Monday, September 21, 2020

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A Taste of Cuba

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Mojito drink or lemonade with lime and mint, selective focus

Mojito drink or lemonade with lime and mint, selective focus )

The mojito may very well be the unofficial drink of Cinco de Mayo. The refreshing blend of mint, lime, and rum is a warm weather favorite. And while the mojito is purported to have been popularized by author Ernest Hemingway, this rum-based cocktail finds its origin closer to the times of Sir Francis Drake.

According to legend, after a successful raid at Cartagena de Indias in 1586 Drake's ships set course for  Havana, Cuba. During the trip, however, the crew was struck by an outbreak of dysentery and scurvy. It was rumored that South American natives had remedies for  tropical illnesses so once near Havana a boarding party went ashore in search of a cure. The party retuned with ingredients for a medicine – aguardiente de caña (a crude form of rum), lime, sugarcane juice, and mint.  The lime juice alone would have cured the crew but the "medicine" quickly became a recreational drink that became known as El Draque after Francis Drake.

El Draque

2  oz. Cuban rum

6 mint leaves

2 tsp. sugar

1 lime

Drop a few leaves of mint into a Collins glass. Cut the lime into 8 pieces and drop all pieces into the glass. Add the sugar. Muddle the mint with the lime and sugar. Fill the glass with ice cubes and top with rum. Give the drink a quick stir and serve.


Laura Robida is the Digital Media Manager for Zip06. Email Laura at l.robida@shorepublishing.com.

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