The drink has been around for a while. In David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948), it merits a tiny mention under the Collinses category:
PEDRO COLLINS or RUM COLLINS Use Cuban rum, either white or gold label.
The Rum Collins, decorated with sprigs of mint, is sometimes called a MOJITO (moe-hee’-toe).
Somewhere along the line, however, I’d gotten a girly vibe about the drink and began to place it in the same group as the Cosmopolitan and the Appletini. Maybe it was the menu at Cafe Deluxe, which carries a Strawberry Mojito drink special.
But Michael Ruhlman isn’t having any of it. “This is a fabulous cocktail to make in the summer when the mint is taking over the garden and the heat calls out for a cooling rum drink,” he writes. “Again, I love the effect of the pulverized mint, the powerful minty flavor it brings to the sweet/sour lime, and the vivid, good-for-you greenness. Old school is simply to muddle the sugar and mint. I’ve never liked the scraps of mint floating dirtily in the clear rum, sticking inelegantly to the teeth. Even more reason to pulverize, grinding up the sugar along with it, and strain. Traditionally, club soda finishes the drink, but, unless you intend to drink five of them, why dilute the goodness?”
I’ll be adding club soda.
(You can find Ruhlman’s recipe for the mojito on his site.)