The mojito is one of Cuba’s oldest and most famous cocktails. Traditionally, it consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. With its triumphal procession across the globe, many different variations of the Mojito have been invented.

Who Invented The Original Mojito?

It is not completely clear where the drink or its name come from but of course there are many different legends around it.

African slaves are sometimes believed to be the inventors of this famous cocktail when they were working on sugar cane fields in Cuba. The name “Mojito”  (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈxiːto]) could therefore be derived from the West-African word “mojo”. Mojo is a fabric bag filled with magical spices and artefacts. Its diminutive, mojito, therefore translates to something like “little spell”.



Others trace the drink’s roots back to 1586. During Francis Drake’s attemped invasion of Havana, his associate allegedly invented the forerunner of the Mojito. Back then, the beverage carried the name El Draque. Francis Drake apparently drank this mix of aguardiente, sugar, real limes and mint against his stomach problems. As rum spread across the Caribbean, it later replaced the aguardiente.

My Mojito in la Bodeguita, my Daiquiri in El Floritida, Ernest Hemingway quoteOne of Hemingway’s Favorite Drinks!

The name “Mojito” was first introduced in the beginning of the 1900s when it was served at La Concha in Havanna, Cuba. Ernest Hemingway later boosted its international break through by ordering it in his favorite bar called La Bodeguita del Medio in Havanna.

So if you want to walk in the footsteps of Hemingway and enjoy Cuba’s most famous drink, try our recipe for the real experience of an original Mojito!



Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Food & Drinks // Cuba

Servings: 1

Best traditional summer drinks around the world: Mojito, Cuba's national drink with rum, lime and mint leaves


10 fresh mint leaves

0.5 lime

2 table spoons white sugar

ice cubes

1.5 ounces white rum

0.5 cup sparkling water


Put the mint leaves, lime wedges and sugar into a sturdy glass.

Crush the mint and lime with a muddler to release the mint oils and lime juice.

Fill up the glass with ice and just leave a little space for the remaining ingredients

Pour the rum over the ice and top it off with sparkling water.

Stir the drink to mix all ingredients well and serve with a slice of lime and a mint twig as garnish.

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Find more food and drinks from Cuba here.

Photos by Marika Bortolami