A Mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime, sparkling water and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or “Yerba buena”, a much lighter mint variety very popular in the island. Its combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus and mint flavors are intended to complement the potent kick of the rum, and have made this clear highball a popular summer drink.
When preparing a Mojito, lime juice is added to sugar (or syrup) and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with a muddler. The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils and should not be shredded. Then rum is added and the mixture is briefly stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint sprigs up from the bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with ice cubes and sparkling water. Mint leaves and lime wedges are used to garnish the glass.