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10 Refreshing Facts About Mojitos

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Happy National Mojito Day! To celebrate, grab a tall glass, your favorite sunglasses, and read about one of Cuba’s favorite cocktails. 

1. This mixed drink is more than 500 years old. 

The history of this aged drink is a mystery, but most are sure it was concocted in the 1500s, making it one of the oldest mixed drinks still consumed today.  

2. Pirates may have played a part in its creation …

Sir Francis Drake was hailed across England as a hero, and was knighted by Elizabeth I after helping defeat the Spanish Armada. But to the Spanish, he was a ruthless pirate known as El Draque. It is said that a mojito-like drink was invented after Drake found himself near the city of Havana. Called El Draque, the cocktail had aguardiente (early rum), sugar, lime and mint. Originally, the drink was used for medicinal purposes, to help treat scurvy and dysentery. When the aguadiente was replaced with rum, the mojito was born. 

3. … But the origin of its name tells a different story. 

Mojo means a magic charm or talisman. It likely has roots in an African language. Some believe that the name was introduced by the slaves in Cuba who worked on sugar cane farms. This theory is often dismissed by historians who think this is more likely the origin of the word daiquiri

4. Hemingway loved them. 

Ernest Hemingway loved a good drink, and mojitos definitely fit that bill. While spending time in Cuba, the writer often patronized La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, a bar that claimed to have invented the modern-day mojito. He picked up the drink and spread its popularity stateside. 

5. James Bond (and Halle Berry) helped make them popular again.

Pierce Brosnan’s Bond enjoys a mojito while chatting up Jinx (Halle Berry) in the 2002 movie Die Another Day. The scene led to a spike in popularity for the otherwise underappreciated drink. 

6. They're big in Poland. 

According to Google Trends, Poland Googles the term “mojito” more than any other country in the world. 

7. Britain enjoys them too. 

The Mixed Drinks Report, which was done by consultancy firm CGA Strategy, found mojitos to be the most popular drink in Great Britain in 2014. Cocktail sales in general have risen 10 percent from 2012 to 2014 as more Brits are enjoying sweeter alcoholic beverages. 

8. Honey and ginger ale make mojitos even better.

Mixologist Kenji Jesse recently gave the DailyMail some advice for the perfect mojito. Replacing sugar syrup with honey and switching soda water for ginger ale will give your cocktail a more complex flavor. He also recommends crushing your ice with a rolling pin and using pre-frozen glasses.   

9. And so do these special ice cubes. 

Normal ice cubes melt and water down your drink, but the Huffington Post has come up with a solution. Mojito cubes are equal parts water, sugar, and lime juice. You can also drop these into a glass of rum if you're in the mood for something stiffer. 

10. There are lots of variations. 

The mojito recipe doesn’t have to be completely rigid. You can play around by adding new ingredients, like fresh fruit or flavored rum. Not in the mood for a drink? Try these mojito cupcakes.

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New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]

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