Traditionally, a mojito is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice,sparkling water, and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular on the island. Its combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus, and mint flavors is intended to complement the potent kick of the rum, and have made this clear highball a popular summer drink. The cocktail has a relatively low alcohol content (about 10 percent alcohol by volume).
When preparing a mojito, lime juice is added to sugar (or syrup) and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with amuddler. The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils and should not be shredded. Then rum is added and the mixture is briefly stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint leaves up from the bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with whole ice cubes and sparkling soda water. Mint leaves and lime wedges are used to garnish the glass.