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Friday, February 22, 2008

Dr Livingstone, I presume?

Masca Barranco, like a scene from 'Lost'
Masca Barranco, like a scene from 'Lost'
I was talking to a guy in a bar last night ... I know that sounds like the opener to a joke, but it isn't, at least, not the sort that has a punch line ... and he tells me that he's been coming to Puerto de la Cruz for his winter holidays for 25 years yet he's never even been to Masca, in anyone's book, a must for visitors to Tenerife. And he's not alone.

As an avid follower of TripAdviser forums, I'm constantly amazed by the attitude of so many people who are planning to stay within a 15 minute walk of their hotel or apartment, and those who consider themselves nothing less than latter day Doctor Livingstones if they intend to get a bus to Los Gigantes.

Whatever happened to the Victorian spirit of adventure? Did we Brits get affluent and lazy in post war economic prosperity?

When the sixties brought cheap flights and accommodation within most people's grasp, did we just get too idle to leave our sun beds after touchdown?

Siete Cañadas path in Teide crater
Siete Cañadas path in Teide crater
Tenerife is a hiker's paradise; there are trails all over this island that take you through some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery you're ever likely to encounter. From palm filled, banana covered coastal plains that sweep down to pirate lookouts and abandoned haciendas; abyssal ravines where fresh spring water runs crystal clear beneath towering cliffs in scenery straight from an episode of 'Lost'; to the expansive plains of the Teide crater where you can lose the tour buses full of visitors in a kilometre and discover a landscape where volcanic cones and wind-eroded rocks create a gallery of surreal sculptures. You can chose to spend the entire day hiking across areas or simply to enjoy an hour's stroll to work up an appetite for lunch.

The fort of San Fernando on the Los Realejos coast
The fort of San Fernando on the Los Realejos coast
Recently, Jack and I have been traversing the length and breadth of Tenerife for a series of articles we're producing and on all our trails, the only time we've encountered more than a handful of Brits has been in Barranco del Infierno. And why? Because it's a stone's throw away from the resorts of Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje.

Now I'm not suggesting that exploring uncharted jungles or backpacking across Patagonia is everyone's cup of tea. On the other hand, having flown 1,900 miles to get here from the UK in the first place, wouldn't it be worth investing a few kilometres more to discover that there's a whole fascinating island beyond the poolside bar and the paper shop?

Copyright © 2008 Real Tenerife Island Drives. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of Real Tenerife Island Drives.

    Lying on a beach all day every day might make for a relaxing holiday, but memories of it fade as quickly as your sun tan. Island Drives is aimed at travellers who want to experience the real essence of Tenerife, not just its pools and beaches. If you want an unforgettable holiday as opposed to a good one, Real Tenerife Island Drives will make the difference.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tenerife: Don't Stop the Carnaval

Carnival Parade in 2008 Puerto de la Cruz

After some pretty heavy rain, the wind dropped, the sun came out, the weather alert ended and, as was hoped, thankfully, the unusually strong winter storms this weekend mostly stayed north and passed Tenerife without incident. Meanwhile, this weekend, on Sunday, February 17th, both carnival parades on the south of the island, in Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes, were able to go ahead as planned, with plenty of blue sky and bare flesh in evidence, but for Santa Cruz it's all over until next year:

Dates of Tenerife Carnaval 2009

  • Santa Cruz main parade on Shrove Tuesday, February 24th, 2009.
  • The Burial of the Sardine on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
  • The final weekend, therefore falling on February 28th, 2009, when Santa Cruz Carnaval ends, Puerto de la Cruz holds their main, closing parade and when the whole thing moves south.

(Always providing that the authorities don't alter the dates or that the weather doesn't, but we can't be held responsible for these outside issues.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tenerife's Grand Bang Fest

Another video from yesterday's Carnaval de Día (Daytime Carnaval) initiative for the final weekend of carnaval in Santa Cruz. It starts with what they're calling a gran batucada. If you've ever given a toddler a toy drum you'll know exactly what this means, incessant drumming, only this time produced by whole groups of adults, rhythmically. It's make as much noise as possible time. :)

But, as if that wasn't enough for you, this is followed by the incredibly noisy - imagine how it must have sounded was live - fireworks-by-day spectacle coming from the Plaza de España, provided by Los Realejos' firm Hermanos Toste.

