When it comes to festive, summer cocktails, I like a margarita as much as the next gal, and I’ll certainly try a sip of rum punch at a pool party. But if I had to choose my favorite summer refresher to sip under the sun, I’d say a mojito every single time. That’s because this cocktail is fresh and citrusy without being overly sweet. The classic mojito drink recipe is just a few simple ingredients: light rum, mint, lime, club soda and a dash of sugar. On a hot day, that’s the precise combo I’m craving poolside.
The good news is you don’t need to be at some tropical resort or fantastic tiki bar to get the perfect mojito. Making one at home is pretty simple—and it’s a great way to use up that bumper crop of mint from your herb garden.
Before You Start: A Word About Rum
In this recipe, be sure to use a light rum. Light rum helps keep this drink—and other tropical drinks like pina coladas—light and refreshing. Golden and dark rums tend to have stronger flavors that are better suited for bolder cocktails or baking (love these rum-soaked recipes). Also, don’t use spiced rum in a mojito. The spices will overwhelm the fresh citrus and herbaceous flavors.
How to Make a Mojito at Home
- 2 lime wedges
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 mint sprigs
- 2 ounces light rum
- 1/2 cup club soda
- Mint and lime slices to garnish
Step 1: Grab your muddler
The first step to a good mojito is muddling. Muddling is just mashing ingredients in the bottom of a cocktail glass to help release their flavors.
In the case of this classic mojito recipe, you start by squeezing the juice from two lime wedges into the bottom of a Collins glass (though your favorite cocktail glass will do just fine). Add in the wedges and two teaspoons of sugar and muddle with a cocktail muddler.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t have a muddler? No problem. A small wooden spoon will do the job just as well.
Step 2: Press the mint
Next, grab some fresh mint leaves and press them into the side of the glass. A gentle press with the side of a wooden spoon or muddler is all you need to release all that refreshing flavor.
Editor’s Tip: Be sure to only use the leaves from the mint and not the stems. The stems can be bitter and that’s not a flavor you want in your mojito.
Step 3: Top It Off
Finish off this drink by filling the glass with ice. Then add two ounces of light rum and top off with club soda. Use a long spoon to give this a quick stir, then finish off with mint and a lime wedge to garnish.
I think this cocktail is best sipped outside—next to a pool or on the beach is best. It’s a great match for these cool finger foods, too.
Put Your Own Twist on the Original Mojito Recipe
The classic mojito is simple and delicious. It’s also a great springboard for making your own mojito creations. Try these variations on the original mojito recipe:
- Try tequila: An easy way to switch up the mojito formula is to swap out the rum and use tequila instead.
- Swap the citrus: Lime is a great match for mint, but so are lemon, orange and grapefruit.
- Add berries: Boost the flavor of this cocktail by adding berries in addition to or instead of lime. We’ve got great recipes for a blackberry version and a blueberry option right here.
- Make it tropical with mango: Want this drink to really take you on a vacation? Try muddling some mango with the lime.
- Or make it tropical with coconut: Try coconut rum in place of light rum. For some extra coconut flavor, top with coconut-flavored sparkling water or coconut water.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.