Summertime, and thoughts of sybaritic pleasures turn to tropical islands, replete with refreshing beverages constructed from exotic ingredients. But since those journeys are not available to all, nor can one head to the Caribbean with any frequency, how fortunate for us that we have such destinations within arm’s reach. The entire fabric of New Orleans is based on availability and authenticity. As a case in point, the new Cuban-centric bar, Manolito, on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter is open and ready to serve.
Helmed by Chris Hannah and Nick Dietrich, two award-winning mixologists who know their way around a cocktail tin as well as anyone anywhere. They named the bar in honor of a mentor, Manuel Carbojo Arguiar, a Cuban bartending legend, who passed away recently.
Arguiar made a big impression on Hannah and Dietrich when they traveled to Cuba. He was the bartender at the legendary El Floridita, a regular watering hole for Ernest Hemingway. Arguiar perfected the “trick” of throwing a cocktail, which is mixing the ingredients together by tossing them into the air and catching them in the shaker. Fittingly, Manolito is located in the former home of El Libre, now located Uptown on Calhoun and still one of the most authentic Cuban cafes anywhere outside of Cuba.
A traditional Cuban mint daiquiri
2 oz. Bacardi Superior
¾ oz. fresh lime
2 tsp. sugar
¼ oz. Crème de Menthe
4-5 mint leaves
10 oz. crushed ice
Combine all ingredients, except rum, in a blender on low setting. Slowly add rum until daiquiri moves in a smooth, conical motion. Pour into a frosty Martini glass or a go-cup. Enjoy.
508 Dumaine Street