Cuban Mojito Recipe Original and Variant


Cool, thirst-quenching and immensely popular, the Mojito is almost certainly the first cocktail that comes to mind when people ask you “what cocktail shall I make for you?”. The Cuban Mojito recipe, together with the Cuba Libre, is one of the best known and most popular rum-based cocktails. Originating in Cuba, it began as a medicine and became an all-star cocktail. Here is the original Cuban recipe, its history and variations.

Cuban mojito
Cuban Mojito

The History of the Cuban Mojito Recipe

The Cuban Mojito recipe, like many other cocktails, has its origins in medicine. Its origin dates back to 1586 and its history is intertwined with that of the famous Sir Francis Drake. He was a politician, navigator, and privateer who was authorised by Queen Elizabeth I of England to plunder Spanish-flagged ships and islands.

In 1586, Sir Francis Drake was on the verge of docking in Cuba for the seizure of Aztec gold. King Philip II of Spain alerted his consul in Cuba. The consul organised to thwart the privateers. However, to the astonishment of the consul, when Sir Francis Drake arrived, few shots were fired. Drake disembarked to visit Havana. He left peacefully and without gold. His visit was an important event, and it is said that it was on this occasion that the Draque was born. A drink made from a mixture of aguardiente de caña (a raw cane spirit, the forerunner of rum), sugar, lime and mint yerba buena.

Another theory is that the “Draque” originated on Drake’s ship. It was used to treat fever and colds during the sea voyages. In a manuscript by Ramón de Paula, he wrote: “Every day at eleven o’clock, I take some “Draque” made of aguardiente and I feel very well”. This was in 1833, during one of the worst cholera epidemics in Cuba.

The “Draque” lasted until the 1800s, when Don Facundo Bacardi Massós founded the Bacardi company. The company revised the recipe, using rum instead of aguardiente and changing the name to Mojito.

Others trace the birth of the recipe to the Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana, where the writer Ernest Hemingway is said to have frequented. To prove this, there is a note in the bar written by him, but to this day, neither the bar nor the mojito are mentioned in any of his writings.

The origin of the name itself oscillates between two theories: that it comes from the African term “mojo”, which means magic (referring to its healing properties). The other is that it comes from the Spanish word “mojar”, which means moisture.

Nowadays, the Cuban mojito recipes have joined the IBA cocktails in the Contemporary Classics section.

How to Make the Cuban Mojito

Take a Collins glass (or a tall tumbler if you don’t have one), add the mint leaves, sugar and lime juice, and crush with a muddler to bring out the oils in the mint. Pour in the rum and fill the glass 2/3 full of crushed ice, stir with a bar spoon and then top up with soda, stirring gently so as not to break the bubbles, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Mojito Original Cuban Recipe and Variants

In addition to mint, mojito cocktails often include crushed pieces of lime, but in reality only the juice is used, and the sugar is white sugar, not cane sugar or syrup. The rum for the mojito is a Cuban white rum, aged no more than 3 years. I used Havana, which I much prefer to Bacardi, but you are free to use whatever you like.

blueberry royal mojito
Blueberry royal mojito

There are no less than 19 official variations on the mojito recipe, one of which is the Royal Mojito, in which the glass is filled with champagne instead of soda water. There are mojitos flavoured with fruit, with the addition of other spirits such as the Calvados Mojito, the Vodka Mojito, one involves the use of more aged rum, in short, there are variations to suit all tastes:

  • Elderflower Mojito
  • Fench Mojito
  • Ginger Mojito
  • Ginger No-jito (non-alcoholic)
  • Jamie’s Mojito
  • Skinny Mojito
  • Oranege Mojito
  • Parisien Mojito
  • Passion Fruit Mojito
  • Pineapple Mojito
  • Absinthe Mojito
  • Apple Mojito
  • Bajan Mojito
  • Cherry Mojito
  • Luxury Mojito
  • Mastiha Mojito

Along with the Cuban Mojito recipe, I also offer you the Royal Blueberry Mojito.

5 from 1 vote

Cuban Mojito Recipe Original and Variant

A cool, thirst-quenching long drink with an intense and refreshing mint flavour. The Cuban Mojito is a summer cocktail that can also be served as an apéritif.
Porzioni 1 portion
Tempo di Preparazione 5 minutes
Tempo totale 5 minutes


  • Collins Glass o Medium or large Tumbler
  • Muddler


Cuban Mojito

  • 60 ml Rum Havana 3 años or other Cuban light rum
  • 10 ml Lime Juice
  • 2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 14 leaves Mint
  • splash of Soda Water
  • Ice crushed


  • 2 or 3 stems of Mint

Blueberry Rojal Mojito

  • 60 ml Rum Havana 3 años or other Cuban light rum
  • cup Blueberries fresh
  • 8 leaves Mint
  • 1 tsp Cane Sugar
  • 45 ml Lime Juice
  • 60 ml Prosecco Wine or Champagne
  • Ice crushed


Cuban Mojito

  • Muddle 14 leaves Mint, 10 ml Lime Juice and 2 tsp Caster Sugar in the glass.
  • Pour 60 ml Rum, and add a splash of Soda Water, the Ice crushed and finish with top with Soda Water. Garnish with 2 or 3 stems of Mint.

Blueberry Rojal Mojito

  • Muddle the ingredients in a glass: ⅓ cup Blueberries, 8 leaves Mint, 11 tsp Cane Sugar and 45 ml Lime Juice.
  • Add crushed Ice and 60 ml Rum.
  • Fill the glass with 60 ml Prosecco Wine and garnish to taste.


Chef: Taira by R.J.
Calorie: 168kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: Alcoholic Cocktail
Difficoltà: Easy
Tipologia: Aperitif, Long Drink, Rum Base
Metodo di Miscelazione: Build
Grado Alcolico: 15/20% alc./vol.


Serving: 374g | Calories: 168kcal (8%) | Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Sugar: 9g (10%)

Le informazioni nutrizionali mostrate sono una stima fornita da un calcolatore nutrizionale online. Non deve essere considerato un sostituto del consiglio di un nutrizionista professionista.

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Information taken from Difford’s Guide.

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