Mojito is one of my all time favourite cocktail – and I must confess I am very picky when it comes to cocktails. I certainly don’t like those “with everything” – add this and that until you won’t know what you’re drinking any more, than decorating it with a pompous name, one more exaggerated than the other.
But Mojito is a completely different story: it’s simple and delicious, divinely fresh, and it smells soooo good. Just as it looks: truth be told the simple sight of a glass of mojito is mind blowing, so invigorating that you feel the need to take a pic and share it with all your friends.
And that’s because Mojito is an authentic experience – it has that thing we call personality and it never ceases to amaze. Otherwise, it is just perfect to savour in those long and hot summer days and nights, preferably on the rhythms of a sensual rumba.
Although, as always, its roots are lost in the mist of time and legends, one thing’s for sure: Mojito made its debut in Havana, Cuba, in the 30’s, quickly becoming an iconic drink and a national symbol. Then, in 1942, a small café bar, Bodeguita del Medio, opened its gates on Calle Empedrado – close to Old Havana and the cathedral – and made it famous. The tiny restaurant-bar was frequented, back than, by Ernest Hemingway and the artistic elite of the time, all passing its doorstep eager to try this brand new cocktail called mojito, prepared with rum, mint, sugar, lime, soda and ice.
Bodeguita is as popular today as it was back then, with the same bohemian atmosphere, in the same charming colonial building – where people are queuing to serve the original mojito. The interior is literally covered with graffiti, more or less famous autographs, and pictures with its legendary clientele (from Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gabriela Mistral, to Nat King Cole, Joan Manuel Serrat, Margaux Hemingway, Errol Flynn or Brigitte Bardot), kept with the outmost care and pride.
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita” – the engraving of Hemingway on a wall – well, that was just the beginning of this signature-cocktail, cooler and more famous today than ever. All over the world.