Crisp and refreshing, a Classic Mojito features fresh lime juice and mint, plus rum and bubbly club soda or sparkling water. It’s a delicious, beautiful, classic cocktail that never goes out of style!
Classic Mojito Recipe
Although I enjoy a Classic Mojito any time of year, it’s absolutely made for summer. With its gorgeous infusion of fresh mint (my herb garden runneth over!), plus fresh lime juice, rum, and bubbly club soda, it’s fantastic refreshment on a hot summer’s evening!
This classic rum cocktail is famous for a reason. It’s SO GOOD! I like pretty much any beverage, with or without alcohol, that has bubbles plus fresh mint and lime – so a mojito drink always wins in my book. It’s light and refreshing, and packed with fresh flavor. What’s not to love?!
For a fun variation, be sure to also check out my pretty-in-pink rhubarb mojito. I’ve been serving this beauty in our summertime backyard for many years. There’s also my tequila mojito – which isn’t really a mojito since it has tequila – but it’s packed with fresh mint, and I love it no matter what it’s called! 😝
Why You’ll Love a Mojito
There’s no wrong time to enjoy a mojito – spring, summer, fall, or winter. Here’s why you should add it to your cocktail repertoire:
- Delicious & refreshing. This is the #1 reason, any mojito lover will tell you. It’s a super sippable, refreshing cocktail that’s packed with bright, fresh flavor.
- A great, easy classic. There’s something appealing, if not nostalgic, about making the traditional version of a mojito recipe without making any changes. I like to have reliable recipes for classic drinks to refer to before I start experimenting.
- Easy to customize. And with that being said, I’m usually the first one to switch up a classic! This mojito recipe is a great base and you can customize it however you like. For example, you could try muddling in fresh fruit, adding a splash of juice like cranberry, raspberry, or watermelon, or switching out the rum for a different alcohol (like the tequila mojito recipe that I just mentioned).
- Short ingredients list. A classic mojito recipe requires just a few ingredients. I always have a jar of simple syrup in the fridge, for adding to coffee drinks, teas, and cocktails. My brown sugar simple syrup is an easy recipe that will add a lovely caramel note to drinks as well.
What is a Mojito?
The mojito originated in Cuba, first concocted as a medicinal drink to relieve fever and colds. It was originally made with a crude cane syrup (before rum was introduced), sugar, lime, and mint. As Bacardi was establishing itself as a rum producer, they then renamed this drink the mojito and included their rum.
A traditional mojito features rum as the alcohol component. The drink is characterized by pungent fresh mint that’s muddled – meaning it’s smashed in the glass with a spoon or pestle to soften and release the scent and flavor of the leaves – and swirled throughout the drink. A classic mojito recipe includes a little sugar in the mint muddling process (I use simple syrup) and the drink is finished with club soda or sparkling water and fresh lime juice, all over ice.
About the photo above: Our family visited Puerto Rico a few months ago – and this lovely island is known for the pina colada, which is also made with rum. Puerto Rico is home to many rum distilleries (including Bacardi), just a hop, skip, and a jump from where rum got its start in Cuba. So it was extra fun to also enjoy a few mojitos while we were in Puerto Rico!
What’s in a mojito? Here’s a short list of everything you’ll need to make a great mojito drink.
Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Mint – This herb adds a fresh, vibrant, earthy flavor and is the star of any great mojito.
- Lime juice – This citrus fruit adds a bright, fresh acidity to the cocktail. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice for the very best flavor.
- Simple syrup – This easy-to-make sweetener adds a bit of sweetness to the mojito. Feel free to add it to taste.
- Rum – Use white rum, the traditional liquor used in a mojito. If you’re not a rum fan, this drink would also be delicious with gin, vodka, or tequila.
- Club soda – For effervescence, use either chilled club soda or sparkling water. This is not only refreshing, but it also stretches out the drink, so you can enjoy a larger drink with less alcohol content per ounce.
- Garnishes – Classic mojito garnishes include a sprig of fresh mint and lime wheels or wedges.
How to Make a Mojito
This drink is so easy and so satisfying! Here’s my quick method for making this mojito recipe:
- Muddle the mint with lime juice and simple syrup. Add the mint, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle until the mint is broken up, about 10 seconds.
- Pour in the rum and add ice. Next add the white rum and then fill the cocktail shaker half full with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. I realize that most times mojitos are not shaken, but I LOVE the extra chill this gives the drink!
- Finish the drink. Strain the shaken mixture into a glass with fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel and sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy immediately.
Tips for Success + Variations
Here are a few tips for how to make a mojito the best it can be, plus a few variation suggestions:
- Make it a fruity mojito. In the photo above are mojitos made with passionfruit juice – we enjoyed these at a beautiful dinner at Casita Miramar in San Juan, Puerto Rico this past March! I also like to muddle fresh berries in mojitos as they taste so nice with the mint and give such a pretty hue. Or, instead of simple syrup, stir in a spoonful of my sweet strawberry sauce or rhubarb syrup for more sweet flavor and color.
- Adjust to your own personal tastes. As with any cocktail, I always say to adjust your drink to your own personal tastes. If you’d like an even lighter drink, add more club soda. If you prefer less lime, then use less!
- Use sugar instead. If you don’t have simple syrup or you’d rather use sugar (more traditional for a mojito anyway), use half a teaspoon of super fine sugar instead and muddle it along with the mint.
- Top it off with champagne. This is so decadent and so good! Instead of club soda, top off your mojito with chilled champagne or another sparkling wine. You’ll still get all of those lovely bubbles in your mojito drink. Just know that your drink will have more alcohol content as well.
- Try basil instead of mint. While not technically a mojito, basil leaves muddle very well if you want to go for a different herby flavor.
- Try ginger ale. Some people make their mojitos with ginger ale instead of club soda. It does give the drink a different flavor – more like a Moscow mule – but for those who like ginger ale, it’s definitely a winner!
- Substitute a different alcohol. Try swapping vodka or gin for the rum in this mojito recipe.
If you’d like some nibbles to go along with your mojito, I suggest anything you might eat along with a margarita:
- Homemade guacamole. My classic guacamole recipe, with a big pile of salty, crispy tortilla chips, is wonderful with a mojito.
- Chips & salsa. My simple restaurant style salsa is a great choice to serve with mojitos. Or try my watermelon salsa or pineapple salsa recipes for an equally refreshing side dish to serve with your mojitos.
- With tacos. Tacos are a nice complement to a minty mojito drink. I have lots of choices, including mole pork tacos, easy fish tacos, and grilled pork and pineapple tacos. Also try my famous carnitas with a side of even-more-famous pickled red onions!!
- Add a quesadilla. Try serving mojitos with a classic cheese quesadilla, or try my veggie quesadilla or crab quesadilla recipes for something a little heartier.
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- 5 large mint leaves (about 1 tablespoon packed)
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon simple syrup
- 2 ounces white rum
- 4 ounces chilled club soda
- Lime wheels and fresh mint, for garnish
- Add the mint, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle until the mint is broken up, about 10 seconds.
- Next add the white rum and then fill the cocktail shaker half full with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a glass with fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel and sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.