As the weather warms up, many of us are looking forward to sitting on a patio or lounging by the pool with a refreshing cocktail in hand. Two classic options that come to mind are the Mojito and Margarita. While both are delicious, they have distinct differences that make them unique. In this blog post, we’ll do a comparison of the Mojito vs Margarita and provide you with the ultimate comparison of these two classic cocktails.
These summer drink recipes are two of the most popular drinks in the United States. You will learn everything you need to know to decide which of these favorite cocktails is right for you.
Table of Contents
History of Margarita
The Mojito is a Cuban cocktail that dates back to the 16th century. It was originally made with lime, sugar, and mint, and was a popular drink among pirates and sailors. Today, it is typically made with white rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, club soda, and mint.
History of Mojito
The Margarita is a Mexican cocktail that is believed to have originated in the 1930s or 1940s. Its exact origins are unclear, but it is widely believed to have been created by a bartender named Carlos “Danny” Herrera. It is typically made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
Both cocktails are made with a sour element lime juice and a sweet element – sugar for the mojito and orange liqueur for the margarita – and that’s where the similarities end. Each cocktail has their own distinct flavor profiles.
The Mojito has a refreshing and crisp flavor profile. The combination of mint, lime, and rum creates a balance of sweetness and acidity. The club soda adds a slight fizziness that makes it even more refreshing.
The traditional mojito cocktail is one of the most refreshing cocktails, especially on hot summer days. The fresh mint leaves and lime is naturally cooling and especially when there are variations like Cucumber Mojito, with even more cooling properties.
The Margarita, on the other hand, has a tangy and citrusy flavor. The tequila gives it a distinct smoky flavor, while the lime juice adds a tartness that balances out the sweet and tangy undertones of the triple sec.
The main difference between the different drinks is that the Mojito Drink is made with rum, while the Margarita is made with tequila.
At a Mexican restaurant or bars, you will now encounter many flavored variations of the Margarita or the Mojito cocktail. However, you need to learn the classic recipe and then it’s easy to put your own flavored twist on it.
How to Make a Classic Margarita
Margarita’s are usually served in a margarita glass or a martini glass. Although if it served on the rocks, a lowball (on the rocks glass) will be used.
- After the tequila, lime juice, Cointreau/Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur) are shaken in a tumbler with ice cubes, the cocktail is poured into a salt-rimmed glass.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime.
How to Make a Classic Mojito
Mojito’s are usually served in a highball glass.
- The fresh mint leaves are muddled with raw sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. (lots of bars for ease will make it with simple sugar or sugar cane juice, but it has so much more flavor if you use the sugar. It is best to use pure cane sugar.)
- Add ice, rum and lime juice and shake it up in the tumbler.
- Pour into a highball glass and top it off with the club soda.
- Garnish with lime and a sprig of mint.
Although there are classic recipes, you will encounter many different flavors of the classic cocktail at cocktail lounges and restaurants.
Even the salted rim allows for variation. It is often rimmed with chili pepper or tajin or any variety of flavored salts or sugars,
The flavored versions can be achieved in several different ways:
- For the mojito, you can add additional ingredients when muddling for different flavors. You can add cucumber, jalapeno or chopped fruit/ fruit pulp.
- For the margarita, add 2 oz. of your favorite fruit pulp/puree and add 1 more oz. of tequila. (You can also use this method for the mojito, replacing the additional tequila with additional rum instead).
- You can also add 1-2 oz. of flavored simple syrup that has been infused with things like jalapeno, hibiscus, thyme and other herbs or spices.
Here are two variations you might like to try:
You don’t have to be a skilled bartender to make a delicious drink, however, her are a few common mistakes you want to avoid when making these summer drinks.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Do not over muddle the mint when making the mojito. The leaves should only be slightly bruised. Over muddling can lead to bitter notes to come out. This bitterness will destroy the refreshing flavor of the mojito.
- Using low-quality ingredients: Both cocktails rely on fresh, high-quality ingredients, such as fresh lime juice, good quality tequila or rum, and fresh herbs. Using inferior ingredients will result in an inferior drink.
Is a mojito healthier than a margarita?
The margarita has less calories and sugar content than the mojito. However, tequila has a higher alcohol content.
Both cocktails have the perfect combination of sour, tangy, sweet and alcohol, however, the margarita is a stronger cocktail as tequila has a higher alcohol % than rum has. Rum is distilled from sugarcane, whereas tequila is distilled from the agave plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which cocktail is stronger, the Mojito or the Margarita?
Since tequila has a higher alcoholic content than rum, the margarita is stronger.
Can I make a virgin version of the Mojito or Margarita?
Yes the alcohol can be replaced with more lime juice, club soda or fruit puree/ fruit juice for flavored variations. If you are using additional lime juice, you will have to add more sugar/ simple syrup to compensate for the increased quantity of sour lime juice.
Is it necessary to use fresh lime juice in the Mojito and Margarita, or can I use bottled lime juice?
There really is no comparison between fresh lime juice and bottled lime juice. The refreshing flavor of fresh lime juice loses much of its fresh, tangy flavor when commercially produced in jars that have been stored for an extended period of time.
What type of rum is best for making a mojito?
A classic mojito is made with white rum, but you can used aged rum for more depth of flavor.
What type of tequila is best for making a margarita?
Tequila Blanco (white tequila) or Silver Tequila, which is unaged, is traditional when making a classic margarita. However, if want to add some smoky notes, you can use Tequila Reposado, which is aged 2-12 months.
So which alcoholic drink is right for you?
The short answer comes down to the flavor profile and the alcoholic content. If you prefer a stronger drink, then the Margarita will be your summer cocktail of choice. However, if you prefer something light and refreshing, then I think your best bet is to go with the minty Mojito.
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