, they’re delicious whenever….for me its sitting in the hot tub when its 20 degrees!!!

  • Andi says:

    I planted pineapple mint in my yard (coastal Calif.) about 6 years ago and have been using it in mojitos ever since. Easy to grow and everybody loves my version of the drink. In a pinch I use Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice instead of fresh limes — I know, it’s sacrilege, but the mojitos still taste great.
    Gracias for all the cool info.

  • Norma says:

    Jeffrey.. last year I had the fortune of drinking a Mojito for the first time. I loved it!! It was at an El Torito Restaurant here in Riverside,CA. I went on line and found several recipes with sugar as an ingredient. While tasteful, my probem with those was that the sugar remained quite thick at the bottom of the glass. How can I stop that from happening? Also, your recipe calls for simple syrup. What is that?

  • Norma says:

    Jeffrey.. last year I had the fortune of drinking a Mojito for the first time. I loved it!! It was at an El Torito Restaurant here in Riverside,CA. I went on line and found several recipes with sugar as an ingredient. While tasteful, my probem with those was that the sugar remained quite thick at the bottom of the glass. How can I stop that from happening? Also, your recipe calls for simple syrup. What is that?

  • Norma

    I would recommend you stop ordering the mojitos at El Torito.

    You can find a recipe for simple syrup here!

    Jeff

  • Diana says:

    Jeffrey, I remember you from Salinas, how fitting you have turned into the mix master flash. Great advice on the Pellegrino, the club soda adds too much of a chemical taste. You need to come down and make Mojitos at the next Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Let me know, I can get you the gig.

  • mR BoOStA says:

    Big fan of the Clement Premier in Mojitos!

    Smell and flavor comes from the skin of the mint.
    make sure to twist your mudller on your white sugar rubbing the mint enough to get a powerful
    mint smell, ad your fresh limes with a slice squeezed enough to disolve the sugar.
    50ml of Clement Premier Canne, careful
    diluting and NO added soda, carbonated water
    or sprite pleease. This rum is good enough!

  • Jeff says:

    Just made this tonight and it was daaaaaaamn good. Excellent recipe!

    Oh, and for the diabetics out there, i made my dad’s with 2 packets of Splenda instead of simple syrup and he said it tasted fine.

  • Keiko says:

    I made my simple syrup with an infusion of mint leaves – awesome!
    Do you have a recipe for a pitcher of these great drinks?

  • Stacy says:

    Yes, can you adapt it the recipe to a pitcher. At a party, I don’t want to spend so much time making individual drinks for everyone.

  • Valerie says:

    Re simple syrup vs. sugar: I don’t like simple syrup because you have to use so much it dilutes the drink too much. Regular sugar, as has been noted, is slow to dissolve in cold fluids. I prefer to use extra-fine granulated sugar, aka berry sugar, which is made for such purposes. Should be available at any well-stocked supermarket.

  • Valerie

    Interesting point, but my opinion is that we’re only talking about a tablespoon or so of water in a sixteen-ounce glass.

    That’s a tablespoon of water that will most likely be replaced by ice or additional soda water anyway.

    I love simple syrup for its ease of use. If you’re really concerned about additional water in other cocktails (a proper Sazerac comes to mind) then a rich 2:1 simple might be the solution for you.

    Just my $.02

    Jeff

  • Jodie says:

    Can you explain what is meant by:
    Half a spent lime hull

    thanks…

  • Jodie

    I’m referring to the shell of half a lime that is left over when you’ve finished squeezing the juice from a fresh lime. Here’s a photo:

    limehull.jpg

    Cheers.

  • kami says:

    ok I am fairly new to this Mojito craze, but have fallen in love with the drink! which for me is something… I don’t usually drink an alcoholic beverage for the taste… anyhow I am new to all this lingo what is bitters? and where do you get it? oh and why doesn’t your recipe call for it?

