Let’s Do the Mojito

By Sharmini Jayawardena

Mojito means a cocktail with silver rum, lime juice, sugar and mint.

The origins of this drink can be traced to Cuba and the 16th century cocktail El Draque, named after Sir Francis Drake the English explorer and privateer who landed in Havana in 1586. El Draque is composed of aguardiente (a cane-spirit precursor to rum), lime, mint and sugar. Eventually, rum replaced aguardiente in this  medicinal drink which, no doubt, also turned into a favorite of drinkers, of which the name became Mojito.

Rum is made of sugarcane.

Apparently, “the Mojito first appeared in cocktail literature in the 1932 edition of “Sloppy Joe’s Bar Cocktail Manual, a book from the famed Havana institution.” 

All of the ingredients in the Mojito are indigenous to Cuba. This drink which is traditionally made with unaged white rum is now lengthened with thirst-quenching soda water to create a delicious light and crisp flavored cocktail. I am not adding soda to my drink, however.

The mint in the drink gives it a touch of freshness associated with summer, that can be enjoyed any time of the year. 

The Mojito is said to have been a favorite of author, Ernest Hemingway, who, according to local Cuban lore, partook of them regularly at the Havana bar La Bodeguita del Medio.



Today, when a customer orders a BACARDÍ Piña Colada, or another cocktail with BACARDÍ in the name, by law it must be served only with BACARDÍ rum. In a landmark consumer rights court case, in 1936, the New York Supreme Court declared:

“A BACARDÍ cocktail must be made with BACARDÍ rum.””

So now I know why I needed to serve my Mojito up in a Martini glass 🍸 🥹

Let’s get down to it shall we:


3 mint leaves freshly harvested from my garden
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
Soda water to top (Optional)
Finely chipped ice (Crush ice with blender or by hand)
Garnish: mint sprig (Smack it first)
Garnish: lime wheel


1.Lightly muddle the mint with the simple syrup in a shaker.

2.Add the rum, lime juice and ice, and give it a brief shake, then strain into a Martini glass or highball glass, (if you are topping with soda water), over fresh ice. Alternatively, you can use pebble ice instead and gently swizzle it all together.

3.Top with the soda.

4.Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

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