Three fresh mint sprigs - the best sprigs are slightly 'woody' from old established plants rather that from the young plants where they are 'greener'

Two tablespoons of sugar - white cane sugar, or better yet some sugar cane

One whole lime - lime is best but half a lemon will do

Chilled soda water - it should be really cold, just above freezing point

Ice cubes

A shot of white silver dry rum - Havana Club Anjeo Blanco Silver Dry if you want some real authenticity but Bacardi Carta Blanca works well; however any white rum will do



Place two of the sprigs of mint into a tall glass using a spoon and lightly crush them around the inside of the glass; not too hard though, just enough to release the mint flavours.

Add the sugar and the juice of half a lime. Give it a quick stir and fill the glass with ice.


Next, add the shot of rum (remember the shots are often quite generous in Cuba) then fill to the top with soda water and stir.

Finally, take the last sprig of mint and roughly rip the leaves off, use them as a garnish with a slice of lime to top it off, sit back and enjoy.


Alternative Versions


Being quite an old cocktail there are a number of alternative recipes about; a favourite is to replace the white rum with dark rum; the better the rum, the nicer the end result. If you try this method brown sugar tends to suit the drink more than white sugar. Other alternatives that work well are to use citrus flavour white rums or to add a dash of bitters at the end of the mix; again try to use Angostura Bitters from Trinidad and Tobago for that authentic Caribbean feel. Finally try different juices instead of the normal lime or lemon. Other citrus fruits are the obvious choice here but passion fruit and pineapple also work. Just remember, whatever you do always use fresh mint as it tastes so much better.