  • Krivc says:

    Great article, personaly i like using moroccan mint the most (Mentha spicata) as it has alot more aroma in it than other types of mint. Luckily here in europe Havana Club is easy to get, and making myself a Mojito after a while i realied why it is my favourite cocktail for the summer.

    Cheers!

  • Kami

    Bitters are mixtures of herbs, spices, fruit peels, etc. suspended in an alcohol solution. Bartenders use them as a cook might use salt and pepper: they bring out flavors in cocktails.

    The most widely-used brand of bitters would be Angostura, but more and more brands are coming back into fashion with the renaissance of craft cocktails these days.

    My mojito recipe doesn’t call for any type of bitters because it is my understanding, through the research that I’ve conducted over the years, that using bitters in a mojito is not a correct preparation.

    If I ever discover that I’m wrong, then I will by all means change my recipe, but for now, don’t use bitters in a mojito. That’s not how you make this drink.

    Jeff

  • Josleyn says:

    Where can I get the best mojitos made??? Thanks!!!

  • Pat says:

    Hi, What does “muddle” mean and what is a “spent lime hull”? Thanks. I’m dying to try this recipe.

  • Pat says:

    Jeffrey, I had some time to review the other comments and now understand what a spent hull is. However, I still don’t understand what “muddle” means. Thanks.

  • Tara says:

    I’m soooo glad I found this recipe- thank you!

    I served them at a party tonight and they were a big hit! Fantastic recipe! I think this is my new favorite summer drink. I’m a new fan of your blog… thanks for sharing your wealth of cocktail knowledge.

  • cathy says:

    Ohhhh, the best mojitos are at the Bellagio Las Vegas (especially if made by Francisco). Yummmmmmmmmm.

  • Pat – Here’s a definition of muddling.

    Tara – No, thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site.

    Cathy – Thanks for sharing.

  • Andrew says:

    I was surprised, when in Cuba, to see that the bartender added a drop or two of bitters to my mojito, but I’ve since taken to adding it to the mojitos I make at home as well.

  • Mitch says:

    My wife and I LOVE mojitos. I was traveling with my family in St Pete Beach Florida and tried a mojito at the famous Don Cesar Hotel. They carry a new mix called Doc Heller’s Mojito’s. It was the BEST mojito I have EVER tasted. In fact, its better than any mojito I’ve made by hand or tried after making it by hand. I have no idea how they did it but I love it. Anyone who is interested should check out their website http://www.dochellers.com. I just ordered a few bottles and cant wait to get them!!!

  • Mari says:

    Thank you for the fantastic mojito recipe. I’ve been fiddling with making this drink this summer and I’m so happy to have come across your website and this recipe! It’s “da bomb!”

  • Mari says:

    By the way, we used Flor de Caña extra dry rum from Nicaragua, and it was delicious in this Mojito.

  • Michele says:

    Oh yes the mojitos at the Bellagio are the best I have ever had! They make it dead on. That’s one of the reasons I stay at the Bellagio on each of my Vegas trips 😉

    This recipe here is excellent as well. I just tried it 😀

  • April says:

    I ran out of simple syrup with no time to make more. I subbed 1 tsp. of powdered sugar which dissolved nicely. That is the only way I make them now. Your lime hull and sparkling water: fantastic!

  • cathy says:

    Hi Jeff, I notice you didn’t say anything about muddling the half spent lime together with the mint. did I read that wrong?

  • It’s true. I don’t muddle the lime because it releases the bitter oils into the drink.

    For mojitos, I don’t even use a juicer. I squeeze every drop of lime with my fingertips.

    Really!

  • cathy says:

    I’m throwing a party this weekend and been running through my head how I’m going to make mojitos to serve 20+ people without being the bartender all night. and I read that one of the essence of a mojito is the oil you get from muddling lime. and that why bitters is used. your recipe didn’t call for muddling the lime. just the mint and simple syrup.

    Can I do that? can I leave muddling of the lime out? It would make my life a little easier even if it’s just for the night.

  • cathy says:

    ok, thanks!

