The mojito is a classic summer rum cocktail that only needs 5 ingredients, is easy to make, and is the perfect light and refreshing drink on a hot day! Try my frozen gin and tonics next time.
I have a few go-to drinks in the summer, depending on my mood.
What is a mojito made of?
A mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. It’s served on the rocks, in a highball glass with a straw. The traditional recipe includes only five ingredients:
- Sugar (superfine or sugar cane, ideally)
- Fresh lime juice
- White rum
- Soda water
The combination of herbaceous mint, sour lime and sweetness makes it extremely light and refreshing – that’s why it’s a staple for the summer!
How to make a mojito
If you’re preparing more than one serving (this recipe is written to serve two), you’ll want to grab a cocktail shaker:
- Muddle the mint. I like to add the mint, lime juice and sugar into the cocktail shaker and use a muddler to muddle the mint and release it’s flavors. Then I add my rum – I find that adding the rum with the rest of the ingredients makes it difficult to muddle the mint since it floats around with that much liquid.
- Shake shake shake! Add about a cup of ice cubes to the cocktail shaker, cover, and shake it for about 10 seconds to chill everything. You’ll notice the outside of the cocktail shaker “fog” with condensation and your hands will get cold. Which, frankly, is probably welcome on a hot summer’s day!
- Strain into serving glasses. Strain the mixture evenly into two 12 ounce highball glasses filled with crushed or cubes ice. If they didn’t pour out on their own, spoon out the mint leaves and use a spoon to push them down into each glass. I also like to add a few of the lime wedges I squeezed the juice from into each glass as well.
- Top with club soda. Add a splash of club soda to the top of each glass to fill it to the top.
- Garnish and serve. Add a spring of fresh mint to the top of each glass, add straws, and serve!
If you’re making a single serving, you can actually skip the cocktail shaker and just make everything right in your serving glass. You’ll do all the same steps that you see above, just skipping the step of shaking everything together and stir it instead.
It will still be delicious – don’t worry.
What does “muddle” mean?
It’s a weird word, but it just means mashing an herb, fruit or spice in the bottom of a glass to release its flavors.
A muddler is a bartender’s tool used for the act of muddling. They come in all sorts of different sizes and forms, so shop around for what appeals to you the most.
We have this one that’s on the end of our bar spoon – it’s small, but gets the job done. You could even use the end of a wooden spoon.
3 tips for making the best mojitos
1. Roll the limes to get as much juice as possible. Pressing down firmly with the palm of your hands, roll the lime back and forth as this loosens everything up inside and will help produce the most juice.
2. Use fresh mint. When I say fresh, I mean fresh. If you happen to have an herb garden, pluck it out just before preparing your mojitos. The more aged the mint, the less flavor it has – and mint is kinda the star in this recipe, so let it shine.
3. Don’t over-muddle the mint! If you tear it into a million pieces it’s going to get stuck in your straw, and also be bitter. And a bitter mojito sounds… just terrible.
What kind of rum should I use?
You want to use white or light rum – just not spiced rum.
White rum is light-bodied and somewhat sweet in taste, and is distilled multiple times. Spiced rum is a blend and usual has notes of flavors like vanilla and caramel, and has a shorter distillation period.
Plus, white rum doesn’t color the drink so it stays mostly clear in appearance – so it even looks refreshing!
Can I use simple syrup?
I don’t recommend it.
I’ve seen people swap the sugar in the recipe for simple syrup, but I find that using the sugar to muddle the mint is what really releases the mint flavor I’m looking for as the star of the drink.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Classic Mojito Recipe
- 14-16 fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 medium limes
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces white rum
- Ice cubes
- Club soda
- Mint sprigs, to garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine mint leaves, lime juice and sugar. Muddle the mint using a cocktail muddler to release the flavor – but not so much you rip them apart into a bunch of tiny pieces.
- Add rum and about 1 cup of ice cubes, cover the cocktail shaker and shake for 10-15 seconds.
- Fill two 12 or 16 ounce highball glasses with ice cubes, then strain the mixture evenly into the glasses. If the mint didn’t pour out on it’s own, spoon them out of the shaker and evenly distribute them between the two glasses, pushing them down into the drink with a spoon. If you sliced your limes into wedges, you can add a few of those to each glass as well.
- Top with a splash of club soda and a fresh mint spring to garnish. Add straws, serve and enjoy!