Enjoy the drink of pirates (and Hemingway)
With the US travel restrictions to Cuba recently relaxed, I was able to realize a lifelong dream and visit that enchanting tropical isle under an official educational license for "people to people" travel. There were so many highlights, I'll never be able to post them all. But let me get back on topic. In between the fascinating meetings with locals and the exhilarating live music and the walking tours of colorful colonial neighborhoods, I was also on a mission to decide who made the best mojito in Cuba. To be honest, I also sampled my share of Cuba Libres, but in the interest of stress-free travel, I was only judging the mojitos. And... the award for best mojito in Cuba goes to... the lobby bar at Hotel Meliá Cohiba in Havana. From the generous portions of rum and perfectly muddled spearmint to the exact balance of sweetness versus lime-ness, we have a winner! For any like-minded travelers who find themselves taste-testing around Havana, consider a trek to the bar where Hemingway drank his mojitos, La Bodeguita del Medio, a painfully small watering hole that has significantly more atmosphere than barstools. Above the bar is a framed note in Hemingway's own hand indicating that besides mojitos, he also enjoyed daiquiris (but for those he visited the historic restaurant El Floridita). Salud!
By Sue Manuel, AFAR Local Expert
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