  • Mojito says:

    For what it’s worth, Matusalem makes probably the best white rum to use for Mojitos if you can’t get your hands on some Havana Club. I wouldn’t really recommend Bacardi, but to each their own. Matusalem was originally a Cuban company as well, give them a try sometime.

  • Tammy says:

    do u have to freshly squeeze all the lime juice or can u use some from the produce department in that little bottle shaped like a lime?

  • Tammy – Stay away from plastic limes. Only freshly squeezed juice will do. Ever. Period.

  • Tammy says:

    thanks 4 the advice although this drink was somewhat time consuming 2 make it was by far the best mojito I ever had & my friends appreciated all the effort also, so thanks again, CHEERS!

  • Bob says:

    Wow. A six month thread. Let’s hear it for Mojito’s, my all-time favorite.

    Personally, I’ve searched everywhere without luck to find the recipe for the Cheesecake Factory’s Platinum Mojito recipe. Yep, you heard it right. Cheesecake Factory. The Platinum being easily the best Mojito I’ve ever had.

    None of your previous readers mentioned the premium Rums used in the Platinum (a blend of Cruzan (St. Croix) Single Barrel Estate and 10 Cane (Trinidad); both about $35. Unbelievably perfect.

    Thanks for your entertaining and useful blog…from a near neighbor to the north.

  • Deuce says:

    Thanks EB Adkins for letting us know that Bacardi are contributors to the Republican party. I am an operations manager for a medium sized restaurant company (17 locations) and based on that information, I’m going to implement a policy that ONLY Bacardi rum be used unless a customer specifically asks for something else. The wholesale costs for the volume we order is about the same as what we are using, but now we can feel like good corporate citizens in knowing we are doing something for the greater good by promotng a company that supports a good cause and a better America. The volume of cases of rum we go through each week (especially in the summer at our beach locations) is huge, and I’m sure Bacardi will notice the impact. I also will encourage others in the industry to promote Bacardi based on your information. Thanks for bringing it to our attention !

  • Andi says:

    OK Deuce, surely you have better things to do than to bring partisan politics to an otherwise fun and informative site. That’s a very old post to which you responded. We’re talkin’ mojitos here, not politicos.

  • Deuce says:

    I didn’t come here for that Andi…but please see post # 13

  • Ziljito... says:

    Hi there..
    I think this is a great site..I had my first Mojito in Costa Rica last year..wasn’t a big fan but I am willing to give them another chance just for the lime…sooo..refreshing! I am throwing a birthday party and would also like to know how to make a large quantity of quality mojitos as I would like to enjoy my time drinking them..not making them! Thanks a bunch!

  • eileen says:

    side bar in response to your warning not to order a mojito at a chain restaurant: my Cuban friend ordered a drink at Olive Garden which sounded remarkably like a mojito but is called something else, and she said it was one of the best mojitos she ever had. And she ordered it again next time we went and so did I.

    Go figure.

  • Matt says:

    Thanks for the recipe and tips. I made one today and it was delicious but I don’t think I used enough mint because the lime juice/hull were overpowering. Or maybe I didn’t muddle it enough. But still it was good. I will just have to keep practicing 😉

    I also would like to know the best way to make mojitos for a crowd!

  • tracy says:

    great recipe, and thanks for the tips, I am a novice at best.
    what’s the easiest way to crush ice, at home?

  • Jacob says:

    Hey I stumbled across this great looking mojito recipe today an I’m going to try it out later on tonight. Now I hadn’t really heard of a mojito till about 2 weeks ago my mom made me some that was basically the same as yours and it was uhhhmazing.

    One question though.

    What’s wrong with bacardis recipe to makin a mojito? It looks delicious haha but all of them do.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Jacob says:

    I was also thinking about using powdered sugar in it with bacardis recipe and I wanted to try yours to later on too. But it calls for muddling the limes sugar and some of the rum with it. What’s the difference in using simple syrup and powdered sugar?

  • Jacob – The difference is that powdered sugar contains corn starch. Skip it and use the simple syrup.

