Raise your glasses friends because National Mojito Day is almost here! Yes, the 11th of July is the day to get out your mixers and shakers and celebrate the drink that Ernest Hemmingway made famous.

Mojitos are as Cuban as a cocktail can be, dripping with Caribbean breeze. Instantly conjuring up images of swaying palms, sandy beaches and Havana ooh na na, Mojitos are citrusy and fresh, and just perfect for those hot summer days - or warm summer nights.

They’ve been the cocktail of choice for a long time now, and a staple on the world’s favourite cocktail list.  The recipe has seen many revamps, upgrades and makeovers in recent years, but here at Neat and Shaken we still prefer the classic version that uses simple ingredients: white rum, lime juice, sugar, mint and sparkling water (that’s club soda to our friends on the other side of the pond).

So, there’s only one thing left to do. Fill up your glass, get your sunglasses on, put your feet up, and enjoy a mojito or two. We won’t judge.

How to make a Classic Mojito

  • 2 oz. (60 ml) white rum
  • Enough lime wedges for 1/2 oz. (15 ml) lime juice 
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 3 -5 fresh mint leaves
  • Sparkling Water

Directions

  1. Take a small Collins glass and muddle the lime wedges to release the juice
  2. Add the sugar
  3. Add the mint leaves, clapping them between your palms first to release the flavours
  4. Fill glass with crushed ice, add the rum and stir
  5. Remove the lime and top off with sparkling water

If you want to be very fancy, you can rim the glass with sugar. Prepare some extra lime wedges, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop the glass into sugar. Hey presto, you have a classic cocktail with a little bit of added va va voom.

A little background story

We couldn’t do a post on Mojitos without mentioning the granddaddy of all Mojito drinkers, Mr Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was (and still is) a legend in Cuba and his drinking style matched his writing. That means: skilled, hard and very, very focused. When he moved to Cuba in 1939, a great myth was started about his love for the rum cocktail. If you go to the famous La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana, there is a note, allegedly scrawled by Hemingway’s own hand, which is treated like a shrine on the shelf above the bar. The note reads, “Mi mojito en La Bodeguita, mi daiquiri en El Floridita” or “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita”.

The truth surrounding Hemingway’s love for Mojitos is hazy at best. Rumour has it that that note on the wall of the Bodeguita is forged, and Hemingway was a Daiquiri man in any case. In fact, the great man was nicknamed  "Papa Doble" in Havana as he drank his daiquiris by the double (with a record of 16 doubles in one sitting). Or so the story goes - in reality, no one really knows.

Whether Hemingway liked Daiquiris, Mojitos or even just a plain old beer, the story has allowed the Bodeguita to cash in. The bar has since been exported around the world, and references to the great writer are rife. A life-size likeness of Hemingway greets diners entering La Bodeguita del Medio bistro near Stanford University, while patrons at La Bodeguita del Medio in Prague can order The Old Man and the Seafood plate (the Prague franchise also boasts a 1959 Chevy on-site that patrons can summon for a ride to the nightclub or a ride home after the meal). And in London’s version of the same restaurant, Hemingway novels are available for a quick read in the men's toilets.

There is no denying that Hemmingway’s iconic influence has given the cocktail a glow-up. The drink has legions of fans ranging from Sir Francis Drake who drank them to combat scurvy in the 17th century to Brigitte Bardot to even Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in Die Another Day (don’t worry gin drinkers, 007 went back to his traditional shaken not stirred Martini in the following film).

With such an auspicious day just around the corner, we have thought of a few great ways that you can raise your glass to World Mojito Day.

World Mojito Day Activities

1. Create your own Mojito ice cream

Anything that is good enough for Nigella is good enough for us. Even better, this gorgeous, boozy gelato doesn’t need an ice cream maker and won’t require you to go back to the freezer every half hour to churn. The rum creates a creamy ice cream while the lime and mint provide lots of taste.

All you need is a can of 400ml of condensed milk, 400ml of double cream, 150ml of white rum, the juice of four limes and lots of mint.

Whip the condensed milk and cream together until stiff, slowly add the rum and lime juice and then stir in the mint leaves, adding a bit of lime zest for extra oompht. Freeze for about 2 hours. Voila. 

2. Try Mojito cupcakes

Ready, set, bake. Make some lime cupcakes - we like Mary Berry’s lemon cupcakes and but substitute lemon for lime. Make a little rum and mint buttercream icing and that’s it. We guarantee you’ll impress even the most sceptical guests. 

3. Make your own Mojito

No Mojito day would be complete without making sure you have a taste of the eponymous drink. We love the classic recipe above, but why not mix things up a little by making a Moroccan Mojito or Raspberry version using gin. And if you really want to make a drink that would make Hemingway proud, substitute the rum for Alizé. Don’t forget to invite your friends.

Enjoy the great taste of Mojitos on the 11th July by mixing your own Mojitos. Neat and Shaken offers free delivery to all UK mainland addresses on orders over ₤100. Order now to make sure you have everything you need to celebrate! 

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