Did Hemingway Really Drink Mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio?
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 08.06.07 | 3:23 PM ET
Depending on your perspective, mojitos are either all the rage and part of “mint’s moment” or as dated as “Sex and the City” reruns. I polished off a too-sweet-for-my-taste mojito last night at San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado, as evidenced by this photo of my empty glass, mainly because the drink set me back $11 and I couldn’t stand the idea of wasting it. I like the occasional mojito, but I’ve been enjoying the mojito press coverage even more, and I particularly liked this piece in the Wall Street Journal focusing on Ernest Hemingway’s relationship—or lack thereof—with the drink. I thought it was a given that Hemingway tossed back mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana. Tourists flock to the bar for that very reason.
And as Eric Felten points out in the Journal, Hemingway supposedly once wrote on butcher paper: “My mojito in La Bodeguita del Medio, my daiquiri in El Floridita.”
Not not only is there some doubt as to whether Hemingway visited La Bodeguita del Medio, but, writes Felten:
Beyond the question of whether Hemingway indulged a preference for Mojitos at La Bodeguita is an even more fundamental question—whether Papa drank Mojitos at all. Craig Boreth, author of “The Hemingway Cookbook,” doubts it. The novelist wasn’t fond of sugar in his drinks, Mr. Boreth argues, pointing to the unsweetened, frozen lime-and-grapefruit Daiquiris that were Hemingway’s favorite. The Mojito, by contrast, is nothing if not sweet.
So there you have it. If you’re in Havana, visit La Bodeguita del Medio if you like. But don’t assume you’re drinking with Hemingway’s ghost. That’s to be done at El Floridita.
Photo by Jim Benning.