  • Jacob says:

    Mkay but whata so bad about bacardis recipe for a mojito than doin it your way? Thanks for the feedback too!

  • Gon says:

    Well, here it goes my favourite way: I think a Mojito is basicly a variation of a sour…
    *2 oz. Havana Club 3
    *1 oz. simple syrup
    *3/4 oz. “fresh” lime juice
    *sprig of mint (hierba buena)
    *soda optional
    Mint: should be just smacked with your hands, no stems (add bitterness).
    Ice: cracked and a lot of.
    Lime: I don’t muddle, just juiced (avoids bitter oils).
    Soda: ok for customers, I always ask but for me is not necessary.
    Sugar: if using granulated is better to disolve it in the lime juice as first step.
    First pour simple syrup, lime juice and rum, a little of ice and stir, this first amount of ice avoids the mint to be placed on the bottom of the glass. Smack the mint leaves and throw in, some more ice and stir. Finally fill the glass with ice till the top. Nice touch if you drop the sqeezed lime before you add the last amount of ice. Top with soda for a quicker drink but I wont, I like its first bite and then how it gets smoother with melting. Garnish with a sprig of mint. A couple of straws and ENJOY!!!
    About adding Angostura: I think some people do it because their Mojitos result too bitter (because of extra muddling) and with the adition of Angostura you can balance it.
    Sorry for my English it’s not my language.
    But…remember:
    NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE, is it?

  • Michael says:

    Why do you smack the mint instead of muddling it? And what do you mean by smacking. Are you simply whacking the mint against the counter before adding it to the drink?

    Thanks!

  • Gon says:

    Michael try this link is outstanding you will say thanks
    http://www.smallscreennetwork.com/show/raising_the_bar/

  • MK says:

    I add a nice dry champaign instead of mineral water. I make my own mint simple syrup. Yum.

    🙂
    mk

  • Gon says:

    What about using ginger beer on top, for a refreshing ginger mojito, the minted syrup is a nice touch.

  • Ron says:

    I’ve become absolutely adicted to Mojitos! Really glad to have found this web site. This summer my friend and I have hosted a couple of parties where I made Mojitos and let me tell you, these drinks are a hit. They are so good! We’ve been experimenting with the recipe so I though I would share.

    We ran out of sparkling water in the first party. Fortunately, I thought fast. I used Ginger Ale in one guest’s Mojito and he loved it even more. Since then I always have it on hand and give the guest a choice.

    Another tip, experiment by adding a fresh fruit to muddle with the mint. Delicious! I like it best with raspberries, Michelle prefers strawberries.

  • Kaulike says:

    Ginger beer will totally overpower the other flavors. Instead, try adding about a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger to the mint. May need a splash more sugar to really bring it out.

  • adammac says:

    if you think the embargo/blockade is useless whatever you do don’t use bacardi, the bacardi family did flee cuba and it maintains as it has for a long time close ties to us politicians and the cia….in the 1960s the head of bacardi even bought a b-26 bomber and planned to bomb cuban oil refineries and participated in attempts to assasinate castro

    so if you want an end to the blockade dont give money to the bacardi family to give to politicians who vote for it and go to cuba, i studied there in teh spring…go to the city of cienfuegos and go to the park on the point at the end of town and get a mojito at the bar there, the guy spends like 10 min making each one

  • Havok says:

    Nice job on the DOs and Donts! Agree on almost every thing. Just not sure about the sparkling water… every time I tried with it, it’s just like flavoured water for me (if you know what I mean – cause my english is not very good). I just let the crushed ice do the job of slowly watering the drink. Well, but that’s just my opinion.
    And did you try making the mojito in a thin type of glass instead of using the bold one? Maybe it’s just me, but looks like the flavour stays richier.
    And Gon, don’t worry about the lime oil, it’s just going to sour the Mojito if it stays more than 30 minutes in it. (That’s the rule we use with caipirinhas at least), and nice advice about the mint.
    Obrigado!

