Mojito magic: Wow your party guests with a DIY mojito bar

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Mojitos are alluring, minty and refreshing rum cocktails that taste like summer in a glass, and a DIY mojito bar at a party is a great way to share those vacation vibes with your guests. 

mandarin tangerine mojito

When you learn how to craft the ideal mojito bar with the right tools and the ultimate accouterments, you’ll have all the makings of a successful drink station your guests won’t soon forget. 

When the summer heat is at an all-time high, the mojito is the perfect cocktail to cool down with. Plus, they’re a great way to use up fresh mint from your herb garden

These zesty, minty-fresh rum drinks from Cuba work well for summer parties because you can set up a drink station for guests to build their perfect cocktail. 

Guests will love the interactive quality of a DIY mojito bar, building their own flavor combinations and learning how to make the classic mojito cocktail at home. 

“A traditional mojito is fantastic and refreshing and, just like margaritas, they taste delicious frozen and muddled. It’s my go-to summer drink and the sole reason I grow mint in my garden.”
— Michelle Price, Honest and Truly

 mojito collage

Mojito bar ingredients

For a successful mojito bar, you may want to set out place cards to identify ingredients as well as a small sign with recipes, so guests can make drinks on their own. 

Here’s what you will need to grab from the grocery store for a mojito bar: 

  • Quality rum options
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh limes
  • Simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Ice cubes

You’ll also want to set out some bowls with mojito garnishes and mix-ins, such as additional mint sprigs, other fresh herbs and slices of lime. A few types of fresh fruit are fun to mix in, such as lemon slices, berries or watermelon. 

“After sipping mojitos while traveling through Cuba, it totally changed my perspective on how refreshing this simple cocktail could be. Although the ingredients for a traditional mojito are relatively straightforward, when blended perfectly, they are a dangerously sippable summer drink perfect for hot days.”
— Kita Roberts, Pass the Sushi

Best rum for mojitos

White rum, also known as light rum or silver rum, is the kind of rum used in the classic mojito. 

However, serving a few options will let guests experiment to build their perfect drink. You can make a dirty mojito with gold rum or a spiced mojito with spiced rum. 

Adding a zero-proof rum for virgin mojitos to the lineup is a great way to help non-drinking guests feel included in this interactive party activity. 

When choosing bottles for a party, aim for a mid-tier brand like Bacardi, Cruzan or Plantation. 

Essentials for a mojito bar

You’ll also need a few tools for the job. A muddler is a must for smashing mint leaves to release the flavor with the other drink ingredients. 

Also, leave out a jigger, an hourglass-shaped tool that allows for accurate ounce measurements for cocktails. Be sure to set out a bar spoon, straws or swizzle sticks for guests to stir their drinks. 

For glassware, set out a set of highball glasses, mason jars or tumblers. Mojitos are tall drinks, so a larger glass is ideal. Straws are also ideal for both sipping and stirring. 

Pink Mojito
pink mojito ingredients

How to make a mojito

The mojito is an easy cocktail for both bartending beginners and advanced mixologists to put together. 

To make a mojito, first, decide if you’d like the mint leaves and fruit in the glass or if you’d prefer a version free of pulp, seeds and bits of herbs. For a cleaner-looking cocktail, you can prepare it in a cocktail shaker and strain the liquid into the glass, holding back the herbs and fruit. 

If you are making a mojito in the cocktail shaker: First add a handful of mint and top with an ounce of lime juice and simple syrup, as well as any other fruits or herbs. Use the blunt end of the muddler to press into the mint leaves and release the aroma, essential oils and flavor. Then, top with two ounces of rum, add ice and shake to combine. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, add a splash of club soda and, finally, garnish it with mint and a lime wedge. 

If you are making a mojito in the glass: Add mint to a highball glass. Top with an ounce of lime juice and simple syrup, as well as any other fruits or herbs. Use the blunt end of the muddler to press into the mint leaves and release the aroma, essential oils and flavor. Then, top with two ounces of rum and stir. Add ice and a splash of club soda. Garnish it with mint and a lime wedge. 

Write a simplified version of instructions on a small chalkboard or a piece of framed paper so that guests can feel comfortable following along. 

Mojito variations

The mojito is easy for guests to customize. Provide guests with a variety of options so they can dream up their own unique combinations. 

Here are a few ways to mix things up: 

  • Adjust the sweetness levels by adding more or less simple syrup. 
  • Incorporate fruit such as fresh berries, pineapples or peaches.
  • Experiment with different types of mint, such as spearmint or chocolate mint, and other herbs, like basil or thyme. 
  • Try using different types of rum, such as gold rum or spiced rum. 

Tips for a successful mojito bar

Prepare what you can ahead of time. Pre-squeeze lime juice and either make or buy simple syrup. A mint simple syrup is a great shortcut that lets guests bypass the muddling of the mint. If you go this route, you should still serve mint as a garnish for presentation and fragrance. 

Set up an area of your home or backyard, such as a bar cart, table or countertop, where you’ll have all the ingredients and tools. Keep ice in an ice bucket nearby.

Be sure to provide a mocktail option for non-drinkers. Make non-alcoholic mojitos by skipping the rum or by substituting a zero-proof spirit. 

Encourage drinking in moderation and provide water for guests to stay hydrated. 

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

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