Walk passed its anonymous small black door once, twice, three times. Invisible to the naked eye, this place is secret and it looks like people want to keep it this way. Charm the sturdy Frenchman guarding this gateway and walk through into a beautifully arranged, expensively decorated Brooklyn Prohibition style cocktail club. Sumptuous and well lit, all that is missing is the thick cigar smoke and the jazz musicians. The immaculately turned out bar tenders know their stuff, and you can choose your favorites or pick from a short list of sophisticated, strong and complex drinks. Quite expensive, all drinks come with an original twist. It can get really busy, but the atmosphere is usually great! Here are some photos of when my friends and I went here for a couple of drinks the other day 🙂
We had a great time and a perfect place to have a drink if you are ever out in China Town. Will definately be going back soon 🙂
ALDO STUDDED BOOTS
My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita
The Cathedral plaza is lively. Creole women and men with fat cigars walk around. Fortunes are told and with a flash of black and white, drinks and lunch are served. Round the corner, the street is dancing, the red, blue and white flag is swaying, people salsa, a hand grabs my hand and I salsa.
La Bodeguita del Medio, Mojitos, Cohibas, musicians. Squiggles and signatures, faces press against the wooden bars.
So many people, such a small space. Mint leaves are torn, limes are squeezed. It all spills out, spills out outside.
La Bodeguita lays claim to being the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, prepared in the bar since its opening in 1942. The rooms are full of frames, photos and the walls are covered by signatures including some of the bars famous clientele, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Neruda. The drinks were expensive and slightly watery ($7). It is very touristy, but I would recommend walking in and having a quick look inside to see the decoration, if not a cheeky cocktail on your way back to your hotel from Cathedral Plaza.
Old Hemingway, larger than life, props up the ornamental bar. It is said that it was he who invented the frozen Daiquiris which are now served here at the bar El Floridita– half jiggers of white rum, juice of two limes and half a grapefruit, six drops of maraschino liqueur, without sugar, served frozen. Whether this is fact, myth or legend, there is no doubting that Hemingway had a special penchant for life’s real pleasures and so it is no surprise that he and his wife drove into town specially to drink cocktails at El Floridita. The Daiquiris are most definitely the best ones in town.
Much of the atmosphere of the 1940s and 1950s is still preserved, with the red coats of the bartenders matching the Regency style decoration that dates from the 1950s. The front of the bar is crowded and lively. Enjoy the live band and the vibrant atmosphere. A trip here is a must for all cocktail lovers.
If however the front is too packed out or noisy, a great option is to enjoy a seafood meal in the El Floridita restaurant part.The music and the atmosphere can still be enjoyed here, but the air is cooler and it is far less busy.
See Sumptuous lunch at El Floridita for more information on the restaurant and pictures