The mojito: Cuba’s ‘national cocktail’

While the Cuba Libre is, of course, one of the most famous cocktails to hail from Cuba, there is another fantastic thirst quencher for those warm Caribbean days: the mojito. Typically made from rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint, it’s the perfect refreshment for lazy days at your villa with private pool in Havana. Here’s everything you need to know about the mojito and its relevance throughout Cuba.

History of the Mojito

How—and where—the mojito was invented is a subject of great debate. Ask your bartender, your taxi driver, and your host at your casa particular in Havana, and they’ll all have a different opinion! However, most agree that the drink did originate in Cuba; Havana to be exact. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular theories as to how the mojito came to be one of Cuba’s most popular alcoholic drinks.

Some say that the mojito is an alternative form of the classic ‘El Draque’, a drink created by Sir Francis Drake who used the lime for treating scurvy and the rum to kill off all manner of disease.

Could the mojito have been created by Cuba’s African slaves? Some believe that the original mojito didn’t include lime, and was simply made from sugarcane juice from the fields.

It’s quite likely that the creation of the mojito was heavily influenced by Mojo seasoning, a popular Creole seasoning for meat, fish, and vegetables with a sharp lemon or lime base.

Finally, one of Havana’s best bars, La Bodeguita del Medio, confidently claims to be the ‘birthplace of the mojito’. It is said that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed drinking Mojitos here.

Mojitos in Havana 

When you’re on holiday in Cuba, you may find that the type of mojitos you enjoy are a little different from the variants you’ve had back home. Cuban mint or spearmint are traditionally used, which provides a slightly different flavour, and some bars may use angostura bitters to reduce sweetness. An authentic Cuban mojito is not to be missed and is perfect for drinking at your villa in Havana.

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