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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Mojito Criollo and the Mojito
Mojito Criollo and the Mojito
thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2006-09-12 5:16 pm   Permalink

Hi All,

Can anyone tell me anything about the Mojito Criollo, or the Mojito itself?

Also, does anyone know anything about the Draquecito that the Mojito was derived from?



Cheers!

George S.


g.sinclair[at]yahoo.co.uk

http://www.wiki.webtender.com/wiki/

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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5509
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-03-31 10:54 am   Permalink

I was researching Mijoto's so came across the Mojito Criollo recipe and thought I would post it here.

Ingredients:
Several sprigs fresh mint
Peel of 1 small lemon, without the white pith
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup crushed ice
2 ounces Bacardi light rum
Sparkling mineral water to taste

Directions:
In a mortar, crush the mint leaves. Combine the leaves and the remaining ingredients, except the mineral water, in a cocktail shaker, stir well to release the mint aroma, pour without straining into a tall glass, and top with sparkling mineral water.
Makes 1 drink

And now for some Mojito history.

You probably haven't had many history lessons that started with pillaging the Caribbean and ended with a delicious cocktail. But that's one of the things that makes the mojito so unique. The mojito may have a trendy reputation outside of Cuba; however, its origins are anything but chic. Amidst the stories floating about, we have unveiled the facts, discarded blatant lies, sifted through half-truths, and concluded that the drink now known as the mojito probably originated in Havana sometime in the late 19th century and gained popularity beginning in the 1930s.

Enter the pirates…
A mojito-like beverage may have existed much earlier, perhaps as far back as the late 1500s. Legend has it that Richard Drake, an English pirate, concocted a beverage similar to the mojito by mixing aguardiente (an unrefined rum), sugar, lime, and mint. He coined the drink "El Draque" (meaning "the dragon") after the nickname of his head honcho, Sir Francis Drake, who made a career of terrorizing South America and the Caribbean. Drake used Cuba as a base island, which is seemingly how the drink arrived there. The Draque cocktail can also be found in some other Latin American countries, including Mexico, Columbia, and Venezuela - likely a tribute to Drake's plundering of those countries.

El Draque, also referred to as the "Draquecito" or "little dragon," became a popular drink among the working-class in Cuba as far back as the early 19th century. Cuban story-teller Ramón de Palma referred to the Draquecito in an 1838 book; the main character drank one of the cocktails daily as a preventive medicine.

The Great Debate
Some historians suggest that slaves working in Cuban sugar cane fields in the late 19th century invented the mojito. In fact, this story seems to be related to or, more likely, confused with the origin of the daiquiri, the popular Cuban cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and sugar.

Nevertheless, African slaves may have played some part in the mojito's history: the slaves seemingly contributed to naming guarapo (sugar cane juice), the sweet nectar that is so vital to the taste of the mojito. African slaves working in Cuban sugar cane fields longed for a drink from their homeland, made from corn and yucca. As a substitute, they crushed sugar cane stalks, releasing and drinking the sweet liquid. The Spanish referred to this juice as jarabe, meaning "nectar" or "syrup." The Africans, not knowing Spanish, understood this word as "garapa." Thinking that the slaves were saying "guarapo," the Cubans created this Spanish word for sugar cane juice.

Reality Bites
Apart from drinking jarabe, or the newly-termed guarapo, slaves often drank aguardiente as an escape. The stories attributing the invention of the mojito to slaves who were said to have mixed aguardiente with guarapo likely confuses these two anecdotes. The origin of the mojito has also been confused with the origin of the daiquiri, which some say was invented by engineers working in Daiquiri, a beach near Santiago, Cuba.

