Top places to find a Mojito in Havana, Cuba
The Mojito is one of the oldest cocktails in the world and has a disputed history. One story suggests that famed explorer Sir Frances Drake helped originate the drink. Known to the Spaniards as the ruthless pirate ‘El Draque’, legend was that Drake created a drink from a crude form of rum, sugar, lime and mint and named it after himself. On the other hand, it has been said that the cocktail was invented by African slaves working in the Cuban sugar cane fields, due to the name ‘mojito’ stemming from the African word of ‘mojo’, meaning to place a little spell.
So, now you know a little about where the cocktail derives from, here’s the top five bars that you should visit, in Cuba, to taste the best.
- La Bodeguita del Medio – La Bodeguita is Havana’s most celebrated bar. Opened in the old Havana district in 1942, it lays claim to the birthplace of the Mojito. Past visitors have included names like Salvador Allende, Fidel Castro, Nicolás Guillén, Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole.
- Sloppy Joe’s Bar – Sloppy Joe’s Bar closed for 48 years after a fire in 1965. In 2013, the iconic Cuban bar was restored and the doors reopened once again.
For over four decades, the popular cocktail bar offered over 80 different mixes alongside having its own brand of 12-year-old-rum.
During the 1940s and 50s Sloppy Joe’s was a favourite of many American celebrities like John Wayne, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable alongside the countless tourists that wanted to mingle with them.
Sloppy Joe’s bar has an upbeat vibe and has been said to be one of the most famous bars in the world. If you want a fantastic classic Mojito, with homemade rum and a friendly atmosphere, check out Sloppy Joe’s.
- Dos Hermanos – Regarded as one of the most famous bars in the Old Town, Dos Hermanos (translated as ‘Two Brothers’) is located in the Havana port area not far from the Russian Orthodox Church.
Styled as a 1940s Cuban American bar, the bohemian atmosphere seems to be stopped in time. As customers sit sipping the fantastic Mojitos, from the front of the bar, they are able to watch ferries travelling to the “Havana Regla” and “Casa Blanca” districts.
- El Patio – El Patio is located in one of Havana’s most picturesque squares, Plaza de Catedral, inside an 18th-century mansion. Inside, El Patio boasts an incredible inner court-yard and the wide and spacious patio outside edges out into the square, unlike any other bar around it.
All features have been conserved from the original palace that belonged to the Marqués de Aguas Claras. According to many tourists and visitors, the Mojitos served in this extraordinarily preserved building are second to none.
- Café Paris – Based on the main shopping street in Old Havana, Obispo Street, Café Paris has a live resident band playing throughout the afternoon and evening which entertains both tourists and locals.
The most intriguing thing about Café Paris is the opening times. This café will serve you 24/7, every day of the year. The atmosphere is consistently good, with real charm and many interesting characters.
If you fancy some real Cuban live music and, obviously, another fantastic Mojito to add to your collection, give Café Paris a go.
It’s also been said that Ernest Hemmingway helped create the Mojito that is still served in the bar to this day. You may have to fight your way to the bar a little, seeing as though this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in old Havana. Still, it is pretty much a must-visit for any first time trip.