Where to Get the Best Mojito

The tour guides will tell you to go to La Bodeguita del Medio, a restaurant in Old Havana with Matt Dillon’s picture plastered on wall. Or El Floridita, a nearby bar that Ernest Hemingway frequented that nowadays is jammed with European tourists. But my suggestion is to head to the Parque Central Hotel and befriend a driver with a classic convertible. Ask him to take you to Club Havana, a private club that dates back to the pre-revolutionary days when it was called the Havana Biltmore Yacht Club. There are no yachts anymore, but it’s become a private club again in recent years. (You might even see me and my family since we’re members.) The beautiful reception building in faded pink and red trim is still regal and harkens back to the days when wealthy young Cubans and Americans in conservative bathing suits frolicked on the grounds. Find the small, dimly-lit bar hidden in one corner of the building and order a mojito. It will only set you back two dollars and fifty cents. The bartenders here use Havana Club rum, the most popular brand in Cuba since the Bacardis fled. It’s garnished with angostura bitters and fresh mint. You might be surprised when he or she tells you that mojitos really aren’t that popular among Cubans. Mint can be difficult to find, and even fresh limes aren’t available year round. But all the same, you can enjoy your mojito on the small beach that looks towards Florida and be the envy of your friends back at home.  

 The best mojito: a Havana Club rum mojito at Club Havana, the former Havana Biltmore Yacht Club in western Havana.

The best mojito: a Havana Club rum mojito at Club Havana, the former Havana Biltmore Yacht Club in western Havana.