Mojito Recipe

Good white rum, lime, and fresh mint: A classic mojito is a crisp and refreshing highball, not a sickly-sweet cliché.

A glass of Mojito

Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Why This Recipe Works

  • While decidedly untraditional, an optional dash of Angostura bitters balances the sweetness of the drink while adding subtle herbal notes.
  • Using sugar instead of simple syrup makes it easier to muddle the mint, extracting more flavor and aromatic oils.

The full origins of the mojito are lost to history; all we really know is that the drink originated in Cuba over 200 years ago, before being popularized by Ernest Hemingway and other celebrities who visited Cuba prior to the Revolution.

Or do we even know that much? Eric Felten cast convincing doubt on the Hemingway connection in a 2007 Wall Street Journal column.

What is true is that modern mojito, both as served in Havana and at your neighborhood brunch joint, is often sickly sweet, assuming it's even anywhere close to the original recipe, and not adulterated with spiced rum or boysenberry jam.

Want to make the real thing? Here's what you do:

Start with mint leaves in a serving glass—spearmint, if you can get it. Add a little sugar and gently muddle, just to slightly bruise the leaves and release their oils. Squeeze in fresh lime juice. Add a dash of Angostura if you please! It balances the sweetness and adds in subtle herbal notes. Finally, add a good white rum (I like Banks Five Island) and stir. Add in some ice and stir gently to chill and mix the drink. Made with a tasty rum and the freshest ingredients, this drink transcends the cliché it may have become.

October 2011

Recipe Details

Mojito Recipe

Active 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Serves 1 serving

Good white rum, lime, and fresh mint: A classic mojito is a crisp and refreshing highball, not a sickly-sweet cliché.


  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 10 leaves fresh mint

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • Club soda

  • 2 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

  • 1 lime twist, for garnish


  1. Place sugar and mint leaves in a tall highball glass, and gently muddle just until the leaves release their oils.

    Sugar and mint leaves gently muddled in a serving glass

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Fill glass with ice. Add rum and lime juice. Stir to combine.

    Glass filled with ice, with rum and lime juiced stirred in

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  3. Top with club soda and add mint sprigs and lime twist for garnish.

    Drink topped with club soda, with mint sprigs and a lime twist added for garnish

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Special Equipment

Tall, clear highball glass, wooden cocktail muddler

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
120 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 39mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)