HAVANA, 14 June “A mojito is one of Cuba’s oldest cocktails — it comes from the African word mojo, which means to place a little spell.”
As history has shown, a spell has indeed been cast. Legendary American author Ernest Hemingway loved mojitos and helped make them famous with his presence at Havana’s La Boguedito del Medio, as well as in Key West, Florida.
While the author of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea” had the right idea, he wasn’t the only one who helped put them on the culinary map.
Pierce Brosnan drank a mojito as James Bond in “Die Another Day, and the drink made an appearance in “Miami Vice,” as well as “The Rum Diary” starring Johnny Depp. The mojito has become a signature staple in both Latin and American cuisine, incorporating fresh ingredients like lime, mint, sugar and rum. Numerous versions incorporate passion fruit, which reaches peak popularity during the summertime. “Let’s start with the fact that mojitos are a combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus, and mint flavors that emerged as a perfect complement to the hot, sticky weather of the Caribbean,” “Rum, perhaps one of the world’s first distilled spirits is made from sugarcane. And the largest producer of sugarcane and rum in the 18th and 19th centuries was Cuba.” “Mojitos quickly became the drink of choice in Havana and have remained so through many generations,”. Legend has it that it was discovered by an English pirat Richard Drake who were on a mission to find gold in Cuba.“Bacardi traces the drink’s roots to 1586, when Francis Drake and his pirates tried to sack Havana for its gold. While the invasion was unsuccessful, Drake’s associate, Richard Drake, was said to have invented a mojito-like cocktail known as ‘El Draque’ made with aguardiente (a crude forerunner of rum), sugar, lime and mint. Early on, it was consumed for medicinal purposes. “Around the mid-1800s, the recipe was altered and gained in popularity as the original Bacardi Company was established. In 1940, Cuban playwright and poet Federico Villoch proclaimed: “When aquardiente was replaced with rum, the Draque was to be called a Mojito. Other accounts suggest that slaves working in Cuban sugar cane fields in the late 19th century invented the mojito.”