This drink is widely believed to be created in cuba at La Bodeguita del medio in old havana in the mid 19th century. Let’s look at a few facts, This “Bar” appears to be more famous for it’s cooking rather than it’s drinking as seen in these publications:
Menu, La Bodeguita del Medio, Habana, Cuba in 1959
All around the world cookbook – Page 282 by Sheila Lukins in 1994
“first meal in Cuba was a great lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio in old Havana. One of my favorite dishes was mows y cristianos, mano a mano — Moors and Christians, hand to hand”
The timeframe is a bold lie. The “Mojito” name is only associated with a person prior to 1940, and not any person of any importance. This drink is a victim once again of a bar claiming to be it’s proprietor when it is obviously not. Many stories claim that this drink was a favorite of Hemingway’s, however, he never once wrote about his purported “favorite cocktail” which seems very odd.
The only evidence that he was ever there is reports of a sign either on the wall or hanging above the bar that supposively has his hand-writing on it as seen in these publications:
Sky juice and flying fish: traditional Caribbean cooking by Jessica B. Harris in 1991
“Some of the more famous hangouts of the era were Cuba’s La) Bodeguita del Medio, where autographed walls are a testimony to pre- Castro glory days. The Mojito, a rum, spearmint, and tonic water drink said to be a favorite of Ernest”
Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro’s Cuba – Page 168 by Tom Miller in 1996
“A sign hangs above the bar at La Bodeguita del Medio. In large, handwritten letters”
It is strange that the only piece of evidence supporting that Hemingway ever visited the location can not even be agreed upon. This only further validates that this “bar” obviously claimed this drink for themselves.
This drink is widely believed to contained lime juice and this may be because of the Daiquiri, much as we see with the Bacardi cocktail, the Mojito also never originally contained lime juice. Here are a few actual early printings of this drink:
Havana mañana: a guide to Cuba and the Cubans by Consuelo Kamholz Hermer, Marjorie May in 1941
“You, however, might like to try the native drink of mojito, which translates as “something a little wet.””
Lands of the inner sea, the West Indies and Bermuda by Walter Adolphe Roberts in 1948
“A mojito is made with Bacardi rum, aerated water, powdered sugar, and a sprig of mint.”
This drink dates between 1932 – 1940 and contained at least as of then:
Properly bruise the mint and place it in a highball glass
Pour these ingredients into the highball glass over the mint.
Rum (Bacardi as early as 1948)
Strain these ingredients using a julep strainer into an ice filled mixing tin, shake well.
Fill the highball glass with fresh ice cubes (crushed ice is a modern addition) over the seasoned mint.
Strain the mixing tin into the ice filled highball glass.
Add Seltzer Water (Club Soda)
Lime Juice(modern, introduced to the drink as early as 1979)
Angostura Bitters (Modern, Introduced to the drink as early as 1981)