Think you're being cool and savvy and classy and tasteful (and minty!) when you order a mojito at a bar? You're actually ordering up a fresh and wrathful enemy in the form of your bartender, according to an intriguing reveal of what happens in the minds of those who make the drinks, via the New York Post. Sara Pepitone reports from the frontlines of MojitoGate, where it turns out, bartenders are doing all sorts of things to prevent you from ordering that delicious, refreshing cocktail you so crave.
Among the various excuses bartenders will give: "The bar doesn't have mint (or other ingredients needed)"; "It takes too long to make," "It's no longer cool (are you sure you want to drink that?)." The real reasons bartenders don't want to make you your mojito: The process is messy, they take too long to make (and time is money), and it appears bartenders are just plum tired of making mojitos. Also, only amateurs (usually, Pepitone says, middle-aged men) order mojitos, because it's something "they've heard of." And all that grinding of the mint is exhausting! Even worse, mojitos have what we'll dub the Mojito Multiplying effect. Pepitone writes,
Another issue: Once one person is seen with a mojito, others are inspired to order it. “It’s like a disease,” says [downtown bartender Freddy] Thomas.
Thus, an array of mojito-defying strategies have sprung up. Some places have simply taken it off the menu. Others use the "no mint" excuse. Still others "direct customers to another drink," suggesting a gin and tonic, for instance, instead of Old Minty. And a Meatpacking District bar has created its own "nojito" which doesn't require muddled mint in order to speed things up. But the biggest problem with the mojito appears to be that, like the cosmo which came before, it's just not all that cool anymore. After all, it was 10 whole years ago that James Bond ordered one in Die Another Day. It's time to spice things up, according to the Post. Your mojito love has gone stagnant, and along with it, so has your bartender's love for you:
“Familiarity is comfortable, like staying in a relationship even though you fight every day,” explains Jan Warren, head bartender at Dutch Kills in Long Island City, Queens.
Perhaps you should try a new bar.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.