Old Havana Mojito (Mint, Lime & Rum Cocktail)

Old Havana Mojito

You have to look to the British Royal Navy to find the origins of Cuba's famous cocktail, according to Alfredo Jose Estrada. In his book, Havana: Autobiography of a City, Estrada points to 1655 when the British conquered Jamaica. Victorious sailors were rewarded with a "tot" (half-a-pint of rum). Decades later, they started adding water and lime juice - to prevent drunkenness and scurvy. And the famous ration gained the name, "Grog."Because Cubans add sugar to practically everything, "Grog" quickly evolved into a much more sophisticated drink - as refreshing as the island itself! The world-famous "Mojito" was born - and Ernest Hemingway couldn't put them away fast enough!

INGREDIENTS: (per cocktail)
3 sprigs               Fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons         Sugar
2 ounces             White rum
2 tablespoons       Fresh lime juice
4 ounces             Club soda or sparkling mineral water
1/2 cup               Crushed ice

1.  Using a spoon or muddler, gently crush the mint leaves with the sugar against the base of the glass or cocktail shaker to draw out the mint flavor.
2.  Add the rum, lime juice and club soda. Mix thoroughly.
3.  Strain and serve over ice. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and slices of lime. 

Serves 1.

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