An idiot-proof mojito recipe for summer and beyond

Sam @ Copperpot Bar


An idiot-proof Mojito recipe for you to make in the sunshine

Another heatwave, another summer drink recipe for you to slurp down on a hot summer’s day. This time we’re paying a visit to one of the most iconic drinks you’re ever likely to come across, the Mojito.

As is often the case with some of the simplest drinks, a good version is amazing, but some of the versions of this drink that have been served over the years have been astonishingly bad. A friend of mine once recounted to me a story wherein he asked for a mojito and was served a dubious concoction based on lime cordial and mint sauce.

Our recipe focuses on being easy to balance and quick to make, and whilst we’re at it, we’re going to keep you away from some of the most common pitfalls that bartenders make when cooking up a mojo. Our preferred style for this drink is light, crisp and refreshing, so we eschew brown sugar and dark rums in search of lighter flavours.

To make a great mojito, you will need:

  • Fresh mint – 6 to 8 leaves and a few nice, proud sprigs. Keep your mint moist and cold in order for it to survive as long as possible. Even better, pick it from the garden if you have the option. Peppermint works better than spearmint, although it’s not make or break.
  • 1:1 sugar syrup – For some unknown reason, people still insist on using granular sugar in mojitos. I’m sure it’s a nice tribute to what the drink used to be when it was an el draque, but in a modern bartending context, it’s simply not as good. Grains of sugar in the bottom of a drink are inexcusable, and getting it all to melt is a pain.
  • Fresh lime juice, juiced in advance or a la minute doesn’t matter.
  • White rum – Something light and crisp works best. Our favourites here would be Flor de Cana 4 or Plantation 3* although Bacardi carta blanca makes a great deputy in their stead.
  • Crushed ice – If you can only get cubes, wrap them in a tea-towel and go to town with a rolling pin. Voila.
  • A tall glass – the taller the better, and a straw to fit.
  • A long spoon, or stirrer. A bar spoon is the perfect thing for this. If you don’t have one of those, grab a fork for churning.
  • An optional dash of soda water.


  • Take your mint leaves, put them in your palm and give them a good slap. This will release the oils and aromas. You can try this by smelling your mint before and afterwards, the difference is massive.
  • Combine the mint leaves into your glass with 15ml of sugar syrup and 15ml of lime juice. You don’t need to muddle (crush) your mint leaves at the bottom of the glass, or add any solid limes. The aim of this drink is to keep it light and refreshing, mint leaves get very bitter when you shred/break them and the bitterness of crushed lime peels will only detract from what we’re trying to achieve.
  • Add a good 50ml measure of your rum of choice to your mint, lime and sugar.
  • Fill your glass halfway with crushed ice, and churn with your barspoon or fork substitute.
  • Churn for about a minute until the ice starts to melt. This is really important as every drink needs dilution and this is more or less all of the dilution your drink is going to get.
  • Keep adding crushed ice and churning the drink through. The churning process will impart the drink with a light minty flavour, chilling and mixing the drink all the way through.
  • You can optionally add a dash of soda or sparkling water to the top of your drink. This will thin it out slightly and make it more refreshing at the cost of intensity of flavour. We leave this up to you.
  • Cap with a bit more crushed ice, chuck in your straw and garnish with a proud mint sprig or three. Remember, approximately 70% of what you taste is carried through your nose, so a big minty garnish will make all the difference.
  • Find some friends and some sunshine and enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed making a great mojito with our little guide. Let us know how you get on and send us some photos @copperpotbar on Twitter, Insta and Facebook. Give us a share if you enjoy our content and sign up to our mailing list for great exclusive recipes and news.

Enjoy the sunshine,


Copperpot Bar.


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