Recipe by Nar Hk
“Mojo” . . . a Spanish word that translates as “to place a little spell,” and possibly the root of the name “mojito,” one of the most refreshing cocktails known today. Although, as with many other cocktails, the origins of this drink are not entirely clear, one story claims that the first mojito was created at a Havana establishment named “La Bodeguita del Medio”--Ernest Hemingway himself lauded the drinks served at this Cuban restaurant.
Other traditions point to enslaved Africans and Caribbean indigenous people as the creators of this drink, devised as they labored on Cuban sugar cane plantations.
One story credits the explorer, Sir Francis Drake, with “discovering” this rum-based drink. As he paraded across the Caribbean, Drake and a ship full of ailing sailors anchored off the coast of Cuba in 1585. One group went ashore in search of remedies for the scurvy and dysentery afflicting the crew and brought back a combination of fermented sugar cane juice, mint, and limes, which proved to be an effective treatment.
Whatever its origins, this drink’s combination of white rum, sparkling water, fresh mint, and key limes is a welcome treat on a summer day. When the freshest ingredients are used and a white rum which marks presence, this one is an amazing drink.
The Mojito, such as we know it today or, at least definitive version in which sparkling water had been successfully added comes from Cuba. When the freshest ingredients are used and a white rum which marks presence, this one is an amazing drink.
White rum 1 ½ oz
Fresh Key lime juice ½ oz
Granulated sugar 2 tsp
Mint sprigs 2
Angostura Bitters 2-3 drops
In a highball glass, put about eight fresh mint leaves, add the sugar and carefully squeeze the key lime juice, press a few times the mint against the bottom of the glass with a wooden muddler, then add a splash of the soda water and dissolve the sugar with a bar spoon, add the rum and fill the glass with ice to the top, fill with no more than 2 ounces of soda water and optionally add the drops of Angostura Bitters, stir with the bar spoon to combine, the straw is optional.