Mojito, the original recipe and its variations with one of the best bartenders in Italy

  • Light rum
    50 ml

  • Mint leaves

  • Sugar

    2 teaspoons
    • 380 kilocalories
  • Lime
    • 0 kcal

  • Soda or sparkling water
    to taste

  • Ice

    to taste

Calories refer to 100 grams of product

the Mojito is a very famous cocktail of Cuban origin, much appreciated by the writer Ernest Hemingway and of Fidel Castro. Originally intended as an after-dinner drink, it still keeps this tradition alive today, but now people are enjoying it. cocktail to drink at any time of the day, especially in summer. the ingredients these are light rum, mint leaves and sugar with lime juice, ice and soda or sparkling water.

the Cuban Mojito it has an alcohol content that varies from 11 ° to 22 ° depending on the rum used and it is a cocktail that is part of the julep family, that is to say cocktails that have the hierbabuena, less bitter than wild mint.

The mojito glass is a tall cup, with a cylindrical shape to allow the soda to release all its essence; the glass must be frozen or cold from the refrigerator. We also suggest you equip yourself with a bar spoon, the classic long spoon for mixing cocktail ingredients. Mojito is a drink that it is prepared directly in the glass. The recipe is very simple, a few are enough little things to be perfectly prepared. He shows us these tips Vincenzo Pagliara, second place in the World Class Italy, one of the holders of Folk workshop, Cocktail bar of the year in Campania for Gambero Rosso. The young bartender shows us in video all the steps to prepare a perfect mojito and also some variants very interesting designed to enhance the typical flavors of the Mediterranean.

A brief history of the mojito

The history of the mojito it’s quite controversial: legend has it that the cocktail was invented by the famous privateer Francois Draque in the 16th century, prepared withaguardiente, i.e. unaged rum, lime, water, white sugar and the hierbabuena, a Cuban mint. The modern mojito recipe, the one we all know with “classic” rum instead of aguardiente only arrives during World War II, still on the island of Cuba.

There are also several theories on the origin of the term “mojito”: according to some, it is related to mojo, a condiment made from garlic and citrus, typical of Caribbean cuisine; another theory places it in the voodoo tradition, the term “mojo” meaning “spell”.

Vincenzo Pagliara’s classic mojito recipe


The barman of the Folkloric Laboratory introduces us to the traditional mojito recipe with only one variant from the IBA (International Bartenders Association) register: he suggests adding a few more mint leaves “because the mojito is a very summery cocktail, very drinkable, I like that the mint aroma reaches the customers” .

Let’s start from the beginning: which glass is used for the mojito? The best choice is a tall cup, with a cylindrical shape; this must be very cold. The mojito remains a summer cocktail, it should refresh you. Good anyway all glass developed in height, so as to allow the soda to release all of its drinking power. Remember: mojito is a drink that it is made directly in the glass, doesn’t need a shaker or anything.

Put in the chilled glass two teaspoons of white sugar, then, using a juicer, use the juice from the middle lime. Enter the soda or sparkling water, so as to dissolve the sugar, then the 10 mint leaves before mixing with a long spoon. Very important tip: massage the mint, do not crush or break it because the chlorophyll contained inside the leaves is bitter and spoils the drink.

Now is the time to Rum: if you don’t have the jigger to dose the 50 ml of rum, there is no problem, a cup of coffee this is more than enough and contains about 50 ml (more drop, less drop, it is not important). Stir and add ice: fill the glass to the brim so that it melts much more slowly. Finish the mojito with a little extra sparkling water or soda and, using a spoon, decorate the inner edge of the glass with mint leaves. For the garnish, use a sprig of mint.

The two variants of the mojito designed by the Folkloric Laboratory

The bar Pomigliano d’Arco who created the personalized spirits a few months ago is famous for the inventiveness of the three partners: Vincenzo Monda, Francesco Manna and Vincenzo Pagliara. The three boys are very attached to the redevelopment of their territory and the protection of the environment, so the two variations proposed by the finalist bartender of the World Class are much more “local” than the traditional mojito.

1. Mojito with thyme and lemongrass


The first one mojito variant features two vegetables that grow in abundance in the Mediterranean region: thyme and lemongrass (also called lemongrass). For this mojito you will need:

  • 50 ml light rum
  • 30 ml lemon or verdello juice
  • 15 ml of honey syrup
  • 5 lemongrass leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • soda or sparkling water to taste
  • ice cream to taste

As for the traditional version, take a long, chilled glass. This time we do not start with sugar but directly with thyme and lemongrass, then we go to lemon or lemon juice verdello (a very fragrant Sicilian citrus). To sweeten everything, use the honey juice, possibly of the Millefiori variety. How is honey juice made? Nothing could be simpler: just merge water and honey in equal parts. Then add the soda and the canonical 50 ml of light rum. Fill the glass with ice cubes and decorate the tumbler with lemongrass and a sprig of thyme.

2. The mojito for gin lovers


If you are gods gin lover, here is the mojito you need: the second variant imagined by Pagliara is a little more complicated to prepare but it is really delicious:

  • 50 ml of gin
  • 25 ml of herbal liqueur of your choice
  • 1 lemon leaf
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • verjuice to taste
  • ice cream to taste

For the second variant you will need it a shaker as a bartender. Obviously, not everyone has this equipment at home so how to replace a shaker? It’s actually very simple: it’s good even classic thermos.

Fill the shaker with ice cubes, add the gin, the herbal liqueur and the lemon juice then pass everything in a Chopped off (also possibly cold). Instead of soda this time, use a verjuice, that is, a juice of green grapes harvested in autumn (but it can be obtained with any unripe fruit). More difficult to find than other ingredients, you can easily buy it online. Finally, garnish with a lemon leaf for a touch aromatic and elegant to all the drink.

How to combine the mojito

The theme of food and cocktail pairings is increasingly present in haute cuisine. Since we are not in a starred restaurant but at home we try to understand together how to combine mojito with food. The drink is very summery but the rum, lime, mint and sugar component makes it a difficult ally for your favorite dishes. They are generally used very spicy dishes, to counteract the sweetness and flavor of the cocktail. The mojito is perfect for poacher if you like to marinate meat or garnish it with spicy sauces. This cocktail is also excellent with traditional Mexican tacos, which are very fatty.

If you prefer the fish you can opt for the salmon, having the foresight to marinate it in a mixture of lemon, pepper and dill in order to use it as a real accompaniment to the mojito, and not in contrast with the cocktail as with the tacos.