The top 10 mojitos in Toronto
The top mojitos in Toronto can often make for a rough ordering experience. Bartenders are, in most circumstances, likely to roll their eyes at the amount of work you've just asked them to do (especially if they have to go and beg the kitchen for mint, crush ice, or are already pretty busy). However, if a bar is already set up with everything it needs, this really is one of the simplest and most refreshing cocktails around.
Like the daiquiri, this drink hails from Cuba, and was made famous at another of Hemingway's haunts: La Bodeguita del Medio. A light and fresh blend of light rum with lime, sugar, mint and soda water, they're really hard to beat on a hot day. If you've got a hankering for one, you can avoid the eye-rolling and get an excellent iteration at any of these spots in the city.
Here are my picks for the top mojitos in Toronto.
Mambo Lounge offers something of a sanctuary for devotees of Havana culture in Toronto. Tucked a few doors away from Broadview station, the place allows for cigars on the back patio, serves up suckling pig roasts for special occasions, and mixes the most authentic mojito anywhere in the city. Bruised mint is lightly pressed with sugar and lime, before being topped with Havana Club and soda ($9).
This End Up
This Brockton snack shop sticks to the classic recipe, but makes two sizes of mojito - the small ($10) is served in a 250ml mason jar, and contains two ounces of Appleton white rum, mint, lime, and sugar. The large ($18) doubles both the rum and the size of jar. That's right, four ounces of rum packed into a half-litre mason jar. Don't lose count.
This King West cocktail bar and restaurant makes a summer variation on the classic. The watermelon mojito combines Bacardi superior, mint, watermelon and soda. It's great to enjoy on their sunny patio, and will run you just $4 everyday before 7 p.m..
No One Writes To The Colonel
No One Writes To The Colonel on College St. (just west of Bathurst) pride themselves on their mojitos, with several variations to choose from. Their signature classic moito($8) features white rum, soda, demerara sugar, mint and lime juice, though you can also order a fruity variation ($9) such as strawberry, peach, wild berry and a seasonal option. If you are in the mood to splurge, they also make the Royal Mojito ($12) with white rum, prosecco, sugar mint and lime.
The Drake Hotel
The Drake Hotel have seen many competitors come and go, and have lived through all manner of cocktails fads, from Prohibition to Molecular and Tiki. It's no surprise then, to see that they make sure to keep a solid list of classic cocktails around (it's also a significant function of running a hotel bar), without tampering with them too much. Their mojito ($12) benefits from the use of seltzer water, which is a little lighter and less intensely bubbly than soda, and is also a much more authentic recreation of the Cuban approach (club soda not being readily available in Castro's socialist paradise).
The Mojitos Bodeguita ($12) at SpiritHouse is an ode to the authentic Cuban style (with Havana Club rum, lime, mint, simple syrup, and soda). More importantly, with a dedicated crushed ice machine, and more tools than you can shake a stir stick at, the guys at this bartending mecca will have no problem whipping up an excellent one in a flash.
Pacific Junction Hotel
Heading to the east end of King St., this colourful rum 'n' tequila-focused spot is a great place to head for fun Caribbean cocktails, and with a 2oz mojito for only $9.30, it's certainly a good value pick. However, there's more fun to be had, with sharing bowls of mojito available for $35.
This lovely lounge and terrace shows off the picturesque Toronto skyline in style, the outdoor fireplaces and wicker seating are a great place to enjoy one of the mojitos on offer. The strawberry basil mojito ($15) is an excellent use of fresh seasonal ingredients. Bacardi white rum is blended with muddled lime, organic mint, fresh basil, housemade strawberry syrup and soda.
La Cubana on Roncesvalles acts as a great one-stop shop for authentic Cuban food and beverage. Another good value pick at only $10 for a 2oz mojito, this one is a little lighter on the sugar, providing a slightly more sour and lip-smacking cocktail that fares well against the salty, fatty, delicious food.
East Thirty Six
A relatively new spot, East Thirty Six takes up the former Lucien site, and applies a heavier focus on cocktails. Their take on the mojito is a real luxury option. The Mojito Royale ($12) fuses the regular ingredients with blackberry liqueur before topping with Cava, adding a dry, sophisticated component.
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite Toronto mojito spot in the comments.
Photo via the Citizen.
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