The Amabel Letters

Everything You Need to Know About the Proper Mojito: Origin | Where to Find | How to Prepare


Do you know what the first act of a dinner party is?

Let’s see if you guessed right.

It’s a cocktail!

And so does the first moment of relaxation after a long stressful day.

But when we talk of cocktails, especially during the summer, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

I can say I’m impressed if your answer was the mojito. Perhaps I owe you a date:-)

Fancy cocktails always set us in the mood to have a good time. While many bars make genius cocktails, mixology isn’t a complicated thing. You can do it too—yes, you can easily create a homemade mojito!

Imagine having a mint, soda water, sugar, and rum, with the support of a staff of ice, all mixed in one glass. Isn’t it something you can crave all day long?

When it’s done correctly, it will make a lean burst of refreshment!

So, do you want to know more about this magical drink?

We have prepared so much for you today — the history of the mojito, how you can make a proper mojito, where you can find the best mojito, and why it is the best summer cocktail.

Without wasting a second of your time, let’s get into it!

The Mojito’s History

Why do many cocktails have their history clouded by the shadow of time?

Is it a thing that we need to come into terms with?

Take the mojito, for example. This drink has navigated through trends for decades. However, it has claimed many drinkers to the world of cocktails.

But one thing we can all assent to is that this legendary drink’s story traces its roots to the island of Cuba.

Please, let’s travel back to the 1500s.

El Draque

Cuba used to hold thousands of enslaved Africans as a Spanish slave colony. The hard life that these enslaved people were living pushed them to find a way of relieving their burdens. They did this with a sugarcane drink called guarapo, consumed for energy and as an alcoholic beverage.

Between the late 16th century and early 19th century, Cuba became a haven for pirates. One particular crew led by Sir Francis Drake raided the Spanish territories in 1585-86 in the name of Queen Elizabeth I to suck the city of its gold.

Unfortunately, during the unsuccessful invasion, Drake’s crew began suffering from scurvy and dysentery. So, a small party went ashore to Cuba to seek assistance from local South American Indians, known to have remedies for many diseases. The party came back with ingredients for medicine.

Drake, the captain, created a tonic from guarapo using the ingredients, including aguardiente, sugar, mint leaves, and limes, which helped stop the scurvy spread among his men. This drink was called aguardiente de cana, which translates to sugar cane firewater.

Later in 1862, when Barcardi rum was created, a cocktail drink called “El Draque” became popular in Cuba. It used the same ingredients as aguardiente de cana and was supposedly named after Drake himself. The cocktail later adopted the name mojito.

This modern name is believed to come from enslaved Africans working in the sugar cane fields, who derived the name from the word “mojo,” which means “to cast a little spell.” Other theories suggest that the name may have come from “mojado,” a Spanish word that means “wet.”

Hemingway’s Mojito

Another theory claims that the mojito was invented by a local bar La Bodeguita del Medio, in Havana, Cuba (which franchises worldwide now). The owners of this restaurant-bar claim that their bartenders were experimenting and came out with the drink.

Despite this theory seeming controversial (given that it only opened in 1942), the bar enjoys the fame associated with Ernest Hemmingway, a journalist. He popularized a particular version of the mojito drink.

Imbibing during one of his trips, Hemmingway wrote “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita,” which is now inscribed on the bar walls. The mojito has since become La Bodeguita’s signature cocktail drink.

Which of the above tales is true?

Is it Sir Francis Drake, the enslaved Africans working in the sugar cane fields, or the traditional bar, La Bodeguita del Medio, who invented the mojito?

It’s pretty hard to tell!

Nonetheless, an outstanding cocktail never dies. And if James Bond can ask for a mojito, then there is no limit to its popularity!

Who Makes the Best Mojito?

Are you on an adventure-seeking an intriguing dinner plan?

A glass of mojito will surely seal the day for you!

But where can you find one?

Look no further than these cocktail bars:

1. Le Caveau Restaurant in Nova Scotia, Canada
2. La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba
3. New York Bar in Tokyo, Japan
4. Sugar Lounge in Manly, Australia
5. District American Kitchen & Wine Bar in Phoenix, USA

But what if none of these places is near your location?

It would be best if you had a plan B, which is preparing the mojito for yourself.

With all the background information we have struggled to summarize for you about mojito, aren’t you curious to know how to prepare an authentic one?

Come on! Let’s get to the fun part!

How To Make a Proper Mojito

Mojito is well known as a classic highball cocktail with lots of personalities. To prepare this drink, you only need to have three things:

i. Fresh quality ingredients
ii. Inspiration
iii. A party mood

I’m convinced that if you are still reading this article, you already have the inspiration to prepare the mojito and are in a party mood to drink it. So, let’s dive into the recipe!


8-10 Fresh mint leaves (preferably spearmint)
Two teaspoons of pure cane syrup
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lime
One fresh wedge of a medium lime
1 cup of club soda
¼ cup of Havana Club Anejo Blanco rum
Splash of Cointreau
1 cup of crushed ice
A sprig of spearmint

Instructions to Prepare for a Single Serving:

i. Add the mint leaves and sugar to a highball glass, and muddle using the back side of a bar spoon (or a muddler) to release fragrance and flavor from mint
ii. Pour over the fresh lime juice and continue muddling until all the sugar is dissolved. Be sure not to crush the leaves, so they stay green without releasing a strong bitter taste.
iii. Fill the highball glass with crushed ice, add rum, liqueur and club soda, and mix everything.
iv. Garnish with your sprig of spearmint and a wedge of lime. Be sure to clap the sprig between your palms to release some of its oils.
v. Serve the mojito cold with a wide straw.

Do you think you are ready to be branded a mojito mixologist?

It won’t cost you anything to say yes:-)

The fun part about mojito is that it can be customized to everyone’s taste. You can substitute white rum with tequila or vodka, granulated sugar with honey, club soda with champagne, and lime with lemon, apple, strawberries, or any other fresh fruit.

The list can go on, but the original recipe remains the crowd’s favorite!

Why Is a Mojito Such a Perfect Refreshing Summer Drink?

On a sweltering summer evening, nothing can beat the refreshment that comes along with a cold, refreshing cocktail drink, a mojito being one of them.

Maybe it’s the mint, lime, or frizzy club soda. But whatever it is, a minty mojito goes down easier on a hot summer day.

This easy-to-make fruity cocktail is a perfect blend of sugar, mint, and lime to complement the rum in the drink. With a generous amount of crushed ice or ice cubes, the mojito makes a great drink you never knew you needed during summer.

I know you will love it too!

Are You a Mojito Lover?

You have no excuse not to drink this relaxing and refreshing summer cocktail─ the mojito.

Get yourself a classic glass of the mojito today and enjoy a taste of heaven on earth!