La Bodeguita Del Medio in Havana, Cuba

  Cuba is changing. We all know this. One place that hasn’t changed in a long time is La Bodeguita del Medio. In the middle of Old Havana, this bar is really easy to find and really easy to walk to from most of the hotels in the area. There are a thousand stories about this bar and how Ernest Hemingway drank his Mojitos here. At every tourist shop in Havana you will see shirts featuring the quote “My Mojito in La Bodeguita. My Daiquiri in El Floridita.” The thing is, there is no real proof that he ever drank at this bar. Or even that he drank a Mojito. Check out Philip Greene’s book “To Have and Have Another” for his reasoning. I digress. La Bodeguita Del MedioLa Bodeguita Del Medio Whether Hemingway, Neruda or anyone else drank here or not, is not important. What is important is that the bartenders here make at least 500 mojitos every day. You get better at something through practice, right? They build them in rows of 30 or 40 along the bar so that when tourist groups come in, they can get them into people’s hands as quickly as possible. Do not show up with one of those tour groups. La Bodeguita Del Medio If you time it right, you can show up at La Bodeguita and have a mojito made fresh for you while a group of 3 or 4 musicians play upbeat music on beat-up instruments in the corner as the fans above you lazily spin.  You can ask the bartenders how long they have worked there for and if they even like rum. Ask them how many people actually finish their drinks, or how many branded muddlers they sell in a day. Ask them about pouring out some rum for “Los Santos”. Mostly you can just sit a room where people have been sitting and enjoying refreshing rum cocktails for 75 years. There is history in the walls of this place, fiction or not. La Bodeguita Del MedioLa Bodeguita Del MedioLa Bodeguita Del Medio


Josh Lindley
Co-Creator at Bartender Atlas
Josh Lindley has been bartending in Toronto since 2007. Before working for Hendrick's Gin as a Brand Ambassador he was bar manager at Campagnolo and a hired gun at Bar Isabel. He has contributed to many magazines, tv shows and newspapers with his recipes and opinions. Currently pouring at Chantecler, he enjoys being an ambassador to Toronto and talking about horror movies, punk rock and basketball.
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