The proliferation of sugar cane from the New World was a dark chapter of human history. Columbus originally brought sugar cane seeds back to the Canary Islands and eventually Spain in an attempt to grow the crop in Europe. It never really took off. By the time Sir Francis Drake was pillaging and plundering the Spanish Main for England in the late 1500s, a very crude rum was being distilled on the Isle of Cuba — aguardiente de caña, or firewater of sugar cane. Drake’s bedraggled naval crew was ravaged by scurvy by the time they made Havana’s port. The locals were combining the fire water with lime juice, sugar cane juice, and fresh mint. They called it the The Drake.
Within a century of Drake’s elixir, rum became the distilled spirit of the new world. Rum’s dominance was so great, that by the mid-1700s, Boston had 30 rum distilleries. 1,000,000 gallons of molasses was making its way to Rhode Island yearly for rum distilling just in that state. Rum was the Americas’ drink of choice.
It was the Cubans that would continue to the tradition of adding a little lime, or mojo, to the rum, mint, and sugar cane. Eventually the mojo concoction became known as the Mojito. Some claim it wasn’t mojo, but a corruption of the word mojado, which means wet. Maybe it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. No one really knows how or when the name came to be, but it stuck. The classic Mojito became enshrined with five ingredients: fresh mint leaves, sugar cane juice, lime juice, rum, and a spritz of bubbly water. But it’s 2016, so why settle for classics when you can turn your cocktail into an event?
To really amp up the flavor, replace the fizzy water with a good pour of champagne. The Mojito Royale is easy, elegant, and damn refreshing. [Pro tip: drop in one dash of Angostura Bitters while muddling to cut through the sweetness and add a little more depth.]
Here are some great video recipes to expand your Mojito horizons. The options are only limited by your creativity and imagination.
STRAWBERRY AND BEER MOJITO
PASSIONFRUIT MOJITO MOCKTAIL
FROZEN MOJITO SLUSHIE
CRAZIEST MOJITO: CARBONATED MOJITO SPHERE FROM JOSÉ ANDRÉS
Good luck muddling and shaking your way to a great Mojito this summer! Here are some shots of Mojitos for a little more inspiration!
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Found a great watermelon mojito recipe from @foodandwine & tweaked it just a little bit👌 ————————————————– 1/2 cup lime juice 30 mint leaves 1 1/2 tbsp sugar 1 cup white rum 3/4 cup watermelon pulp Splash of club soda Muddle sugar, mint and half of the lime juice in a pitcher until sugar dissolves and mint leaves start to break down. Add rest of ingredients, stir, pour over ice and enjoy!
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RECIPE 🎉 Mojito Sangria! Mix up this traditional cocktail and say cheers to the LONG WEEKEND! INGREDIENTS: 24 fresh mint leaves 6 tbsp simple syrup 8 oz white rum 4 oz fresh lime juice 500 mL chilled sauvingon blanc or pinot grigio wine 500 to 750 mL chilled soda water INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Muddle mint and syrup in a shaker. 2. Fill with ice. Add rum and lime juice. 3. Shake, then pour into a pitcher. Chill for an hour. 4. Top with white wine and soda. 5. To make simple syrup: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a jar and chill. Keeps well, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks. #longweekend #mojito #mojitorecipe #sangria