  • sandy says:

    Hey Jeffrey,
    Great site! I’ve been hooked since I read the suggestion of flamed bitters on the Pisco Sour. here’s my Mojito question…
    Why not muddle the limes with the mint and syrup? It’s what’s called for in Regan’s Joy of Mixology, and when granulated sugar was used, it brought out the bitter oils in the lime wedge when muddled. Although not what’s called for in some recipes, surely it’s not a sign of an amateur bartender, right?
    ..Is it so you can measure the EXACT amount of juice, or that the bitter oils have no place here?

  • Both.

    Okay, I don’t think that muddling the limes is the sign of an amateur bartender. But I prefer to squeeze the limes by hand, with my fingertips, in order to measure the exact amount of juice and prevent the bitter oils from imparting an unnecessary aftertaste to the drink.

    But if you prefer to muddle, then by all means, mash away!

  • Tullah says:

    I love Mojitos and have just started making them for myself! I agree with what someone said earlier – the mint leaves look much prettier if left in one piece. Muddling to get the flavours out doesn’t neccessarily have to break the leaves to pieces if you’re careful enough

  • Lance says:

    I recently returned from Aruba where I fell in love with this drink. All of this info can be overwhelming. I watched all the bartenders make this drink and each of them muddled the mint and lime with sugar. I will definitely try this recipe. I heard that making the simple sugars with mint leaves will help the flavor. Any comments??

  • Toni Hanson says:

    I have looked for a great mojito recipe after having one at the Cheesecake Factory 6+ years ago. This is BETTER! I used Matusalem Rum & 1 TBSP fine organic sugar to muddle (didn’t have simple syrup made)& S. Pellegrino. Oh,not sure what kind of mint I used I used the only one I could find. I actually live in Cuba & I LOVE this drink. I will be bringing the fixn’s to the beach tomorrow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Brock Lawbster says:

    Almost 3 solid years on this thread! This is a fantastic mojito recipe, and without a doubt the key to mojitos is KISS.

    I’m going to ask again though, because it is hard to host a party and serve mojitos, how can they be made in pitcher-sized servings? Can you use a blender? anything to mass produce these delicious drinks for my guests!

  • Lisa says:

    CORRECTED VERSION (I left out the lime juice):

    I just made mojitos for a crowd by mass-producing the ingredients. I picked and washed two dozen sprigs of mint, cooked up and cooled a batch of simple syrup and cut and squeezed a dozen limes. To the assembly line I added a two-ounce jigger and a Pyrex measuring cup, with rum and sparkling water at the ready in the fridge.

    Then I set up a dozen tall glasses with mint and syrup muddled together and a lime hull perched over all.

    When the party started, it was easy to go down the line, measure an ounce of the fresh lime juice, two jiggers of rum and four ounces of sparkling water into each, add ice and straws and serve! I was pleased not to spend all night in the kitchen mixing drinks, and my guests were happy.

    Leave the mint on the stems. Don’t use a blender or your guests will be picking mint fragments out of their teeth all night long.

  • vox says:

    hey is this thread still alive?
    anyway, i once had a mojito-ish drink in an indian restaurant, which used brown sugar, the Muscovado kind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovado

    it tasted great, (at least to me) loved the taste of brown sugar, which, i feel, is more flavourful and not as sweet as the white kind. and so ive been searching for a recipe which uses Muscovado but since i cant seem to find it anywhere i was wondering if its a taboo? but youre allowed to customise cocktails right? any ideas for recipes?
    oh, and the drink i was served wasnt brown as ive seen from the recipes i could find. it was clear(=white rum?) with bits of Muscovado floating about.
    back to what i wanted to ask:
    how do you guys feel about brown sugar instead of white?

  • Deric says:

    Question about muddling the mint sprig…I was taught back when I was just a widdle guy tending bar to always remove the mint leaves from the sprig as the stalk if muddled adds a bitter taste to the drink. I’m gonna experiment with it tonight but would still love to hear your take on this…

    • Deric

      So glad you asked this, as I hear it all the time. The best way to find out for yourself? Take a stalk and pop it in your mouth. Chew it up, even. Does it taste that bitter to you? Nah, me neither.