These noise fireworks are famous in Valencia and the custom there was unlike any other, where they're called mascletas (bang fests). Michael Palin, in his Hemingway Adventure (video), calls them "a celebration of noise", a competition to make "a bigger, more beautiful din" and "the world eardrum splitting finals."

Given all the fuss made about carnaval's noise in Santa Cruz it is the absolute height of irony (maybe sarcasm) to introduce this 120dB+ spectacle here.

In Tenerife, they are calling this firework finger gesture a "gran traca."

And I just love the typical, total anarchy of it. :-)

Whoever planned this day's events and the order of service should be wholly congratulated. I think they may be guilty of a wee bit of deliberate manipulation, but they clearly knew exactly what emotion they wanted to provoke in the crowd, as it builds from the drumming, into the firework frenzy ...

Bang Billos Caracas Boys launch into a classic, "Santa Cruz en Carnaval".

That song (which is also used as the backing for this video that tells of Santa Cruz Carnaval's history), has become a genuine carnaval hymn.

What I hadn't realized before, is that Billos Caracas Boys appeared with the late, great Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa, now Immortal Goddess, at Santa Cruz Carnaval's Greatest Ever Moment in History: the Guinness World Record for the largest attendance at a dance; 250,000 people a record, says TVCanaria's commentator in this video that may have been broken yesterday.

That sure is a LOT of Santa Cruz Carnaval loving emotion!

Oh, as ABC remind us, today starts the countdown to Carnaval de 2009!

Yes, and if you want the dates, so you can book your holiday to Tenerife to coincide, I can tell you that in Santa Cruz, carnaval will run from February 15th to March 1st, 2009. Dates through to 2025, you can find here.

Los Cristianos Carnaval 2008

Told ya carnaval wasn't finished yet. It just disperses around the island to other towns and, especially to the south, where Arona (Playa de Las Américas - Los Cristianos) holds the next biggest Carnaval del Sur or Carnaval de Los Cristianos 2008, which started on Sunday night (Feb 10th) with the presentation of the candidates for their Carnaval Queen, at the Cultural Center.

It runs through to February 18th and the main events are as follows:

A young genie in a lamp wins a first prize at a previous Los Gigantes carnaval in the south of Tenerife.
Los Cristianos Carnaval 2008

Cabalgata Anunciadora (Opening Parade)
Wednesday, February 13th at 17:30
Playa de Las Américas - Los Cristianos

Gala de elección de la Reina Infantil del Carnaval (Election of Junior Queen)
Thursday, February 14th at 20:30
Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure) - Los Cristianos

Baile de Carnaval de la 3º edad (Old Folks Carnaval Ball)
Friday, February 15th at 20:30
Centro Cultural (Cultural Center) - Los Cristianos

Gran Gala de elección de la Reina del Carnaval de arona 2008 (Gala Election of Carnaval Queen)
Friday, February 15th at 21:00
Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure) - Los Cristianos

Baile de Carnaval (Carnaval Ball)
Friday, February 15th at 23:00
Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure) - Los Cristianos
With the salsa orchestra, "Sensación Gomera".

Baile de Carnaval (Carnaval Ball)
Saturday, February 16th at 23:00
Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure) - Los Cristianos
With the salsa orchestras, "Fortaleza and Sensación Gomera".

Coso Apoteósico del Carnaval de Arona 2008 (Main Parade)
Sunday, February 17th at 17:00
Through the streets of Los Cristianos
At the end of the parade, Baile de Carnaval (Carnaval Ball) - With the salsa orchestras: "Wamampy" and "Sensación Gomera" in the Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure).

Eldigitalsur.com bring us this video, which is a compilation of photos from previous years to give you an idea of what to expect from Los Cristianos' forthcoming carnaval parade.

Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine)
Monday, February 18th at 20:00
From the Cultural Center to Los Cristianos beach

Baile de Viudas del Carnaval (Widow's Ball)
Monday, February 18th at 23:00
Recinto Ferial (Fairs Enclosure) - Los Cristianos
With the salsa orchestra, "Wamampy".

