When it comes to refreshing cocktails, nothing comes quicker to mind than a classic mojito. The usual suspects when creating this cocktail include white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and a healthy dose of mint, and because mojitos are not traditionally a potent cocktail, you can enjoy a few of them on a balmy summer night without getting too silly.
While we’re all for tradition, countless Melbourne venues have taken the liberty to get a little experimental with this Cuban classic, and the results are simply delicious. Here’s where you can cool off with a Melbourne mojito.
Flavoursome Asian fare, funky music and red neon signage all come to mind when thinking about this Flinders Lane establishment - but that’s not all Lucy Liu has going for it. Their cocktail list is equal parts fruity and fun, and their Coconut Mojito is where it’s at. Consisting of dark rum, coconut water, coconut sugar, lime and mint, it makes for a great companion to their soft shell crab jianbing pancake roll with spicy hoi sin sauce.
This Chinese propaganda-themed bar is a brilliant hole in the wall if you can find it, with a tongue-in-cheek vibe and accommodating staff. Double Happiness’ signature lychee vodka, mint, lime and ginger beer are combined to create The Great Leap Forward, which is as refreshing as it sounds and garnished with lychees to snack on. Swapping out rum for vodka may not be the traditional way to go, but the results are excellent, so it goes on the list.
Duck down Little Collins St and you’re likely to come across the astroturf-laden laneway lit up by jar lanterns. Speaking of jars, Chuckle Park make cocktails designed to be shared between two, so grab a Raspberry Mojito with Bacardi, raspberry liqueur, fresh lime and mint. Zingy and delightful, this one’s a winner for those who like fruitier flavours.
Peruvian dishes and Picantería style is the name of the game at Harley House, and their Spiced Mojito is the perfect concoction to wash it all down with. Bundaberg small batch rum is combined with mint, lime, sugar and Cuban bitters for good measure. Have a round of these amongst friends while taking in Vincent Fantauzzo’s gorgeous artwork that adorns the walls.
This basement venue is perfect for Japanese snacking and refined drink options - from Japanese beer to sake, shochu and whisky. The Sake Mojito is a must, which includes sake (obviously), fresh lime, mint, tonic and (in a bold move) Campari. The folk behind Izakaya Den are also responsible for two other excellent institutions, Kappo and Hihou, so you know you are in very safe hands.
The New York style late-night eatery has one of the finest cocktail menus around, and they’re not afraid to get a bit playful. Nieuw Amsterdam's Old Cuban has the familiar faces of aged rum, fresh mint and lime, but to make things a little more interesting (and alcoholic) they top it up with Prosecco instead of soda. Salud!
This brightly-coloured Asian diner is brilliant for groups - and as we all know, sharing is caring. One item you won’t want to split with a pal is Rice Queen's Ginger Mojito, which uses Plantation 3 Star white rum, fresh lime, mint, raw sugar syrup and housemade ginger juice to give it a nice little kick. Sink one of these and then slink off to the karaoke room to slay some Mariah/Beyoncé/diva of choice.
This tiki bar is known as the Home of the Maitais and Island of the Zombie, but have you given LuWow's Moaijito a go? White rum is layered with grapefruit, mint, and pink grapefruit liqueur for a zesty cocktail. Too many of these and you might wind up on one of their gogo podiums – don’t say we didn’t warn you.
St Kilda’s answer to excellent Japanese Izakaya-style dining can be found at Ichi Ni. The perfect cocktail to accompany your sashimi and yakitori would have to be the Nihon-jin-ito; a Japanese take on a Cuban classic. Rum infused Shiro No Takumi Shochu, kokuto umeshu, and Calpico Original are combined to create a refreshing blend perfect for summer sipping.
It’s true, a mojito is best enjoyed by a body of water - and Captain Baxter is where to go for some seaside sipping. The Green Knoll Mojito is certainly not your traditional mojito, introducing flavours such as watermelon and green tea into the mix. Once you’ve had one of these lush beauties, you’re unlikely to look back.
In search of some more summer-friendly drinks? Check out Our favourite places to day drink!
Photo credit: A House In The Hills