National Mojito Day: A Brief History & 7 Mojito Recipes to Mix Up in Celebration

Yes! There’s a holiday for that, too! Here in America, we love our mixed drinks – so much so, that we have holidays for the most popular ones. National Mojito Day is no exception. If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to mix up a minty, refreshing mojito, National Mojito Day is the perfect day for it. Today, we’re going to chat a bit about the history of the mojito and we’ll give you several mojito recipes to try on National Mojito Day! Let’s dive right in.

What Is a Mojito?

A mojito is a mixed drink that uses white rum as its alcoholic component. However, that’s not necessarily what makes this beverage special. The mojito is special because it uses fresh ingredients that are muddled to extract the natural flavors and mix them into the drink. 

What Does a Mojito Taste Like?

A Mojito is a vibrant, summery cocktail with a combination of flavors. It tastes refreshing, mainly due to the mint and ice. However, there are also citrusy, and slightly sweet notes. Additionally, the natural menthol that gets extracted from the mint provides a cooling sensation. 

You’ll also find that, when mixed properly, the tartness of the lime juice balances perfectly with the subtle sweetness of sugar or simple syrup.

What Does Light Rum Taste Like?

There are many different types of rum, and we’ve covered the flavor profiles of all of them in our post, What Does Rum Taste Like? However, for National Mojito Day, we’re looking specifically at white or light rum. Generally speaking, light rums are much like vodka. They are smooth and low-profile, with a hint of sweet and potentially even tropical vibes. Depending on how refined your palette is, you may pick up different notes from different rums, of course.

What Is National Mojito Day?

As one might expect, National Mojito Day is a celebration dedicated to honoring the beloved Cuban cocktail, the Mojito. This national holiday provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in the refreshing flavors and vibrant history of this popular drink. National Mojito Day encourages everyone to raise a glass and toast to the timeless nature of this alcoholic beverage.

When Is National Mojito Day?

National Mojito Day falls on July 11th every year. This means that it’s on a different day of the week each year. In 2023, National Mojito Day is on a Tuesday, and in 2024, it will be on a Thursday. In 2025, National Mojito Day will be on the perfect day for celebrating – a Friday! And, in 2026, National Mojito Day will fall on a Saturday, while 2027 will see this holiday on a Sunday.

A Brief History of the Mojito:

The origins of the Mojito can be traced back to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors first arrived in Cuba. These early settlers brought with them a variety of ingredients, including sugarcane and mint. It is believed that the local indigenous people, known as the Taino, were already consuming a similar drink called “guarapo,” made from sugarcane juice and various herbs.

Over time, the drink evolved, and by the 19th century, the Mojito (as we know it today) began to take shape. The addition of lime juice and rum transformed it into a delightful concoction that quickly gained popularity among the locals. The use of rum in the Mojito can be attributed to Cuba’s abundant sugarcane plantations, which produced a surplus of the spirit.

During the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), Havana became a popular destination for Americans seeking a vibrant nightlife and access to alcohol. The Mojito became a staple in the bars and nightclubs of Havana, attracting both locals and international visitors. 

Fun Fact: One famous Mojito enthusiast was the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who frequented La Bodeguita del Medio, a renowned Havana bar known for its exceptional Mojitos.

In recent years, the Mojito has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity worldwide, with bartenders putting their own unique twists on the classic recipe. From variations with fresh fruit to creative infusions and innovative presentations, the Mojito continues to captivate cocktail enthusiasts everywhere.

Easy Mojito Recipe: How to Make a Classic Mojito

If you’re looking for an easy mojito recipe, you’ve come to the right place! Mojito recipes usually have the basics in common, so learning this recipe will set you up for experimenting with other flavors. Here’s the recipe for a basic mojito:

Mojito Ingredients:

To make a mojito, you’ll need some ingredients and tools. You’ll need white rum (not a spiced or aged rum), mint, lime, sugar, and club soda. You’ll also need a muddler, a tall glass, and lots of ice.

Mojito Recipe:

  1. Muddle one lime wedge (⅙ of a lime) and 10 mint leaves in your glass. This will release all of the juices and natural oils into your drink.
  2. Add two more lime wedges (⅓ of a lime) and two tablespoons of sugar, and muddle some more.
  3. Fill your glass with ice (without removing any of the muddled goodness).
  4. Pour in 1 ½ oz white rum, then fill the glass with club soda.
  5. Stir to combine, add sugar to taste, if desired, and enjoy!

More Mojito Recipes to Try for National Mojito Day:

If you’re already a fan of the traditional mojito and are looking for something a bit more adventurous, we have some delicious variations you can try, too! Remember, you can experiment as much as you like, as well. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

#1: The Frozen Mojito

That’s right – just like a margarita can be made frozen, so can a mojito! We recommend replacing the muddled mint for mint syrup, just because blending could release too much mint and that’s a hard factor to control. Here’s a recipe for you:

  1. Pour ½ oz mint syrup into a chilled glass (highball works well), and set aside for later.
  2. Add 2 oz light or white rum, 1 oz lime juice, and about 1 cup crushed ice to a blender.
  3. Blend until you reach “frappe” consistency, then pour into your prepared glass.
  4. Top with another ½ oz mint syrup.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, then enjoy!

