Can you taste it?

Can you taste it yet?

It’s almost Mojito season.

In fact, it may already be here, but my mint is still a little sleepy from the long winter and cool spring. I’m sure it won’t be long now before it wakes up and starts to overtake the pot, as only mint can do.

So, in preparation for the mojito summer season…let’s review:

Marvelous, Magical Mojito (makes one serving; increase as necessary)

1 to 2 limes, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
1 tablespoon granulated or confectioners sugar
Ice (cubed or crushed)
2 ounces white rum
1/2 cup chilled club soda

Muddle (gently smash) the mint leaves and pieces of lime with sugar in the glass until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and stir in the rum and club soda. Garnish with the mint sprig and serve immediately with appropriate amounts of hammock swinging or pool lounging.

As we sip our deliciousness, let’s raise the glass in salute to where it all began…

Legend and lore state the drink’s name, mojito, comes from the African word mojo, which means to place a spell. But Africa must share the rights to the drink with Cuba, where it’s rumored the drink was created by slaves working in sugar cane fields in the late 1800s.

Still more rumors have Sir Francis Drake creating the mojito in the 1500s. Legend has it that another Drake, English pirate Sir Richard Drake, prepared the first mojito by mixing aguardiente (a primitive version of rum) with sugar, lime and mint. According to this story, the drink was originally named El Draque (after Sir Francis, Drake’s boss, called The Dragon). The spell was cast in Cuba when these pirates went treasure-hunting through the Caribbean leaving their mark along the way.

Originally, it was mixed and prescribed for some sort of medicinal purposes (uh huh, sure). Rum eventually replaced aguardiente, and our modern-day mojito was born.

Which of the legends is true? Nobody knows for sure. To add to the mystery, one of America’s most prominent authors, Ernest Hemingway, was a big fan of the libation while spending time at La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana, as well as in the Florida Keys.

Whatever the true origins, the drink certainly can be spellbinding because once you recline on a hot summer day, sipping rum, sugar and mint, you may forever be under its magic spell.

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67 thoughts on “Can you taste it?

  1. Ahh, the taste of summer! I miss having wild mint beneath my window.

    Also originating in 19th century Cuba, but not needing mint, how about the classic (not frozen) daiquiri?

    1 1/2 oz light rum
    1 oz fresh lime juice
    1 tsp sugar

    That’s shaken not stirred. Optional to strain and sugar the rim.

    Thanks for the history lesson.

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  2. I saw this post on WordPress’ opening page and decided to visit because of the picture of the mint leaves. I’m growing some mint in a window box herb garden and it’s growing so much, I thought, “Hmmm. I should look up a mojito recipe online.” The universe must have remembered for me, because here I am. I’ve noted the recipe and hope to have some mojitos this weekend.

    Thank you!
    Au revoir —
    Paris Karin
    (an alien parisienne)

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  3. Oh mojitos are wonderful on a hot summer day! So are caipiroskas by the way… lethal in many ways (very strong and loaded with sugar) but that spells out a holiday to me…lol

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  4. ahhh, nothing nicer than a freshly muddled mojito on the deck in the fading summer evening sunshine…. it’s winter here, enjoy your summer while I tend to my straggly, winter growth mint!!!

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  5. I had a berry mojito the other night with raspberries, and blue berries, lime, mint and chompard in crushed ice. yum!

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  6. What a great picture of mint! You know, I’ve never had a mojito. Mint seems to belong in, well, toothpaste usually, but this recipe does look enticing! I will try. Beware for those who want to grow it, mint is invasive. My mom taught me a trick (don’t tell her I am quoting her). Put the mint in a pot and bury the pot. Enjoy!

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    • That is absolutely right! Or put it in a bed that is contained on four sides by concrete. Even then, I’m not sure it wouldn’t find a way to escape.

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  7. Pingback: Can you taste it? (via peripheral perceptions) « Wax Poetic~Blue Moon Candle's Blog~

  8. Hey Lisa! FAB to see you on the WP home page! You GO girl!

    Rum, sugar and mint? What’s not to love? Now I’ll have to get the makings for mojitos. (I feel more relaxed just thinking about it.)

    Happy Thursday!

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  9. I love mojitos, but I usually make them sans rum. This post is making me crave one now! And that picture of mint makes me want to get in the kitchen and start concocting other fresh spring/summer dishes. Thanks!

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  10. Not to be the better-knowing-bastard, but a real Mojito doesn’t contain any soda and should be made with dark rum. I know most bars/places/people don’t do it or think it’s too strong, but that’s the way it should be:

    Mint
    Ice crushed
    Browm Sugar
    Dark Aged Rum (minimum 8 years)
    Lime

    Try it, you’ll love it.

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  11. I was not mojito but it reminds me years ago when I joined in a summer camp in Italy. It was in Assisi with a Franciscan youth community (I was at that age). I think they were putting mint leaves in boiling water and cooling down to drink.

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  13. Yay! This is the reason I grow mint! and now, suddenly I am very thirsty.

    We found that using frozen limeade or lemonade with rum and mint works well too

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