      What gives mint and other plants bitterness is chlorophyll. It’s what makes plants green and what lets them make energy from sunlight. Mint leaves have a lot of chlorophyll. The stalks not so much. Which is why I recommend that you muddle those leaves very gently, so as to express the mint oils and not crush the cell walls that will release all that bitter chlorophyll into the drink.

      And before anyone freaks out, I am aware that chlorophyll isn’t the only thing that can make a plant taste bitter.

      But the reason why I remove the leaves from the stems is aesthetics: mojitos just look a lot prettier without the stem. But that’s up to you.

      Jeff

  • marissa says:

    Great site! Having a Havana nights party for my husband and would love to have a gallon recipe for this. THANKS!

  • Keiko says:

    Hey Jeff, Have you ever published a pitcher version of your Mojito recipe? I would love someone else to ‘do the math’ for me! Thanks for the best Mojito ever!

  • Blake says:

    I went to a Cuban restaurant this week in st Petersburg that made the best mojito I’ve ever had but the weirdest tactic I’ve ever seen done to a mint – they completely shredded it. In fact it looked like they cleaned the underside of their lawn mower in my glass. The presentation? Awful. Texture? Weird. Taste – brilliant. I suspect this was an authentic Cuban place judging by the amazing food. One of the best meals of my vacation – highlighted by the wonderful mojito. (Bella Habana)

  • Griffin says:

    This drink has been a hit with my friends. Thanks!

  • Roslyn says:

    Any reason not to use agave syrup in place of the SS or sugar?
    It IS lower on the glycemic scale………….

  • Ziva says:

    My stepson just brought over fresh spearmint from his Gramma’s garden. On my way to get some rum and lime. Mojitos are his favorite drink. I’ve had mojitos twice. The first one was bad and the second was ok.
    I love to cook and use to be a bartender, so here goes…

  • Dave H. says:

    As a Canadian, I’m fortunate to be able to travel to Cuba cheaply and often and I always bring back several bottles of rum, both white and dark. Last time, I got 750 ml bottles of Mulata for 3 and 4 dollars repectively. You can’t beat that!

  • Mia says:

    Just spent the weekend making mojitos for a tour group. Could I ask your honest opinion on this recipe i used? It was popular but would love to hear expert thoughts

    I muddle lime chunks, about 3/4 of a whole line or a bit less, together with a sprig of mint and 2 tbsp of sugar. Then I add the ice and soda water. What do u think? How do u know if you have over muddled the mint? And why syrup over sugar?

    Thanks! And thanks for this fantastic site!

  • Tiffanie says:

    I love the fact that 5 years after it’s original posting, this is still the most interesting and informative site about mojitos! Couple of things I learned bartending at resorts; first, Bacardi now has several flavored rums that add a great fruity twist to mojitos (women particularly love this) my favorite being the Bacardi Red Peach. Use this and even a bit of fresh fruit purée for aesthetics and you have yourself an amazing summer drink. Second, as JM mentioned you do not want to over muddle the mint, I learned a trick in Mexico that has proved quite useful. Instead of muddling all your mint save a few leaves and place them in the palm of your hand. Slapping them once and completely is enough to break the skin soothe aroma and oils can come out, but you aren’t stuck with mint pieces that get in your teeth. Do this with the garnishing sprig as well and you will tantalize your drinker with a visually stunning, mouth watering, aromatic beverage 🙂
    Cheers!
    Tif

  • Jordan says:

    This is, without a doubt, the most authentic recipe I’ve seen on the net. High marks for simplicity, and higher marks for not haphazardly confusing club soda and mineral water. Cheers!

  • Jenni says:

    What does “slapping” mean? And is best shaken or stirred?

  • Dominic says:

    Is a mojito traditionally a ‘fizzy’ drink then? I usually make mine still because the melting of the crushed ice makes up about half the drink on a hot day and then you lose the fizziness half way through the drink.

