“There are countless recipes for the Mojito (pronounced moh-HEE-toh), but this version is for the one Hemingway himself enjoyed at the Mojito’s place of birth: La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba,” according to www.tasteofcuba.com.
The Original Mojito
4 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 sprig of mint
2 ounces Havana Club white rum
Splash of club soda, or more, to taste (optional)
Place the mint leaves into a long mojito glass (often called a Collins glass) and squeeze the 2 ounces of lime juice over it. Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (use the back of a fork or spoon if a muddler isn’t available). Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with a splash of club soda, if using. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Variations: While the following isn’t the authentic original Bodeguita del Medio Cuban recipe for a mojito, some people will take half of the juiced lime and cut into into four wedges to add to the glass. Another variation is to add Angostura bitters to cut the mojito’s sweetness, which is a popular version in Havana hotels although not the true Bodeguita recipe. Some Cubans also use “guarapo” in place of the powdered sugar, which is a sugar cane syrup available in the Latin groceries (typically sold in 12 ounce cans just like soft drinks).
Some who want the drink even sweeter will use 7-Up or Sprite instead of club soda.
Adapted from www.tasteofcuba.com.
( Photograph: Thomas Weiß )