The Perfect Mojito

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Crisp, tart, slightly sweet, and always fragrant, the classic mojito is a cocktail that I never get tired of sipping.

classic mojito with mint and lime wedge in short glass

I’ve been a fan of mojitos for a while now. I tried my first mojito about 15 years ago, while on a camping trip with several families. Our friend Tony made the mojitos and I was hooked.

(Yes, that would be Tony, the same person who introduced us to the crazy delicious Slow Cooker Baked Beans recipe and Italian Cream Liqueur.)

We’ve tried quite a few mojito recipes over the years. I enjoy the Pineapple Mojitos and Basil Mojitos as well, but I always circle back to the classic cocktail made with plenty of fresh mint, lime, and rum.

Classic Mojito

Add in a refreshing splash of club soda and you have summer in a glass. This cocktail recipe is ideal for sipping at a garden party or for relaxing on the porch with friends on a warm summer evening.

And since I lived in one of the hottest cities in the US for a very long time, this drink became a favorite pretty much year-round.

I’ll warn you now that once you start making your own mojitos at home, you won’t be nearly as happy with anyone else’s. The exception to that is my friend Holly. She makes an absolutely fabulous mojito and I never turn one of hers down.

You can check out Holly’s recipe here,  if you want to give her version a try. You might notice our recipes are close to identical. (That just might be the reason I love hers too!) Great mojito-loving minds obviously think alike.

mint and lime in mojito cocktail

Mojito Ingredients

A classic mojito is simultaneously elegant yet simple. It brings together some of my very favorite beverage ingredients in a simple and much-loved cocktail.

What’s in a mojito? Lime juice, plenty of fresh mint, rum, simple syrup, and club soda.

White rum is the best rum for mojitos. You can use light rum as well, just be sure to avoid flavored rums so as not to overpower the other flavors we’re adding to the drink. No need to spring for the most expensive rum on the shelf. A middling rum will do just fine for a pitcher of mojitos.

The bright, tart, citrusy flavor in a perfect mojito comes from plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice. For a pitcher of mojitos, I use at least a full cup of lime juice (roughly the equivalent of 9 or 10 limes depending on how much juice they yield).

I strongly recommend slicing and squeezing your own limes with a handheld juicer for the best flavor. Your mojitos will taste so much fresher than if you use bottled lime juice and it’s definitely worth the little bit of extra effort.

mojito ingredients on cutting board

What is it that makes mojitos so unique? It’s the abundance of fresh mint. The abundantly fragrant, ever-so-slightly-spicy fresh mint leaves make this cocktail as refreshing as they come. Even my friends who aren’t huge mint lovers enjoy this drink; the lime and mint complement each other so well.

Simple syrup, a (you guessed it) simple mixture of sugar dissolved in water, adds the perfect touch of sweetness to the mojito.

When you sweeten your cocktail with simple syrup you won’t end up with any grainy clumps of sugar at the bottom of the glass. All the sugar granules get dissolved and incorporated completely into the rest of the drink.

Finally, a splash of bubbly club soda brings the whole drink together.

Want to know my not-so-secret tip for a Perfect Mojito? I add more than a generous splash of club soda to the final glass when serving a mojito. The bubbling club soda gives this cocktail its light, refreshing and summery taste, making it so easy to sip and enjoy.

adding club soda to mojito

Mojito Pitcher Recipe

The recipe I’m sharing here is for a pitcher of classic mojitos. One of these small pitchers can be shared between 2 to 4 people, depending on how large you pour your drinks and how much club soda you like to add to the glass.

If you don’t already have simple syrup on hand, make a batch before you mix the other mojito ingredients. To quickly make simple syrup, add half a cup of sugar to a half cup of water in a jar. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved (a couple of minutes).

Mojitos begin by muddling lime juice and mint leaves together at the bottom of a pitcher or glass. This step helps the lime and mint flavors intermingle. I typically use this muddler (best ever!) and this pitcher to make this recipe.

Next, add the rum and simple syrup to the lime and mint along with enough ice to fill the pitcher 2/3 of the way. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to pour your mojitos.

If you aren’t a fan of having crushed mint leaves in your drink, simply pour the drinks through a small strainer into each glass. I do this most of the time when I’m serving guests.

When it’s time to serve the drinks, fill individual glasses halfway with ice then add the mojito mix until the glasses are about 2/3 full. Top with club soda to fill the glass. A garnish of mint leaves and a lime wedge makes a nice addition!

If you’ve ever had a mojito at my house, I likely made the recipe with the lesser amounts of simple syrup and rum. I like to adjust the individual drinks with more or less alcohol and sweetness. That way everyone gets to enjoy their drink exactly the way they love it best.

Still, the recipe below is my standard “base” for mojito making. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your desired strength, sweetness or mintiness.

If you have a larger pitcher, you can easily double the recipe for a crowd! 

Virgin Mojito Recipe

Oh! And before I forget, these mojitos are wonderfully refreshing for all ages without any alcohol at all.

When serving mojitos at a gathering, I often make a pitcher with rum and a pitcher sans alcohol so everyone can enjoy. Every time I mix one of these rum-free pitchers together for friends, someone asks for the recipe.

It’s so easy to make non-alcoholic perfect mojitos: Just follow the recipe as usual but skip the alcohol! No other adjustments are required.

iced cocktail with mint and lime next to blue and white napkin

Looking for more rum cocktail recipes? It’s hard to go wrong with a Classic Mai Tai. For something a little out of the ordinary, this Pomegranate Rum Cocktail looks divine.

And in the wintertime, nothing says comfort like a mug of Hot Buttered Rum. I created a Non-Alcoholic Hot Buttered Rum too, so everyone in my family could enjoy this one.

Can’t get enough Mojito Recipes in your life? Try Mango Mojitos by Crazy for Crust, Strawberry Mojito Slushies by The Little Kitchen, Champagne Mojitos by Foodie Crush or these summery Cherry Limeade Mojitos by The Noshery.

You’ll be in Mojito heaven all year long! 

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Servings: 4 servings, depending on size

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  • Combine the mint and the lime juice in a small pitcher. Use a muddler to crush the mint in the lime juice, this should take a minute or two. Add the simple syrup and rum to the pitcher. Fill the pitcher about 2/3 of the way to the top with ice and stir well to mix and chill.
  • Fill individual glasses halfway with ice, then 2/3 of the way full with the mojito mixture, then top each glass with  club soda. Enjoy!

To make simple syrup, combine ½ cup water and ½ cup white sugar in a jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. It should only take a couple minutes. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator until you need it again. The syrup will be much thinner than traditional simple syrup and will mix smoothly into the drinks.
If you aren’t a fan of the crushed mint leaves in your drink, simply pour the drinks through a small strainer into each glass. I typically do this anytime I’m serving guests.

Calories: 236kcal · Carbohydrates: 37g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Sodium: 28mg · Potassium: 129mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 32g · Vitamin A: 269IU · Vitamin C: 20mg · Calcium: 28mg · Iron: 2mg

{originally published 9/20/16 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/22/23}

Classic Mojito Recipe



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