Bar at the Edificio Bacardi

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Edificio Bacardi
Calle Monserrate 261
Havana, Cuba
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Havana, Cuba: A perfect mojito in the old Bacardi offices' private bar

Bar at the Edificio Bacardi

So you're bashing about Havana, and you get a sudden craving for a mojito. (It happens.)

You could hit Hemingway's old haunts, like the Hotel Ambos Mundos, and gaze out at the town from the rooftop bar. Or the patina-rich but heavily tourist-trafficked La Bodeguita del Medio.

Still, some say the best mint-muddling in town happens in the Edificio Bacardi, one of the town's first skyscrapers, and the original headquarters of the Bacardi rum empire.

The 1929 building (which now mostly houses government offices) at the edge of old Havana is worth a visit for its Art Deco magnificence alone. Reminders of the structure's past are literally everywhere: The trademark Bacardi bat is etched into hanging lanterns, molded into door fixtures, you name it.

But a flight of stairs up from the palatial lobby is the strongest link to the past: A small bar that was once the private watering hole of the Bacardi family and their guests, back in rum's early heyday.

Behind a black-and-gold bar, a gentleman will quietly fill your highball with Cuban-made Havana Club rum and fragrant mint. Sink into one of the chairs, sip, and linger.

Photo: Vacacion (L.), Artant (R.)/Flickr Creative Commons

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