Everyone should know how to make a signature drink. And no, we're not talking about simply pouring a glass from a bottle of wine (although that's a good idea, too). Get started with a mojito, for example; an instantly refreshing concoction that's ideal in warm weather.
Eater reports the refreshing drink we enjoy today as a crafted beverage got its start in the Caribbean in the 16th century, when sugar, lime, and mint were utilized to mask a less palatable version of rum. The cocktail likely became popular among farm workers in Cuba, initially, before catching the interest of American tourists (including Ernest Hemingway) visiting Havana during Prohibition times.
To make your own mojito, first learn the basics by mastering its classic ingredients—white rum, fresh lime juice, mint, simple syrup, and club soda—and then expand from there with other fruits and finishes, like strawberries, basil, lavender, and even lemongrass. We gathered the 14 best mojito recipes we could find so that you can perfect them in the coming months. With a little practice and a lot of cheers, you're sure to have this signature drink down in no time.
Ingredients: Julie Blanner keeps it classic with this recipe for a traditional mojito. All you need are the essentials: White rum, simple syrup, mint, lime juice, and soda water.
Bartender Move: If you use sugar cubes or granulate sugar, "muddle it with mint and lime to help it dissolve," recommends Blanner.
Ingredients: When the occasion calls for something a little more festive, follow Foodie Crush's lead and add cava to the recipe. Basil makes an appearance, too.
Bartender Move: "Put the mint, Thai basil, sugar, and lime wedges into a small glass and muddle in batches, if needed," Heidi says.
Ingredients: Fresh strawberries, not purée, are the key to this recipe by Joyful Healthy Eats. Garnish the glass with one, and throw in a few lime slices for color and flavor, too.
Bartender Move: "Instead of a simple syrup I used agave as the sweetener," Krista, of Joyful Healthy Eats, says.
Coconut Mango Mojito
Ingredients: As if drinking a mojito didn't feel like a vacation already, this option from How Sweet Eats adds more beachy flavors by using coconut rum and mango puree as part of the recipe.
Bartender Move: "Depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you may want to add more or less simple syrup, so I suggest tasting as you go," Jessica Merchant, of How Sweet Eats, says.
Ingredients: Adam and Joanne of Inspired Taste made one simple but effective change to the classic mojito—they added as many blueberries as they wanted.
Bartender Move: "You can use fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries for this, so while it may look like a summer drink, this is totally doable all year-round," they said.
Cucumber and Ginger Mojito
Ingredients: Lillian Kang at Salt & Wind makes a mojito that's that much more refreshing by adding Persian cucumbers and chilled ginger beer to the mix.
Bartender Move: "Cut the cucumbers in quarters lengthwise. Then, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds of each piece into a Tom Collins glass or another tall, narrow glass," Kang instructs. "Reserve the cucumber quarters for garnish."
Ingredients: Aida Mollenkamp, founder of Salt & Wind, infused her mojito recipe with passionfruit, thanks to learning about the trick on a trip to Thailand. She says that you can use a ripe version, or puree to get the same results.
Bartender Move: "Tap until all the ice is broken up and crushed (you want a mix of ice sizes from pea-sized to snowlike)," Mollenkamp suggests.
Pomegranate Mojito Mocktail
Ingredients: Sometimes there are going to be guests who can't or prefer not to drink alcohol. And when that happens, opt for the Butter Half's mojito mocktail, which uses pomegranate juice and seeds for looks and flavor.
Bartender Move: "In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar over high heat," Abbey Rodriguez, of the Butter Half, says to start things off. "Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil."
Ingredients: This mojito float from Julie Banner is an invitation to have your dessert and your cocktail, too. All you'll need are classic mojito ingredients (rum, mint, sugar, lime, club soda) and sherbet.
Bartender Move: Give this frozen treat a tropical spin and use pineapple rum instead of white rum... or go untraditional and use vodka!
Serves: 1–20 (Use the sliding button in the recipe card to scale up the recipe)
White Tea and Muddled Basil Mojito
Ingredients: Half Baked Harvest's refreshing mojito recipe is inspired by Healthier Together cookbook, wherein freshly brewed white tea is mixed with rum and honey, and muddled with mint and basil, and topped off with sparkling water.
Bartender Move: If you have them handy, serve this mojito in a high ball glass.
Skinny Lemongrass Mojito
Ingredients: Love and Lemons uses an alternative sweetener to lighten up this lemongrass mojito, like Truvia, a nearly calorie-free sugar substitute. Ingredients also call for lemongrass stalks (try your nearest Asian market or specialty grocery store), fresh mint, basil, white rum, and fresh lime juice.
Bartender Move: Save a few extra sprigs of mint and pieces of lemon stalk for garnish.
Ingredients: Watermelon is synonymous with summer, and Julie Blanner shows us how to capture the season in one juicy mojito. Just shake up pureed watermelon or juice, rum, simple syrup, sparkling water or club soda, and mint leaves.
Bartender Move: Add a squirt of freshly squeezed lime juice. Blanner also prefers white rum from Flora de Cana, Bones Rum white rum, and Koloa Rum Company white rum.
Guava-Lime Mojito Popsicles
Ingredients: Chill out with a twist with Boulder Locavore's 'pop-tail' recipe. Ready some light and dark rum, guava juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and mint.
Bartender Move: A cocktail on a stick has got to be the ultimate warm weather party trick! "Applying a layer of foil over the top of the mold or lid of the mold allows placement of wooden sticks and they will not float out of the mold," writes Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore.
Serves: 10 popsicles
Meyer Lemon Lavender Mojitos
Ingredients: Meyer lemon and culinary lavender replace mint and lime in Boulder Locavore's twist on the traditional mojito cocktail. The recipe also calls for confectioner's sugar and spearmint, alongside the requisite club soda.
Bartender Move: Did you know, writes Dash, that microwaving citrus fruit on high for 10 seconds before juicing will release more juice!