Saturday, May 11, 2013

The First Mojito

Jasmine Goodwin
Reporting from Havana

HAVANA, Cuba - We were taken to a local hotel to exchange our Canadian currency into Cuban pesos. It is possible to exchange American dollars into Cuban currency but expensive as the Cuban government charges a penalty of up to 15 percent, therefore we needed to transfer a set amount of cash into Canadian currency, which would then be transferred into Cuban currency.

Our group consisted of over twenty people, so this was a fairly long process. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people in line, meaning I had some extra time to check out the hotel. There was a small bar located near a window that overlooked the street outside.

Before I left for Cuba, my grandfather told me I must try a mojito during the trip. I wasn’t quite sure what a mojito was, so it was a mystery what I would be given after I asked the bartender for my first mojito.

The mojito was one of the most refreshing drinks I have ever had. It consists of rum, bitters, mint, and usually the top of the glass is coated with sugar. It turns out this was the first of many mojitos, as they were served as a “welcome drink” at many meals to come during my time in Cuba.

Why it changed the way I eat:

It introduced the concept of welcome drinks, the fine craft and effort that goes into making cocktails and fresh mint in nearly any drink can (and will) add an extra dose of freshness and flavor.

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