Best Mojito: Go see Amy

Hotel Mac

“If you’re ordering a mojito, better check with Amy,” says Pat the bartender jokingly, gesturing to the waitress. “She’s in charge of those.” The relaxed, wood-paneled, clubby conviviality of the Hotel Mac bar, on the ground floor of its own boutique hotel and restaurant in sleepy downtown Point Richmond, is the perfect atmosphere in which to sip the East Bay’s best mojito. Ernest Hemingway would feel at home here. The Mac’s version of this classic Cuban cocktail ($6.50) is mintier than most, with less lime-and-club-soda tartness up front. That’s because Pat takes the time to carefully crush the fresh mint leaves first, releasing the oils to react with the sweet syrup before a healthy pour of light rum. Many bars put their mojitos in a tall highball-style glass, but the Mac uses a large old-fashioned glass and garnishes it with a wedge of lime instead of drowning it in lime juice. Boom! Havana. While basking in the glow, ask Amy to explain the true meaning of sheep dip.

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