iStock_000074320425_Small

First made popular in Havana, Cuba, this sweet and refreshing cocktail was brought to Miami from an island famous for its rum production. It has since become a drink that is universally associated with the tropics, and there is no place better to get one than right here:

The Ingredients

A mojito is traditionally made by adding lime juice to sugar (or even better, sugarcane juice) along with mint leaves, preferably spearmint. These ingredients are mashed together with a muddler to bruise the mint leaves and release the essential oils within. Next, the main ingredient—white rum—is added, and the cocktail is finished off with a bit of ice and sparkling water.

The History

Some say that the first recorded mojito was made on the ship of Sir Francis Drake, the famous English Navy captain. His crew was suffering an epidemic of scurvy and dysentery after a successful battle in Granada. They stopped in Cuba and asked the natives for help and were given the ingredients mentioned above, minus the sparkling water and ice of course. The remedy worked, and the drink then came to be known as “El Draque.” Nobody knows for sure, but it is believed the drink later adopted the name mojo—a word describing a type of spell or charm from West African folk lore.

Today, you can get a mojito just about anywhere in Miami Beach, but we have a few top notch picks of our own.

Larios on the Beach

This classic South Beach spot will make you feel “so Miami” with the Latin music, Cuban cuisine, and, of course, the selection of 11 mojitos on the menu. In addition to the traditional, there are a mix of flavored mojitos like guava, watermelon, mango, and more. Our favorite is the Cojito Mojito, which includes pineapple juice, pina colada mix, coconut Bacardi Rum, and a coconut flake rim! The best part is that each drink comes with a stick of real sugarcane for you to gnaw on as you observe the hustle and bustle of life on Ocean Drive.

Tap Tap Restaurant

The Haitian community is an important part of Miami’s culture, so you would be remiss if you didn’t try South Beach’s go-to spot for Haitian cuisine. Tap Tap is known for the classic island fare as well as award-winning mojitos. What makes them so special is the use of dark Barbancourt Haitian Rhum, aged 4, 8, or 12 years, your choice.

SUSHISAMBA

The mixture of Brazilian, Japanese, and Peruvian influences at this Lincoln Road establishment offers a dizzying array of delectable bites and cocktails. If you look past the caipirinhas, sake, and pisco sours you will find that they make a very good mojito as well. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, go for the Mojito Supremo made with 21-year-old Panamanian Zafra rum and fresh fruit, topped with Zonin Prosecco.

Image @lariosotb