#2: The Watermelon Mojito

If you’ve never tried watermelon and mint together, you’re missing out on something special. For this drink, you’ll need fresh watermelon, so make sure you get a good one! You’ll also need agave nectar for this recipe – this will enhance the watermelon flavor and serve as your sweetener. If you aren’t a huge fan of agave, you could swap it out for a simple syrup, honey, or maple syrup!

  1. In your cocktail shaker, muddle 1 tbsp agave, ¼ oz lime juice, 4 oz of chopped, seedless watermelon and 4 large mint leaves.
  2. Add 1 ½ oz light or white rum, then fill the shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled, then strain the mixture over fresh ice into a rocks glass. 
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist, lime twist, fresh mint leaves, or cubes of watermelon… and enjoy!

#3: The Amanyara Mojito

If you’re really not into muddling your drink, this recipe solves all of your problems. By blending instead, you’ll not only get an easier-to-make cocktail, but also an interestingly-colored one. This cocktail ends up being a vibrant green color, due to the chlorophyll in the mint leaves.

  1. Into a blender with some ice (start with a cup and add more if needed), add 2 oz light or white rum, 1 oz lime juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and 10 mint leaves.
  2. Blend until “smooth.”
  3. Use a fine strainer to strain over fresh crushed ice.
  4. Top with champagne, and garnish with mint and a lime wedge.
  5. Enjoy!

#4: Pineapple Vanilla Mojito

If you’re looking at that title and getting excited, you’re not alone. In this drink, fresh pineapple and vanilla are the stars that boost the regular mojito’s game. If you love pineapple and vanilla, you have to try this one.

  1. Muddle 1 pineapple wedge, 4 mint leaves, and ½ oz agave nectar in a mixing glass, but make sure not to completely destroy the mint.
  2. Add 1 oz white rum, ¼ oz vanilla liqueur, ice, and stir.
  3. Strain this mixture into a rocks glass, then top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with another pineapple wedge and a mint leaf, then enjoy!

#5: The Limoncello Mojito

If you’ve ever had limoncello, you’ll know that it’s a super-intense lemon liqueur. So, it’ll bring a serious punch to your mojito. And, that’s just what this recipe does. If you love the flavor of lemon, we highly recommend this one.

  1. Into your cocktail shader, muddle 3 mint leaves, 1 oz lime juice, and ½ oz simple syrup.
  2. Add 1 oz limoncello, ice, and 1 oz white rum to the shaker.
  3. Shake until well-chilled, the colder, the better.
  4. Strain the mixture into a hurricane glass filled with ice, then top with soda water.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves, and enjoy!

#6: The Gin Mojito

While mojitos are typically made with a white or light rum, there’s no reason you can’t swap out the rum for other spirits. Gin is a great option for this, since it has floral and citrusy notes, depending on what gin you get. Keep in mind that this drink will be wildly different depending on what gin you choose, so choose wisely and maybe even experiment with some local gins!

  1. First, muddle 6 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Then add 1 oz lime juice, 1 oz simple syrup, and 2 oz gin.
  3. Shake everything with ice until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the drink into a glass with ice.
  5. Top with soda water.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves and a lime wedge, then enjoy!

Learn More: If you’re looking for more cocktail recipes that use rum, check out our previous post, A Complete Guide to Mixing & Drinking Rum. This blog includes several recipes you can try after enjoying your mojitos, including the Piña Colada, the Rum Punch, and the Daiquiri. We also cover general tips and tricks for using rum in your cocktails.

Our Tips: How to Make the Best Mojito

Since you’re mixing drinks up for National Mojito Day, you obviously want to make the best mojitos possible! Here are some essential tips to help you craft a sensational Mojito that will impress your guests and yourself.

  • The key to an exceptional Mojito lies in using fresh and high-quality ingredients. Choose vibrant green mint leaves, juicy limes, and a good-quality rum to ensure a vibrant and well-balanced cocktail.
  • Try choosing a local rum, if you can. This will ensure that you’re using fresh, high-quality spirits that won’t bog down your mojito.
  • Muddling the mint leaves and lime wedges gently releases their essential oils and flavors. Avoid over-muddling, as it can result in bitter flavors. Aim to bruise the mint leaves and extract the lime juice without pulverizing them.
  • The Mojito traditionally incorporates simple syrup or granulated sugar to balance the tartness of the lime. Experiment with the sweetness level to suit your preference. Stir or shake well to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • The Mojito is best enjoyed with a generous amount of crushed ice. It not only keeps the cocktail refreshingly cold but also helps to dilute the flavors and mellow the intensity of the rum. Crushed ice also adds a pleasant texture to the drink.
  • A visually appealing garnish adds a touch of elegance to your Mojito. Reserve a sprig of fresh mint and a lime wheel for a classic presentation. You can also get creative with additional garnishes such as a fruit slice or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Finding Local Spirits for National Mojito Day at Distillery Nearby

Are you looking for local rum for your mojito? Browsing local distilleries couldn’t be easier than at Distillery Nearby. We’ve curated an online directory for you to visit, all organized by state. This way, you can – very easily – see what’s near you. Then, you can either visit those distilleries and taste their spirits, or you can check your local grocers and package stores to find their spirits. So, what are you waiting for? Browse your local listings today!

Happy National Mojito Day!

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