The Mystical Mojito
The Mojito is the ultimate vacation libation. Whether you are sitting at Hampton Beach, relaxing on Lake Winnipesaukee, or even enjoying one of Portsmouth’s many decks, there is no beverage quite as refreshing as the Mojito. As with many drinks, the Mojito has been interpreted in an abundance of ways but the basic mixture contains only five ingredients: light rum, mint leaves, lime wedges, sugar and soda water. The mixture of herb, fruit and sugar accents the flavor of the liquor while reducing its harshness.
The history of the drink is just as mysterious as the origin of its name. Many believe “Mojito” stems from the Spanish word “Mojado” which simply means “wet,” while others think it comes from the African term “Mojo” which means “to cast a spell.” This complex thirst-quenching drink is iconic to Cuba, where many believe it originated. Pirates used the beverage for medicinal purposes to heal ailments, especially while traveling far distances on ships. It also might have been created by Cuban farmers who needed to cut the disgusting taste of “fire water,” the much harsher version of rum, with anything they could get in the fields. This usually consisted of cane sugar, mint or limes, as they were the most available in that region. Eventually the elite society discovered this drink and embellished the beverage with ice and soda water to make it more luxurious.
This drink is so popular that not only is it found in authentic Spanish-style restaurants but in almost any bar around the world. The most famous connoisseur of the magical Mojito is the notable author and even better known drinker, Ernest Hemingway. He even had a favorite restaurant in Florida he would visit specifically for their version of the sweet, herbed beverage. His famous handwritten words still hang on the restaurant’s wall, “My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daquiri in el Floridita.” Since mixology is becoming more popular every day, the basic make up of a Mojito can be substituted and switched around, guaranteeing a new, delicious twist around every corner.