Mojito mojito mojito!
One of those words, which makes you instantly feel like you can speak Spanish.
Gotta love that j/h sound.
But what is it all about? Where was the mojito born?
What is a mojito?
A mojito is traditionally made from a mix of white rum, sugar, lime, sparkling water and mint, all muddled together in a tall glass.
But how did the mohito come to be?
The rise of this international cocktail staple is a highly debated topic, nearly as controversial as the perfect recipe! There are several theories to its origin, but one thing that is for certain is that it all started in Cuba.
Rum in Cuba during the 1800s was hardly palatable to say the least (think more engine oil flavours). This primitive run was called tafia. In order to make tafia more drinkable Cuban farmers and/or African slaves (another debated point!) used anything they could find to improve the taste. This meant a squeeze of lime, some sugar cane juice and handfuls of mint. Mmmmm somehow a lot more tasty.
Sugar, lemon and mint, making life easier for the determined drinker since 1800.
Some people suggest the origins of the Mojito back to 16th century Cuba, where the drink was called the “El Draque” in honor of Sir Francis Drake.
Sir Francis Drake sure has a full CV, he was a sea captain, privateer, politician and global circumnavigator. It’s safe to say people had differing opinions of him, knighted by the English and seen as a pirate by the Spanish. You can make your own mind up by reading this great website here. Although no one can say for sure whether Sir Francis Drake ever consumed an early version of a mojito there are thoughts that he may have had something similar, hence the nickname for the drink being El Draque.
The rise of the Mojito
It’s 1920 and America has shut its doors to alcohol. Stop! Prohibition Time.
Havana, the capital of Cuba becomes America’s largest cocktail bar. Beaches and booze galore, this place was heaven for Americans. The working class mojito was transformed with ice and sparkling water into a fancy cocktail. It was the beginning of its world domination. Its rise to fame was helped by American author Ernest Hemingway, his encounters with the minty drink help spread popularity throughout the United States. And from there it has now become the Ranked as 2nd most popular drink in the world! See full list here.
So why the name Mojito?
Obviously there are a few reasons, it probably comes from a Cuban sauce called mojo, which has lime juice as a main ingredient. Perhaps in reference to this, the drink was known as a cocktail with “a little mojo” or, in Spanish, a “Mojito.”
Others say it’s derived from Mojadito, Spanish for “a little wet”.
Put some mojo back in your life!
There are countless variations on the classic to try this July 11th – National Mojito Day
Let us know your favourite recipe and we’ll happily try it ourselves!
Thanks to the following websites for their wonderful articles on Mojitos and it’s rich history, definitely worth a read!