The Mojito is a very well-known Cuban drink, but this was not always the case. There was quite a few years that passed before this drink became what it is today. The ingredients for this great tasting drink are one of a kind and though tweaked a bit over the years, are still the same ones used today. One man that really contributed to the establishment of this amazing drink was Sir Francis Drake. Another famous name that gave this drink some popularity was the writer Ernest Hemingway. This popular drink was discovered decades ago and is still thriving today.
The traditional Mojito consists of 5 ingredients: sparkling water, white rum, mint, lime juice, and sugar. The recipe originally from the island of Cuba, most often consists of spearmint or Yerba Buena, a popular mint on the island. The mint and citrus is used in order to reduce the strong kick of the white rum. Due to its sweet taste, the Mojito has become a popular summer drink. When making a Mojito, the mint leaves and sugar are added first followed by the lime juice. After, the leaves must gently be mashed up, but only enough for the oils to be released.
The rum is then added and the mixture is stirred in order to lift the leaves and the sugar to dissolve. Last but not least, the drink is then topped with soda water and whole ice cubes to give a better presentation. Some hotels in Havana, Cuba, add Angostura which helps to cut the sweetness the mojito presents. Angostura is a liquid made up of water and 44. 7 % alcohol. A hotel guest in Cuba may have their mojito served with fresh lime instead of lemon. This also can depend on the bartender preparing the drink. There are other ways the mojito can be made in order to give the drink a different taste.
Some people say that this drink was invented by the African slaves that worked in the sugar cane fields in Cuba seeing as the name “Mojito” comes from the African word “mojo” which means to place a little spell (http://havanajournal. com/culture/entry/cuban-mojito-history-and-recipe/). There are quite a few of these rum-based drinks, but the original is the most popular. Though Cuba is said to be the Mojito’s birthplace, many would debate otherwise. The Mojito has been traced to a 19th century drink known as “El Draque”, named after Sir Francis Drake (http://iml. ou. ufl. edu/projects/fall12/araujo_J/history. html). The Draque was originally made with sugar, lime, mint, and aguardiente. Aguardiente is a clear alcoholic drink that looks like vodka, but consists of a higher alcohol percentage. It is made in Colombia, and means “sizzling or fire water”. In older times this drink was used in a medicinal way. They would place the liquor in a bottle with a dead snake and let it set for a period of time. After some time it was used as a rubbing alcohol for muscle pains. The 1800’s was the turning point for the mojito.
Thanks to the establishment of Bacardi in the 1800’s, the popularity of the Mojito sky rocketed. In 1940 Federick Villoch changed this sweet tropical drink’s name from “El Draque” to the mojito (http://www1. bacardi. com/#/us/en-us/originalmojito/history). While it was not originally called a Mojito, the ingredients used back then are still the same ones used today. One famous man who very much enjoyed this drink was the writer Ernest Hemingway. His love for this drink caused him to write “My Mojito in La Bodeguita” which translates “My Daiquiri in the Bodega”.
The title of the book came from the bar La Bodeguita del Medio which Hemingway helped make famous. In the bar today you can still see his writings on the walls. The bar was opened in 1942 by Angel Martinez. It was established next to a printing shop which gave the little bar more customers who stopped by for a drink after business. The bar became the new drinking spot and in no time the place was always packed. In 1950, Martinez changed the name from “La Casa Martinez” to “La Bodequita del Medio” and has stayed that way ever since (http://bodeguita. om. ua/? page_id=6218&lang=en). The invention of the mojito was not planned, but it did produce a revolutionary product that is still to this day enjoyed worldwide. The ingredients are easy to find and the drink, though meticulous in detail, is well worth the time spent. Many people have contributed to its success, and due to this success the mojito will continue to thrive. This gives just a little hint that this well-made drink will continue to have success for many years to come.
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