The Mojito is a centuries old highball cocktail that originated in Havana, Cuba. Its exact origins are open to debate, with some historians claiming it originated as a medicinal drink to ward off scurvy in the 16th Century, and others claiming that slaves working in the Cuban sugar cane fields in the 19th Century popularised a very similar drink. Whatever its true origins, the Mojito has gone on to become one of the world's most popular cocktails and one of the most famous rum cocktails.
Traditionally a Mojito was made with sugar but it has become more common to use sugar syrup to better control the sweetness. You can still use sugar instead, simply replace the sugar syrup with 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir until dissolved.
- 8 mint leaves
- Half a lime, chopped
- 15ml (½oz) sugar syrup
- Ice cubes
- 60ml (2oz) white rum
- Soda water
Muddle the mint and lime with the sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker.
Add a scoop of ice, then the rum.
Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled tumbler 2.5cm (1 inch) from the top, then top up with soda water.
Garnish with a slice of lime and some mint leaves.
A non-alcoholic version is made without the rum and called either a Virgin Mojito or a Nojito.
If a Mojito is too sweet for you a dash of Angostura bitters will make it less sweet.
Fruit versions can be made by adding a small amount of juice to the mix, or by adding soft fruit such as raspberries, strawberries or watermelon to the cocktail shaker before straining.
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