Emerald Travels: Caribbean



Sean Jansen, Travel Columnist 


When you are in the Caribbean, it’s hot, and sometimes it’s quite hard to get out of bed and convince yourself to do something in the heat of the day. The best move is to wait until the sun goes down and for that simmering daily temperature to drop. On Fridays you are around either the old town and the surrounding historical areas, or at the beach. The streets and beaches are abuzz, and you want to be as well.

Now there are a variety of beverages of the alcoholic type that can feed your taste buds and give you that smile that everyone around you has. But you can order the same drink in your hometown and, funnily enough, it is also the same price around the Caribbean. There is one drink that will give you the blast of flavor, the smile, and the buzz that the street is offering, and is also infamous in the region. It is priced appropriately, taste-tested, and worthy for any Caribbean folk, native or not.

The Mojito is a drink you can order almost anywhere, but when in the Caribbean, just a stones throw away from Cuba where the drink originated, why not try it with the original flavors and local rum? The mojito can be a complex drink, with a blast of mint flavors and smooth finish that hide its intoxicating potency. But make no mistake, this drink is made with rum, white rum to be exact, which is then mixed with lime, mint, sugar (if you fancy it sweet), and club soda.

If you want to make one at home and you have all the ingredients listed above, do as follows: Place about ten mint leaves into a dry glass without any ice or water, then add four lime wedges. Next, you grab a muddler and begin mashing the mint leaves and lime to release all possible flavors and aromas from both the lime and mint leaves. Following that, you add a couple more lime wedges and a bit of sugar and again, use the muddler to mash further. Alright, the hard part is over. You then add ice all the way to the top of the cup with your mint and limes at the bottom. Next comes the good stuff: The rum! And as much as your heart desires (For me, my basis of adding rum depends on my workday, so usually a lot), then fill the rest of the glass with the club soda. And finally, you have to add the garnish, which consists of whatever is left of the lime. Add that to the side of your drink, and  Y Disfruta! (Enjoy)

Now, if you don’t have the ingredients to make your own, there are many places in Humboldt County where you can get a mojito. From top notch, classy bars to the regular restaurants, the locals know how to make it right and know how to make it strong. The drink is a blend of everything you want in a cocktail. It is a drink that could easily get your night going and help you groove to the music until sunrise, or a drink to simply enjoy during the workweek after a long day at the office. Because of this, it is not only my favorite cocktail worldwide, but also the best-tasting I have ever had. Especially here, in the Caribbean.

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Emerald contributor since March 2012


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