Traditionally the mojito consists of five simple ingredients. Lime juice, White rum, Sugar, Soda water and mint. This drinks combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus, and mint flavors is intended to complement the potent kick of the rum, and has made this a popular summer drink across the world.
The mojito was born in Cuba, although the exact origin within the small island nation is still up for debate there is one story of a man who may have all bragging rights to having came up with this superb drink. The drink was known as “El Draque” in the late 16th century. The drink was named after its maker “Richard Drake”, after his succsessful raid on Cartagena de Indias Drakes ship set course for Havana but there was an epidemic of
Dysentery and Scurvy on board. It was known that the local South American Indians had remedies for various tropical illnesses, so a small boarding party went ashore on Cuba and came back with ingredients for an effective medicine. The ingredients were aguardiente de caña ( fire water, a crude form of rum made from sugar cane) mixed with local tropical ingredients including lime, sugarcane juice, and mint. While this drink was not named the mojito and the purpose of the drink was far different to what the mojitos purpose is this was indeed the first real mixture of all the original ingredients.
There are also some facts
behind slaves working in sugar cane fields in cuba during the 19th century who concocted a drink very similar to the modern day mojito but the drink never contained lime juice or rum.
Now as for the name mojito there is not one outright story or theory as to where it came from. But there many small theories which give influences from history and events at the time which may have sparked the word mojito. One such theory comes from the vast influence of immigration from the canary islands, the term more than likely came from mojo creole marinades adapted in Cuba using citrus. Another theory suggests the name relates to “mojo” a Cuban seasoning made from lime and used to flavour dishes.
One thing is for certain however and that is that this drink is truly special and is a stable of Latin american cocktails and is one of the world most recognizable drinks being voted in 2014 as Britain most popular drink.
Here’s to you Cuba.