Mojitos lend themselves well to creativity. Variations abound, with seemingly every club, restaurant, hotel and tiki bar putting its own spin on it. You can do the same. Just keep at least one or two of the original ingredients — lime, rum, mint and sugar — so you create an echo of the original and not an unrelated cocktail. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the original mojito and its close relative, the infamous dirty mojito, especially when you first learn how to build the drink.

Things You'll Need


Classic

Rub 6 to 10 fresh mint leaves into the sides of a tall, narrow glass using a muddler or the bottom of a small spoon.

Mix the juice of a lime and an equal amount of simple syrup or powdered sugar into the mint leaves. Fill the glass 3/4 full of ice and add 1 shot of light rum.

Top off the mojito with club soda, and garnish it with a sprig of fresh mint, a stirring stick and a fresh lime wedge.


Dirty

Put 6 to 10 fresh mint leaves in a tall, narrow glass along with the juice of a freshly squeezed lime, a couple of pinches of brown sugar and a shot of white rum.

Mix the sugar, lime juice, mint leaves and rum against the side of the glass using a muddler or small spoon. Fill the glass about 3/4 full of ice.

Add a shot of club soda and finish with a splash of dark cola. Garnish with a lime wedge or fresh mint sprig.


Build Your Own

Add 3 or 4 fresh herb leaves to the bottom of a tall glass. You can stay in the mint family and using an herb like chocolate mint, ginger mint or orange mint, or take it your own direction with basil, lemon balm or kaffir lime. Almost anything leafy and aromatic works.

Add 1 part each of a sweet ingredient and a sour ingredient. Raw sugar, fruit-flavored syrup or juice covers the sweet. Lime varieties, such as key and kaffir, always work for the sour aspect, but you can use less common fruits, such as sour oranges, grapefruit or yuzu.

Add 2 parts liquor. There are enough flavored rum varieties to interject your personality into the mojito without going outside the rum family; spice, apple, peach, lemon and coconut are a few of the hundreds out there. But if you want a rum alternative, use a light liquor, such as vodka.

Fill the glass with ice. Topping off the mojito with a shot of soda is optional, but it gives your creation a finishing touch; lemon-lime, ginger and orange are all solid choices.

Garnish the mojito with something that ties into another component. You can’t fail with a fresh sprig of the herb you used, but you’re not limited to it, either. Sour cherries, candied ginger, candied citrus — anything that pairs with the base liquor — works.


Tips

  • Make mojitos by the pitcher by following the basic proportions: 1 part each sugar and lime juice mixed with 2 parts light rum and topped with 2 parts club soda.