More Than a Mojito

Words by Von Diaz, Special to The Washington Post

This is a refreshing take on the classic mojito cocktail, incorporating pineapple, vanilla and the fresh herb culantro instead of mint.

Culantro, also called saw-tooth herb or wild coriander, has long leaves with jagged edges and a flavour that is more assertive than cilantro. It is available in the produce section in Latino markets.

Created by Marisa Cadena, of the now-closed Lucky Luna restaurant in Brooklyn; adapted from “Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South,” by Von Diaz (University Press of Florida, 2018).


1 serving



1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

3/4 lime, cut into thin slices

2 fresh culantro leaves, plus 1 for garnish (see headnote)

1 to 2 small drops vanilla extract

1-ounce fresh pineapple juice

2 ounces white rum


Club soda




Muddle the sugar, lime slices and 2 culantro leaves in a tall glass, until the sugar has mostly dissolved. Add the vanilla extract (to taste), the pineapple juice and rum, stirring to incorporate.

Add enough ice so that it rises above the level of the mixture, then top with club soda. Garnish with a culantro leaf.

Nutrition | Per serving (using 1/2-ounce club soda): 170 calories, 0 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fibre, 8 g sugar


Featured Image: Deb Lindsey, The Washington Post