The simplicity of the Mojito allows high-quality ingredients to shine. Choose a high quality rum, like Ten to One, that is thoughtfully made and pair it with freshly squeezed lime juice, and all-natural simple syrup to elevate this drink. Plus, a splash of bubbly water to top off the drink helps keep this highball a bit less boozy, making it a great contender for an afternoon sipping. 

Photo: Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter
1 drink

The Mojito is perhaps the cocktail most associated with a particular technique. This classic cocktail gets its signature look and vibrant herbaceous flavor from mint leaves that are muddled in the bottom of a glass or shaker. A muddler is a pestle-like tool, often with a blunt, textured base, that helps break down herbs, fruit, and spices to release their flavor and essential oils. While a muddler serves an essential function, and a good one can seriously up the quality of your cocktail, in a pinch a few other kitchen basics will work in its stead: Try the handle of a wide wooden spoon, a dowel, or even the end of a French-style rolling pin. For a good Mojito, it's key to break down the mint leaves without mashing them to a pulp. Strong, even pressure to press the leaves will express their minty, fragrant essential oils without overworking the leaves.

Once the leaves are muddled, the mint gets combined with rum, lime, and sugar, all ingredients local to the cocktail's country of origin: Cuba. Like many classic cocktails, the Mojito's history is unclear and largely unconfirmed. And, like many rum-based cocktails coming out of the Caribbean, often seen as 'Vacation Cocktails' for Americans and Europeans, with a mainstream story whitewashed by a long colonial history of the region. The mojito, a cocktail born out of the Caribbean, is often associated with Ernest Hemingway who had the cocktail in Cuba, and made with rum whose bottles tout colonial motifs like pirate ships and plantations.

Nowadays, rum-makers are actively changing the narrative of the historic spirit through delicious sips and thoughtful storytelling. Enter in: Marc Farrell. "[Farrell] noticed how the spirit's portrayal in the U.S. was entirely different from his experience in the Caribbean culture he'd grown up with," writes Yolanda Evans. "The tired marketing tropes popular in the States — British Navy references and pirates and plantations — inspired him to reframe the story of rum through the lens of his Caribbean heritage." Farrell owns Ten to One rum, just one of a handful of black-owned rum brands you can find in the United States. While Farrell is from Trinidad, he founded Ten to One with the intention, according to Evans, of "tell[ing] a pan-Caribbean story, celebrating different distillation methods, different terroirs, and different profiles in a single bottle." For a creamier take on the classic mojito, try Farrell's Coconut Mojito recipe which features luscious coconut cream.


  • 5 mint leaves, plus one sprig for garnish

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum (such as Bacardi)

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

  • 1 1/2 ounces chilled club soda

  • Ice


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle 7 of the mint sprigs with the 3 lime quarters and Simple Syrup. Add ice and the rum; shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with the soda and bitters. Garnish with the lime wedge and remaining mint sprig.

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