The mojito, a very Cuban cocktail

The mojito, a very Cuban cocktail

Cuisine

Photo: Ferval

When talking about Cubanness, the mojito is one of the first things on the list, because to talk about this drink is to mention the Bodeguita del Medio, that is to say 100% Cuban. There is no self-respecting bar or restaurant in Havana or Cuba that does not have a mojito on its drinks menu.

According to history, the first version of this cocktail was prepared in the late 16th century by Richard Drake, agent to the famous English privateer Sir Francis Drake, with low-quality raw brandy, sugar, lime, mint and other herbs. This drink helped to combat scurvy, a very common disease among sailors at the time.

More than a century later, in the 1860s, rum production was much more refined as it now went through the aging process, and rum began to replace brandy in the preparation known as “draquesito”.

The word mojito comes from mojo, a very Cuban condiment used to season meat and fish. It is said that back then, every customer who ordered a cocktail asked for “mojo” to be added, hence the mojito, the current version of which was born, according to legend, in 1910 in the capital’s La Concha beach.

It became popular at the iconic Cuban restaurant Bodeguita del Medio, where it was first marketed, and today it is the emblem of the establishment.

Recipe for a drink:
2 teaspoons white sugar
25 ml fresh lime juice
2 sprigs of mint
50 ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
3 ice cubes

Mix the sugar and fresh lime juice with a spoon in a glass.
Muddle the mint sprigs in the sugar and lime mixture.
Add the rum and ice cubes, and stir again. Finish filling the glass with a splash of sparkling mineral water.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and... cheers!