Julio Cabrera, founder of Cafe La Trova in Miami, shares his passion for Cuban cocktails and his recipe for Miami’s best mojito
Tucked away in Calle Ocho of Little Havana in Miami, Cafe La Trova stands as a beacon for all things Cuban. Julio Cabrera, founder and maestro cantinero of the cafe, remains dedicated to providing an authentic Cuban experience to Miami tourists and locals. Incorporating Cuban cuisine, traditional music, classic cocktails, rum, coffee, and cigars, Cafe La Trova sways with cultural distinction.
The concept of cantinero is distinctive of Cuban culture, meaning a professional that dedicates their career to the art of bartending. Cantineros go beyond the concept of mixology, simultaneously providing entertainment alongside libations, creating a fully immersive experience. For this reason, cantineros are distinguished globally, known for their elegant maneuvers behind the bar and extensive education on mixology.
Cabrera integrated his global studies of classic mixology with modern techniques he picked up in America, distinguishing him significantly for his craft. He has won many national competitions and the cafe has remained a prominently recognized bar as one of North America’s Top 50 bars and The World’s Top 50 Bars. The excellence of Cafe La Trova distinguishes not only Cabrera, but also the community in Miami and the continued success of Cuban immigrants.
Cafe La Trova’s most popular drink is the mojito, mixing up hundreds each night they are open. They retain the title of “Best Mojito in Miami” for three years running.
Get the Recipe: Cuban Mojito
½ tablespoon sugar
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
5 to 6 mint leaves
1 ounce rum
½ ounce club soda
2 drops of Angostura bitters
Garnish: Mint sprig
- In a highball or collins glass, stir to combine sugar and lime juice. Add mint leaves and gently muddle together. Fill the glass with ice, then rum. Top with club soda and stir to mix everything together. Add the Angostura bitters and garnish with mint sprig.
- by Erin Byers Murray