Mint and Lime Mojito

Fresh Mint Mojitos made by steeping crushed mint in sugar and rum. So refreshing and minty! This make the best mojito ever.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

We can wax on about the glory of the mojito – this perfect concoction of rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, and sparkling water — but I’m guessing you won’t need a lot of convincing in that regard.

Instead, let’s discuss the building of the mojito, which in my opinion, is what distinguishes a “good” mojito from a “truly incredible” mojito.

Before now, you may have made mojitos like this: You threw some mint, lime juice, and sugar into a glass and then mashed ‘em up with a wooden spoon, or if you were feeling bartender-y, with a fancy muddler. Then you added a little booze and a lot of soda water, resulting in a sparkling, mint salad in a glass with a hint of rum.

No more. You’re better than that, and your mojitos should be too!

The better way to make mojitos takes a little more time, patience, and effort, but is well worth it.

Mojito

Take a mortar and pestle and slowly crush the mint and sugar with a splash of the rum until you have a very fine paste. After that, add the rest of the rum and let it infuse for a few minutes, then strain the mixture, and top with a bare splash of soda.

The result is a mojito that’s not only cleaner in appearance (big mint flavor, no floating mint leaves), but also endlessly more flavorful than any mojito you’ve previously experienced.

Mint and Lime Mojito Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

A mortar and pestle are really the best tools for this recipe, but if you don't have one, then chop the mint as finely as you can, then smash it with a fork in a small bowl to mix it with the sugar and rum. You can also puree the mint, sugar, and all of the rum in a clean spice grinder.

Traditionally, you would use a highball glass for mojitos, but it's fine to use whatever glass you like for your cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 10 large mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from half a lime)
  • Soda water
  • A few sprigs fresh mint, to garnish
  • Thinly sliced wheels of lime, to garnish

Special equipment:

Method

1 Make the mint paste: Place the mint, sugar, and 1/2 ounce of the rum into the bottom of a mortar and pestle, and grind slowly until it turns into a paste.

2 Add the rest of the rum and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. If your mortar is too small for the additional rum, transfer the paste to a small bowl and then add the rum.

3 Strain the rum. Fill a glass with ice. Set a small mesh strainer over the glass and strain the mint mixture. Use a spoon to press out every last drop of rum from the paste. (Use a large bowl and strainer if that’s all you have then transfer to the glass. Whatever works for you.)

4 Finish the cocktail. Add the lime juice and top with soda water. Stir together and garnish with a lime wheel or a sprig of mint if you’re feeling extra fancy.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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4 Comments

  1. Mary

    Made these exactly as written for gathering of girlfriends. Incredibly refreshing and tasty!

  2. Alicia

    yummy! Needed an excuse to prune the mint and use up some dark rum. oh my! Worth all of the muddling. Hubby even liked it!

  3. Chris

    hmmm… why not muddle lime along with the mint (would release the oils from the peel)? something i’ve taken to doing when sugar is involved is keeping some simple syrup on hand so that the sugar is incorporated evenly. for mojitos i’ve also muddled a small amount of granulated sugar (which helps grind the mint and lime) and used less syrup.

    i’m thinking of mojitos and daiquiris for the 4th so i’ll try your method out and check back with my results. thanks for the tip!

    • Garrett McCord

      You could add the zest, just be sure not to include the bitter white pith. Avoid the actual juice as too much liquid makes it hard to make a paste with the mortar and pestle.

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