Despite the number of margaritas that might flow here in the U.S. on Cinco de Mayo, there are many more vehicles for tequila to be found in Mexico. Bartenders are increasingly keen to forge their own takes on other cocktail classics, and at Bar Gitano in Tulum — easily the most legit bar in the area — they add a bit of the Yucatán to the minty mojito.

Usually best when tart and earthy from the rum cutting through, such as from an aromatic Cuban, the mojito isn’t the most imaginative of drinks. Like most coolers, though, its primary purpose is to refresh. Normally adding mezcal to a drink like this would be too overpowering, but as Mexican spirits continue to get better and better, so too do the cocktails. Bar manager Maria Ronchi splits the rum base with a Oaxacan mezcal (Espadin Joven), adding a layer of light smoke while not venturing too far from the original drink’s feel.

Hibiscus petals add to the traditional mint leaves, bringing a subtle floral element and giving the drink a purple hue. It’s still very much a mojito, meaning that it goes down quick and has just the right amount of cane sugar to cut through the day’s heat. Enjoy.

Classic Mojito Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail

2 ounces Flor de Caña 4 Year White Rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
6 leaves mint


  1. In a small shaker tin, muddle lime, mint and either simple syrup or a brown sugar cube.
  2. Shake briefly and dump into a collins glass.
  3. Top with ice and add a mint sprig and straw garnish.

Gitano Mojito Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail

1 ounce Espadin Joven Mezcal
1 ounce Ron Abuelo 7 Year Rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Fresh mint and hibiscus


  1. In a collins glass, rub mint leaves on the inside of the glass and add hibiscus petals.
  2. Add in mezcal, rum, lime and simple syrup, then stir to combine.
  3. Top with club soda and crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig, blackberry and straw.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Try out these classic drinks made two ways on Food Republic: