The Dos and Donts of Mojitos

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Well, it’s mojito season here in the northern hemisphere, which means it’s time for a little lesson for the novice and experienced mojito drinker alike. Follow these helpful hints, dear reader, and you won’t dare go wrong.


Do use crushed ice in your mojitos. Crushed ice will melt faster, which is a good thing in a drink with such strong flavors. The extra surface area of crushed ice also means a colder drink.

Do not use a pre-made mojito mix out of a bottle. This is one drink you want to do right.

Do use this recipe to make yourself a mojito at home.

Do not over-muddle the mint, or muddle the lime with the ice cubes. These are strictly amateur moves.

Do try Bacardi rum in your mojitos. For many of us, it is the closest thing we can get to real Cuban rum.

Do not use dark or gold rum in your mojitos. They can muddy the flavor tremendously.

Do use bottled mineral water in place of seltzer water. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.

Do not order a mojito when there is a line at the bar. Your bartender is probably not going to put a lot of love into it. In fact, you might get just the opposite.

Do order a mojito when the bar is slow. Your bartender will appreciate having an intricate cocktail to make. And if he/she doesn’t? Fuck ’em.

Do not have ten mojitos tonight. At around 150 calories each, that’s like 1500 calories, there, fatty.

Do order a mojito from a reputable bartender at a reputable bar.

Do not order a mojito at a dance club, sports bar, drink stand, airport bar, OTB saloon, chain restaurant or fraternity house. You’re just going to end up being disappointed.

Do order a mojito on a warm summer evening.

Do not order a mojito when the weather is below 70°F. This is almost as bad as ordering a Bloody Mary after the sun has gone down.

Do slowly sip a mojito and enjoy the way the flavors meld over time.

Do not slurp down a mojito in less time than it took your bartender to make it. You’re probably already on the back burner for ordering it in the first place, and it’s going to be a while before you’re allowed another.

91 Replies to “The Dos and Donts of Mojitos”

  • Steve says:

    Good, timely advice! I love a well-mixed mojito, but seriously f’ed up ones are far too common for me to order them regularly. Your recipe looks like a winner; I’ll have to try it out sometime.

    By the way, how do you feel about Cruzan rum compared to Bacardi? I like Bacardi just fine, but it seems like when I make a drink with Cruzan it ends up having a stronger, rummier flavor, which I like. It’s also possible I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Steve
    Liquor Store Stories

  • Jimmy says:

    Great, my ad expires, and you begin posting…..

    I must disagree with this one:

    Do not order a mojito at a dance club, sports bar, drink stand, airport bar…..

    The best bar in San Jose, if you want a properly made cocktail, just might be the Martini Monkey at San Jose Airport.

  • Gabriel says:

    My personal favorite rum to use in a Mojito is Cruzan Light. For me, it has just the right amount of sweetness and ‘rummish’ quality to blend wonderfully in this. I prefer it to Bacardi Silver.

    However, I have to agree that going with Gold messes up a good Mojito; the Cruzan Light is as dark as I get with it.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Steve, I think Cruzan makes a great mojito as well.

    Jimmy, point taken, but you know what I meant!

    Gabriel, I’m glad we’re in agreement. I had someone order a Myers’s dark mojito last week. Yikes. And this is from someone who loves a Myers’s daiquiri with a dash of orange bitters.

    Thanks for the comments!

  • Sean Bigley says:

    Cruzan gets my vote too! I’m also not opposed to an occasional 10 Cane Mojito. But certainly not with my contraband Havana Club 7 anos. That’s my sippin’ stuff. I’m willing to share Jeffrey, but you better get to Vegas before it’s all gone!

    Cheers!

  • Scottes says:

    I would think that the Cruzan is too light to really come through in a Mojito. I love the Cruzan, but I like a bit more taste in a Mojito.

    I’ve found that the Ron Matusalem Platino is very close to the Havana Club Anejo Blanco, and much better than Bacardi Superior.

    I recently ran a comparison involving these 4 rums as well as Pyrat Blanco:
    http://scottesrum.com/tag/comparisons/5-white-rums/

  • Maxine says:

    Thanks so much for this! I attempted mojitos for the 4th of July and ended up with only a slight resemblance to what I was hoping for. I will definitely try your recipe when I give it another go. Can’t wait! 🙂

  • Dan says:

    10 Cane makes a fabulous Mojito.

    Does anybody else ‘roll’ their Mojitos after it’s been built? I simply pour everything into my shaker shell and pour it back into my collins glass. Everything gets nice and mixed up (including the mint leaves) and it gives the drink a really nice look.

  • Michael says:

    over muddling the mint is not necessarily amateurish depending on a couple of factors. 1) increase the ratio of rum to lime juice. i’ve tried 3:1 with sucess. since the mint/sugar is more concentrated, i find the extra rum gives the drink a nice balance. 2) shake and STRAIN. no one wants tiny pieces of mint stuck in their teeth and clogging up their straw. I would never shake a mojito unless the flavors could stand up to the added water. (i would never shake whole leaves. that’s just wrong.)

    as an added note, Ten Cane makes a great mojito. i certainly agree that dark or gold rums could muddy the flavors but not this one. of course you have to shall out 3x as much money. there’s that.

  • Booze Dummy says:

    Michael, I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused. I like the look/presentation of lime rind and (whole) mint leaves in my Mojito. That’s a big part of what makes a Mojito a Mojito, at least to me. Besides, if you shake, strain, and don’t add water… isn’t that just a mint-flavored Daquiri?

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