Originating in Havana, Cuba, the mojito cocktail has gained popularity the world over. Comprising white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint in a highball glass, the secret to a great mojito is the gentle ‘mashing’ of the lime, sugar and mint with a muddler. This bruises the mint leaves releasing the plant’s potent essential oils.
My first experience of this zesty cocktail was in a small Cuban bar in Cozumel around 14 years ago. Possibly the best mojito I’ve tasted; the tang of the lime, the crushed fresh mint, the perfect balance between sour and sweet. I was instantly a fan. Was it because it was my first? Or, was it really that fantastic?
Here in Playa del Carmen, the first bar that comes to mind when I think of a mojito is, of course, La Bodeguita del Medio on Quinta Avenida and Calle 38. This lively, Cuban salsa bar boasts mojitos in a range of flavors in addition to the classic, sip away while enjoying the ambience of live music and salsa.
The Roof Bar on Quinta Avenida between Calle 4 and 6, is a cozy spot above the 5th Avenue crowds; great for people watching with friendly, personal service and an excellent classic mojito at a very fair price.
If you like a little flair to your mojito, head down to Ula Gula Bar & Restaurant located on Quinta Avenida and Calle 10. Try the mojito de jengibre (ginger mojito) or the mojito de sandía (Watermelon Mojito).
A noodle bar may not be the first place you’d think of to go for a mojito, but if you’re a fan of basil flavored cocktails (which I certainly am), be sure to stop by Babe’s Noodles & Bar, Calle 10 between Quinta Avenida and Avenida 10 for a mojito con albahaca (basil mojito), you won’t be disappointed.
I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t include the location of that first wonderful mojito I enjoyed many years ago. If memory serves me correctly, I believe it was at La Casa Del Mojito, Quinta Avenida between Rosado Salas y 3 Centro Sur, Cozumel.