    Would be interested to know if they are served with carbonated water in Cuba.

    This issue has been a source of debate for me and my colleagues, maybe you can settle it for us!

  • Shaun says:

    Slapping in this case refers to taking a handful of mint leaves (depending on the size and aroma of it)in one hand, and using the the other hand to clap them together.

    Try smelling the mint leaves before and after slapping/clapping them. You’ll notice the difference

    I’m work at WaveHouse Sentosa in Singapore. How we make a mojito is as follows:

    1. Lime wedges(3-4) and 2 heapful spoons of sugar.

    2. Muddle

    3. Clap handful of mint leaves and drop them in the highball glass

    4. Add crushed ice (3/4 of glass)

    5. Pour Rum

    6. Stir

    7. Fill up with crushed ice

    8. Splash of soda water

    Tell me what you guys think about this recipe, any improvements we can make?

    ~From the other side of the world~

  • Janessa says:

    Hey Jeffrey, I really like to shake my mojitos compared to stirring, am I kicked out of the cool club?

  • Quincy says:

    Hey Jeffrey, GREAT SITE!! It’s raining a little bit outside, but this GREAT mojito recipe made me think of summertime and relaxing on the beach with some of my compadres. Couldn’t have asked for a better drink that really hits the spot!!! Keep it up!!!

    -Quincy

  • Benjamin says:

    Greetings from Eugene,
    Have you tried Koloa Rum? I love it! Its from Kauai, HI so human rights violations are not such an issue and it is available in the PDX area if you’re looking for it. The whole line is delicious including the spiced. (Don’t judge me, I don’t usually enjoy a spiced rum.)

    Benjamin

  • Nancy Huss says:

    What’s your thoughts on infusing Bacardi with Lemongrass? Makes a tasty mojito!

  • Dolly says:

    Hi Jeff,
    In your Mojito recipe, how many mint leaves is equivalent to “1 large sprig”?

    I never know, because some sprigs have 5 or 6 leaves and some have 10-12 but with smaller leaves.

    So what is a good general measure for the amount of mint?

    Thanks!

  • lisa says:

    Love this thread! we have an abundant mint garden, having snatched it out and dug it up and tried in vain to kill it; it is fresh, crisp and gorgeous and so we have adapted. Order Monin sugar -free triple sec (made with splenda) and muddle with a wooden muddler and mint, leaves and sprigs. Probably a tablespoon to a good jigger of Bacardi silver; add a squeeze of lime; crushed ice and finish with San Pellegrino. Fresh and delicious! I am kind of intrigued about the substitution of champagne for the bubbles….I do love champagne!

  • Charles Fineley says:

    Dear Jeffrey,

    I changed your recipe a little bit, instead of 2 oz rum i only take 50ml and I just use half a lime as a rule of thumb, basically that’s everything I’ve changed compared to your recipe but thx nonetheless for your efforts!

    So long…

  • Nonni says:

    I’ve been a big fan of Mojito’s ever since I started watching “Burn Notice”, LOL

    I have been reading here all the variations folks have come up with…well, here’s mine:

    Try Absolute Vodka instead of rum. Awesome!!!

    So I’m not a purist. Sam would love it…

  • Gary Higgins says:

    As far as living in the Sonoran Desert, I live in Tucson and I grow my own mint. Lowes had Mojito mint plants this spring and I am growing my own organically. Mojito mint is supposed to be the variety Cubans use in their Mojitos.

  • Bridget says:

    Loved this thread. Had no idea how involved a Mojito was! I could only get to about 60 comments before concluding I needed a drink. Unfortunately, NO rum in the entire house! Thanks for the entertainment. I’ll definitely be back to this site for guidance/advice!

  • Mark says:

    Mojito is my favorite summer drink. One plant in a clay pot on my back deck keeps me in mint all summer. Remember if you plant it in your yard it will spread like crazy so you have to contain it. When I have them I will muddle a small handful of fresh blueberries in with the mint. Nice twist and makes an interesting purple tinted drink.

