A Simple Drink with a Complex History
The mojito has become one of the latest “in” drinks in bars across America, but it’s history is debatable. Some think that it came from the times of Sir Francis Drake, and was originally called “El Draque.” After Drake raided successfully at Cartagena de Indias, his ships headed for Havana, but an epidemic of dysentery and scurvy ground this voyage to a halt. The local South American Indians were known to have effective remedies for certain illnesses, so a small group of sailors were sent ashore to bring back the cure. They returned with a crude rum made from sugar can, called aguardiente, or firewater. Mixed with other local ingredients; lime, mint and sugarcane juice, the drink proved to be the cure for the ailing crew.
Others attribute the drink’s inception to the African slaves who enjoyed drinking guarapo, the juice of the sugar cane they picked. It is said that they may have been the ones who came up with the name “mojito,” but it is unclear if mojito translates to “a little bit wet” or is a derivational name that refers to the lime-based mojo sauce that is popular in Cuban cooking. As refreshing as the drink is, I would tend to go with the first explanation.
One thing that nobody will argue with is that author Ernest Hemingway loved the drink. His famous handwritten inscription, “My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita, ” is still visible on the wall of La Boguedita del Medio Bar today.
To give my mojito a signature difference, I used Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum. What can I say? I love cherries. I also replaced the sugar with stevia with perfect results.
(Makes 2 tall mojitos)
4 shots Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum
16 yerba buena leaves
juice of 1 lime
1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
1 1/2 cups club soda
2 packets Stevia in the Raw
1. Place the mint and 2 lime wedges in a cocktail shaker and use a muddler to gently release the juices from the mint and lime.
2. Add 2 more lime wedges, the juice of one lime and the stevia packets to the shaker and gently muddle once more.
3. Fill two highball glasses almost to the top with ice.
4. Add the rum to the mixture. Pour the mixture evenly between the two highball glasses.
5. Add the club soda and stir. This will help suspend the mint leaves, but if they should all sink to the bottom, float a few more at the top.
6. Garnish with mint sprigs, lime and your favorite fruits.
7. Have a seat, put your feet up and enjoy this relaxing drink!