The mojito has achieved fame twice in its lifetime, originally as a drink of preference (together with the daiquiri) of man’s man, writer Ernest Hemingway, and lately in the hands of large drinks conglomerates, where it provides a glamorous vehicle for rum. Hemingway, a keen game fisherman, had a home in Havana, Cuba.
He also frequented a hotel bar in the city, the Bodeguita del Medio, where he became fond of a particular drink they served: a five-ingredient concoction of spearmint, rum, sugar, lime juice and soda water known as a mojito. To make a mojito, juice from a freshly squeezed lime is added to fine sugar and plenty of mint leaves in a tall glass (Hemingway preferred his with less sugar). The mixture is mashed together with a muddler, topped up with crushed ice, rum and a little soda – in whatever space is left.
- 50ml white rum
- 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- 5ml castor sugar
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 3 – 4 ice cubes, crushed
- chilled soda water, to top up
- 1 mint sprig and a few lime quarters, to garnish
Place the rum, lime juice, castor sugar and mint leaves in a tall glass and crush together gently and repeatedly with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Add the ice cubes and top up with a little soda water to taste. Garnish with a mint sprig and a few lime wedges, and serve.