The Birth Of The Mojito Cocktail

Traditionally made using white rum, sugar or sugar cane juice, lime, carbonated water and mint muddled together, many believe the Mojito is quite possibly the world’s first cocktail. Although the image of hardened sailors drinking rum mixed with mint, lime and sugar may not match your vision of straight-from-the-bottle gulping pirates, the Mojito has been enjoyed as early as the 16th century.

One story traces the origins of the Mojito back to 16th century Cuba, where the drink was called the “El Draque” in honor of explorer and sailor Sir Francis Drake. Legend has it the drink was first created as a means of covering up the often harsh taste of tafia/aguardiente, a primitive form of rum.

The drink improved greatly during the 19th century with the introduction of copper stills that led to the modern (and much better tasting) form of rum. The contemporary name for the drink probably comes from a Cuban sauce called mojo, which is made from garlic, olive oil and citrus juice. Perhaps in reference to lime as a main ingredient, the drink became known as a cocktail with “a little mojo” or, in Spanish, a “Mojito.”

While the Mojito may be one of the world’s first cocktails, it certainly has not waned in popularity over the years. In fact, the drink first invented to make bad rum tolerable is now a widely popular cocktail around the world and is an especially popular and refreshing summer drink.

Make a rocking mint mojito like Hemmingway, you know you want to!