Best Mojito - 2009
Trader Vic's - CLOSED
We've consumed many a silly mojito in our day — including, heretically, one with an umbrella in it — and we held out no great hopes for the interpretation of the national drink of Cuba served up by tiki-couture chain Trader Vic's. But this Trader Vic's ain't your mom and dad's kitschy '70s version of the island restaurant. The new-millennial Trader Vic's, while still plenty of fun, is damned serious about its high-end surf-and-turf and its extensive repertoire of tropical drinks.
The Vic's mojito is an unadorned but perfectly crafted blend of the five sacred ingredients (white rum, sugar, lime, carbonated water, and mint leaves), served in a plain, tall highball glass. It's lip-smacking good and as deadly as a voodoo snake. We downed a pair of the blessed vipers in the sublime open-air lounge. The first knocked us loopy. The second had us dancing in the fire pit. Ah, Polynesian paradise.
We usually go to this ravishing canal-side eatery to see and be seen — not to drown our sorrows. But then we stumbled onto a gorgeous new twist on the classic margarita that has us second-guessing our sobriety. The white peach and hibiscus margarita is a lovely soft pink, served on ice in a tall glass. But don't let its pink-lemonade looks fool you: This drink packs a tasty punch, with subtle tequila blanco, hibiscus syrup, and such an authentically delicate white peach flavor that you could never mistake it for the cloying nectar you get in a can. It's the perfect drink for a special occasion — but down too many, and it'll be an occasion you won't want to remember (not that you'd be able to).