If you have a day-time outing in Wynwood, there are a few questions that run through your head as you walk on the sidewalk. For locals and tourists alike, they go a little something like this:
“Why have I punished myself?”
“Why do I live here?”
“How do people live here?”
“Am I crying or are my eyes sweating?”
“Is this what a heat stroke feels like?”
Walking through the landlocked neighborhood of Wynwood can feel like treading through a sea of boiling water, especially in the summer. Your steps are heavy, your body is sticky, and if you lose a friend while wandering outside a bar, you can trace their steps by following their trail of sweat. If you are a local, your feet will shuffle through the Wynwood Walls and you’ll pretend to be impressed by the wall art that hasn’t been updated in years. If you’re a tourist, you’ll walk through the fenced-in section of street art and pose for pictures in your trendiest outfit. Maybe your broiling body will coerce you into buying an overpriced popsicle.
Once you emerge from this graffiti garden, your vision is hazy, and your throat is so dry you feel like its stuffed with a sock. But just as you move to the corner of the sidewalk to track down your Uber, you hear the faint rumblings of a Mambo. You cross the street and see a clunky sign advertising the “Best Mojitos in Miami” and you wonder if this is a classic example of a Miami hyperbole. It’s unclear where the mojitos are because the only thing that is visible from the street is an arch that reads “La La Land” next to droopy moss and spiny succulents. You move through a shaded passageway and are greeted by an unconventional bouncer: a large white gorilla.
Your day in Wynwood does not have to end on a hot, uncomfortable note. You have stepped into the Promised Land of tropical cocktails.
The Miami Mojito Company transports you to a tiki hut on the sand of a Caribbean island. Their mojitos are exactly what you would want to drink on a hot day at the beach, or an interminable day at Wynwood. Their menu is displayed on distressed planks of wood featuring raspberry, blackberry, passion-fruit, tamarind, pineapple, and classic mojitos. Although every flavor on the menu is unequivocally delicious, some of the favorites are blackberry, passionfruit, and raspberry.
Their mojito formula is unique for its simplicity. It does not maintain the tradition of cloying, artificial sweetness that plagues tourist-laden mojito bars on Ocean Drive. Its distinctive flavor lies in its use of an ingredients that is an essential part of Cuban-American culture in Miami: guarapo. Guarapo is the mildly sweet juice that oozes out of raw sugar-cane when it is fed through a machine called the guarapera. This machine splices and grinds the sugarcane until a light green juice spills out of the machine’s mouth into a clear jug. This fresh sugarcane juice is then blended with white rum, mashed mint leaves, natural fruit juice, and fresh fruit. There is no added sugar or artificial flavors. Just the natural sweetness of the sugarcane juice that is made fresh every 20 minutes. The mojitos are served in clear plastic cups on crunchy ice with fat straws.
There are no fancy glasses or indulgent bartenders. Just natural, local ingredients blended with Miami spunk and Cuban sazón.
Disclaimer: you must be 21 to legally consume alcohol