Interestingly, the famous French chef and historian Brillat-Savarin mentions sugar cane juice in his 1825 encyclopedic treatise Physiology of Taste, in which he compiles and discusses food, cooking, and eating. As sugar cane production modernized, guarapo was fermented and purified with lime (the mineral, not the fruit!), resulting in the modern form of guarapo. Cubans drank guarapo served over ice as a refreshing drink. Enjoyed throughout many Latin cultures, guarapo is still served in many Latin cafeterias. Freshly pressed guarapo

Guarapo is also the forefather to rum, because juice pressed from sugar cane can be distilled into rum. Since sugar cane (and eventually rum) were widely available in Cuba, the country understandably became known for its sweet, rum-based drinks, like the daiquiri. Interestingly, in Havana, the daiquiri, not the mojito, was the drink of choice. The daiquiri became popular in Havana before the mojito, even though the mojito's predecessor, the Draque, was being knocked back long before the daiquiri entered the scene.

Since the daiquiri consists of rum, lime juice, sugar and shaved ice, some suggest that the mojito simply evolved from the daiquiri. Some of the bars popular in Havana at the time of the Cuban dawn of the mojito were La Floridita (most famous for the daiquiri), Sloppy Joe's, and Hotel Sevilla. The bars that served the daiquiri eventually offered the mojito. Although the ingredients are similar, the preparation of the mojito (what makes it so special) is very different from the daiquiri.

Other counts of the drink's inception consider the mojito an offspring of Kentucky's mint julep, which is made with bourbon, sugar, and mint. In fact, the mojito (or its ancestor) is likely the forerunner to the mint julep we so love to drink in Kentucky. The first mint julep was made with rum, not bourbon. In Stanley Arthur Clisby's 1937 book, Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em, he provides a recipe for a rum mint julep, calling it the original mint julep that arrived in Louisiana in 1793 at the same time white aristocrats expelled from San Domingo settled in New Orleans.

Timeless...
The earliest "mojito" recipes we have found are from 1931 and 1936 editions of a Sloppy Joe's Bar Manual. Cuban story-teller Federico Villoch also mentioned a recipe for the mojito in a 1940 book. Angel Martinez opened La Bodeguita del Medio in 1942 as a general store and later converted it into a restaurant and bar in 1946, where the mojito is claimed to have gained popularity in Havana. Frequenting the bar were students, musicians, and soon-to-be celebrities, including Ernest Hemingway, Bridget Bardot, and Nat King Cole. The bar is now a popular tourist stop in Havana. Hemingway's home in Key West

Just 90 miles from Cuba, Key West eventually embraced the mojito. Due to their geographic proximity, there was a history of people traveling between Cuba and Key West - the rise of the Cuban cigar industry in the late 19th century in Key West and the transportation of beer and rum from Cuba during Prohibition. Perhaps Ernest Hemingway, a supposed mojito drinker, was partly responsible for introducing the drink to Key West, as he moved to Key West in 1928 and was known to have spent a great deal of time between Cuba and Key West in the 1930s. Sloppy Joe's opened its Key West location in 1933, about the time mojitos were probably first being served. Interestingly, Hemingway was a friend and fishing buddy of Joe Russell, the owner of Sloppy Joe's.

The mojito made its way to Miami and, made popular by the trendy South Beach scene, has become the drink of choice in other metropolitan areas such as New York and San Francisco by patrons seeking the classic cocktail. The trend in Nuevo Latino cuisine in the early 1990s also increased public exposure to the cocktail. Now sailing across the world via this website, the mojito is finally receiving the attention it deserves!
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5509
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-03-31 11:23 am   Permalink

I made a Mojito recently, and think it is an acquired taste....kinda like the Mint Julep...something cold and refreshing that is a sipping drink. I just got a really beautiful Mojito set, I purchased the pitcher and 12 glasses, and must say they are absolutely gorgeous and a high-quality product that is a good fit for your classy home bar. I bought a muddler too, but the one I got is too short for the glasses and the pitcher so gonna have to get a different one.

Here are a few recipies that came with my bar ware.