  • Chris says:

    A syrup? Really? Want a great drink, don’t be lazy. A syrup is not the same as real sugar. Best mojito use sugar can. This. Sucks

  • Bridget says:

    Chris — the “simple syrup” IS sugar. Real sugar. It has just been dissolved. Making a simple syrup is just one additional step. Dumping sugar into a drink is being lazy. 😉

  • Bobby says:

    The recipe says to gently muddle and then stir the drink with a straw. The picture shows a drink that’s clearly been shaken. IMHO, a no-no for mojitos.

  • Marj says:

    I just tried a pineapple coconut water in place of club soda or mineral water. Holy crap that was good! It could really take the place of simple syrup as well…its pretty sweet on its own.I’m going to try mnsngo coconut water too. Make it tropical!

  • Zorch Pardonowitz says:

    A couple things..

    1. Use raw cane sugar instead of syrup. As others have said, it acts as an abrasive during the muddling.
    2. Go ahead and muddle the limes; I start by muddling a tsp. of sugar, good handful of mint leaves, and half a lime cut into quarters.
    3. Thai Basil makes a really nice substitute for mint.
    4. I make my own seltzer using fresh untreated well water and my C02 tank from my beer-tapping system. Mmmmmmm… Like Pellegrino, but, like, well, not stupid expensive for water.

    I like the extra tartness from the lime oils released during muddling, and having just a bit of undissolved sugar remaining at the end of the drink gives you a little “dessert” after the drink.

    FWIW, this is pretty much how they make them at our favorite bar of all-time, Calmos in Grand Case, St. Martin, except they use a lot more sugar and only a splash of seltzer.

    To each his/her own…

  • NancyB says:

    Hey Jeffrey, I don’t know if you are still around, but THANKS!! For the great mojito recipe! I have been trying to make a decent mojito for years since I had one at a bar 7 or 8 years ago. Your recipe, exactly as you wrote it, produced a tasty refreshing drink. The only downside is it went down too fast! I like the simple syrup. I have made versions with sugar and I get the abrasion idea, but this recipe produces a very smooth, delicious cocktail.

    When I made it a second time, I cut the syrup back just a touch, and added another squeeze of lime because I love lime and I am not a big sweet lover. But the overall proportions are perfect! Thanks again for sharing your expertise!

  • Marillee D. says:

    My husband and I were in Amber Gris Caye, in one of the bars, and I don’t remember how it came about, but the Pinas Coladas came into the conversation with the bartender, and I said I hated them, she said I will make you something you like, and it was a Pina Colada Mojito, or something like that, and it was to absolutely die for!!!! It tasted like the freshest, sweetest coconut balanced with slightly either peach or apricot or mango flavors, almost like a Dreamsicle!!! Of course, I’d had so much to drink already, it was the drink that in the end killed me!!!

  • Mike says:

    Did you change the recipe? Your recipe has been my go-to for a few years and I just came back here and I SWEAR it looks different. Didn’t it used to be something like 1 part lime to 2 parts rum to 3 parts bubbles? The only thing I can’t remember is how much simple you used. halp?

    • I sure did, Mike. I found this new recipe to be much more balanced. You can always scale up to 2-1-1-2 if you prefer!

      Also, I changed all of the recipes on the site recently to reflect the fact that I use 2:1 simple syrup exclusively now. This whole thing is a lifelong work in progress for me!

    • Ryan says:

      Old recipe via way back machine:
      In a 16-oz mixing glass, gently muddle together:

      1 large sprig mint
      .75 oz simple syrup

      Add:

      Half a spent lime hull, and
      1 oz of lime juice (no less, no more)
      2 oz white rum
      3 oz sparkling mineral water

      Top with crushed ice and mix with a straw until drink is combined and glass is frosty.

  • Bartender says:

    Don’t panic ,the recipe is almost the same ,just Jeff uses a bit less of mineral water,that’s the single difference

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