“My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita” – Ernest Hemingway
You know that feeling, wind in your hair, sun in your face… mojito in your hand. It is hard to imagine summertime without it. Rightfully residing amongst the greatest, Mojito came as a royal offspring of its Cuban cousin Daiquiri and the Mint Julepand, a hot yet so refreshing welcome.
Its origin, as with most of the classics, is widely debated. One story traces it back to the Elizabethan era, where the sea captain Sir Francis Drake (not known as the nicest one of the bunch due to his tendency to execute any fellow that disagreed with him), came up with ‘El Draque’. This concoction was a mixture of aguardiente de caña (letteraly translated as ‘burning water from sugar cane’, the ancestor of modern day rum), lime and sugar, and became a well appreciated remedy when the sailors were struck with an epidemic of dysentery and scurvy on board while heading to Havana. It likely owned its therapeutic success solemnly to the addition of lime, which slightly alleviated the symptoms. Another claim is that African slaves came up with a pre-mojito version of the drink, in a quest to mask the sharpness of the early rums.
Amongst bartenders however, this drink is both welcomed and loathed; a pain in the ass to make, while being the most popular to order amongst customers. Choose (or become) your mojito master well, since this drink without a doubt deserves to be reconstructed with care and respect. One should fine tune it on the fly, carefully taking into account the rum’s robustness, the mightiness of the herbaceous spearmint and of course, the bite of the limes.