MOJITO

~build in shaker
a couple of ice cubes
11 mint leaves
1 oz sugar water
juice of 1/2 lime
~muddle, crush well
add a couple ice cubes
2 oz light rum
1/2 oz orange liquor (gonna use this recipe for the orange liquor throwdown)
~shake well and strain into glass with ice
2 oz lemon-lime soda
~stir and garnish with mint and lime

ORANGE MOJITO OPTION (for above recipe)
substitute orange-flavored rum and add juice of 1/4 orange

==========================================================================
MOJITO DE COCO

~build in shaker
a couple of ice cubes
11 mint leaves
1/2 oz sugar water
juice of 1/4 lime
~muddle/crush well
add a couple ice cubes
2 oz tropical flavored rum
3/4 oz pineapple liqueur
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
~shake well and strain into glass with ice
2 oz lemon-lime soda
~stir and garnish with mint and pineapple

=================================================================================
MOJITO DE MELON

~build in shaker
a couple of ice cubes
11 mint leaves
3/4 oz sugar water
juice of 1/4 lime
4 pieces of ripe watermelon
~muddle/crush well
add a couple ice cubes
2 oz light rum
1 1/2 oz sour watermelon liqueur
~shake well and strain into glass with ice
2 oz lemon-lime soda
~stir and garnish with mint and watermelon

_________________
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"


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thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2007-03-31 11:49 am   Permalink

I would love to know if all this pre-mojito history is true. There doesn't seem to be any mention of the Mojito, or similarly named, or constructed, drinks before 1930. So it is possible that the Mojito is a prohibition era drink, a Rum Mint Julep brought to Cuba and made with native ingredients.

Thanks for all the info, much appreciated.

http://wiki.webtender.com/wiki/Mojito


Cheers!

George


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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5509
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-03-31 12:47 pm   Permalink

Just gonna post a few links here (I will have to read them later though) so let me know if they are of any help.

http://www.mojitocompany.com/home.php?xid=52fe3ff4efd7f14f991f6c55da335021

http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/cuban-mojito-history-and-recipe/

http://cookingresources.suite101.com/article.cfm/mojitossambaroom

http://my.opera.com/Bozinsek/blog/show.dml/294205

http://www.acats.org/drinkdatabase/showdrink.htm?id=960

http://www.bacardimojito.com/default.aspx

http://www.perfectmojito.com/history.html

http://www.driftlab.com/mojito/main.swf

http://www.foodster.net/2004/04/mojito.html
_________________
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DemeraraDrinker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 28, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2007-04-01 08:02 am   Permalink

Here is a short article about how they make them in Havana from a friend of mine. At some bars, they use a manual crank sugarcane press. They press the juice out of cane and use the juice instead of sugar.

http://www.liquoranddrink.com/Articles/11-Mojitos-in-Havana/


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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5509
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-04-01 12:22 pm   Permalink

Thanks for that link. I went looking for the Havana rum and found info on purchasing this.
http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=1166
http://www.havana-club.com/index.php?ID=449

_________________
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thinkingbartender
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 62
From: London, England
Posted: 2007-04-04 05:59 am   Permalink

DemeraraDrinker,

The only person that I know of that uses a sugar cane press is Albert Trummer; And he is definitely not Cuban.

Who, in cuba, uses a sugar cane press? I don't think anybody does.


Cheers!

George
_________________


 
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DemeraraDrinker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 28, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2007-04-04 08:44 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-04 05:59, thinkingbartender wrote:
DemeraraDrinker,

The only person that I know of that uses a sugar cane press is Albert Trummer; And he is definitely not Cuban.

Who, in cuba, uses a sugar cane press? I don't think anybody does.

Cheers!

George




This guy in a Havana hotel does...


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Liquor and Drink

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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1237
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2007-04-04 09:01 am   Permalink

Quote:

African slaves working in Cuban sugar cane fields longed for a drink from their homeland, made from corn and yucca.



Somehow I doubt that a native African drink back then would have been made from New World ingredients like corn and yucca.


 
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