Few drinks are as refreshing on a hot summer day as a good mojito. Sugar, mint, rum, lime—it's heaven in a glass.
The mojito is already practically a perfect drink in every way, so what could possibly make it better? A little seasonal fruit, like strawberries! When they reach their peak at the beginning of summer, strawberries are an excellent accompaniment to a mojito's sweet, sour, minty flavor.
Which Rum to Use for a Mojito
I use Bacardi, but any white rum will do. White rum (also called silver or light rum) is clear, like vodka, and has a subtle, sweet flavor. It appears in a lot of classic rum cocktails, like the pina colada, the daiquiri, and of course, the mojito. Since you’re mixing rum with other ingredients, an ultra-premium rum isn’t necessary.
The Right Tools to Make a Mojito
I recommend the following tools if you're going to make a mojito. You can do without them, of course, but they'll make the job a lot easier. (They're also quite useful for making other cocktails, too!)
First, a muddler. Muddlers, which can be made from wood, metal, or rubber, look like tiny meat tenderizers on a stick. When you use a muddler to smash or pulverize fruits and herbs, it brings out their flavor and aroma.
You can use the back of a spoon to do the job, but when it comes to cocktails like mojitos, mint juleps, or a whiskey smash, a muddler really is best.
Second, a citrus juicer. I juice a lot of citrus when making cocktails, and I absolutely swear by a handheld citrus juicer like this one. (In case you didn’t know, this is how to correctly juice a lemon or lime.) There are other ways to juice limes, including with your hands, but I find this to be the quickest and most efficient.
Lastly, a canvas ice bag. The most important part of a mojito is not the rum, or the lime, or even the mint. It's the ice. Without crushed ice, a mojito isn't a mojito. The problem is that unless you can afford a $400 countertop pebble ice maker, or your refrigerator helpfully generates it for you, making crushed ice is kind of a pain.
The best way I’ve found to do this is with a canvas ice bag. You place the ice in it, and then beat the tar out of it with a rolling pin. (You can also use an ice mallet, but I find that a rolling pin works just as well.) Voila—crushed ice!
More Summer-Ready Cocktails
- Mint and Lime Mojito
- Sparkling Strawberry Sangria
- Mixed Berry Red Wine Sangria
- Blender Piña Colada
- Long Island Iced Tea
- 2 to 4 strawberries, hulled and sliced (4 if small berries, 3 if medium, 2 if truly massive)
- 8 mint leaves
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water; I prefer turbinado sugar)
- 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 ounce sparkling water
- Crushed ice
Muddle the strawberries
Place the strawberries, mint, and simple syrup in the bottom of a glass, and muddle until the strawberries are smushed and juicy. If you don’t have a muddler, crumple the mint with your hands just a bit before dropping it into the glass, then smush with the back of a spoon to release the flavor.
Add the remaining ingredients
Add crushed ice on top of the strawberries and mint, then pour in the lime juice and rum.
Use a bar spoon or teaspoon to stir the drink. Don't stir too vigorously, otherwise you'll bring the mint to the surface!
Top with sparkling water
Fill the remainder of the glass with more crushed ice, then top with sparkling water.