Information from Canarynet.com

In addition there's the fun fair, fireworks, stalls and lots of yummy street food.

Elsewhere, there's even more carnaval action for all the family with ...

Los Gigantes Carnival 2008

... Reputedly runs from 14th - 18th February. Here you will find details (when available), plus information and photos from their carnaval in past years.

Sea MonstersBuenavista de Norte won't have a kids carnaval parade like it did last year, but Saturday, February 16th, is the famous Entierro de la Sardina Buenavista Photos here

But the only information I found about carnaval in Garachico, is from this blog from a teacher at a local school. If you want to make your own máscara de bruja (witch mask), this post has it step-by-step in photos. It's delightfully Blue Peter!

Carnaval Crawl: There are also carnival events still to come in Candelaria, Güimar, Tacoronte, Guía de Isora, La Guancha and San Miguel de Abona.

And, as soon as this lot is over, it will be almost Easter: time for Semana Santa parades. Then we'll be running towards Corpus Christi and, on the very weekend after that, is the first major Romeria of the summer fiesta season ... that runs almost up to Christmas, that in turn, is followed by the next Carnaval.

Let me know when you poop out and need a rest, won't you? :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Puerto de la Cruz Carnaval Parade

Coso Puerto de la Cruz 2008

Sod's Law always brings some rain or bad weather, at least once while carnaval is on in the Canary Islands and this year has been no exception, which explains why the sky is washed out and the colours a bit hazy in these photos.

Carnaval goers wouldn't go hungry with stalls selling food in the Plaza de Charco.
But all of the events and concerts planned in Santa Cruz yesterday, got postponed because of the rains (well, actually a multiple-choice, smorgasbord of strange weather phenomena), with hot calima coming in from the east and cold air from the west, so it was no wonder it collided in the middle and created a huge storm. And boy, that was some storm we had in the early hours of Saturday too!

Even La Palma got snow!

No costume, no problem! You'd have be as mad as a hatter to pay the "last minute" prices tho!
As Leslie says, "Clouds creeping over Mt Teide & Las Canadas from a Southerly direction is not a good sign." Normal weather it was not!

Here at "Secret Tenerife Towers," we were woken at 5.30 a.m. when lightening struck an electrical pylon, not 25 meters from the house with a noise like a huge explosion!

So, after 9 hours without power; cold, damp, no hot food, no decent coffee, we decided to go out.

After a call down to Puerto de la Cruz to get the advance weather report, we left to go see some of their closing carnaval parade.

Like everything here, the Gran Coso Apoteosis del Puerto de la Cruz was listed as starting at 4 p.m., but the reality was that it started at 5 p.m. at the "wrong" end of town for those of us who needed to dash back to the bus station to catch our last bus home at 6 p.m.

This reduced the couple of hours we thought we had to a mere 5 minutes of the parade and meant we didn't see a lot, but we do have some photos for you:

Coso Puerto de la Cruz 2008

Tenerife Carnaval: Old Crocks Day

Yesterday's events in Santa Cruz were postponed because of bad weather and were to be held today (all same time, same place) instead, meanwhile amongst the regular events already scheduled for the final day of Santa Cruz Carnaval was the XXXVII Gran Concurso en la Ciudad de Automóviles Antiguos.

Classic car fanatics would have found many of these beautiful old vehicles Photos here in the streets around the old quarter of Plaza de la Iglesia and Calle La Noria from about 10 a.m. on Sunday, with a circuit of city streets at about midday.

If we could go back to those days ... when private cars were so "scarce" that drivers would wave at any other "motorist" they encountered and not the sardine-packed 690 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants we have today.

One of the main events of carnaval in La Orotava, in the north of Tenerife, was their XXXVI Rally de Coches Antiguos Photos here (36th Classic Car Rally).

As well as the old cars and various other events during the day, there is also the Gran Fin de Fiesta del Carnaval 2008 (end of carnaval party) from around 5 p.m. in the Círculo de Amistad XII de Enero, which I think draws the senior citizens.

But don't be fooled by the "last day" business: carnaval is not yet over, because it now moves off round the island to other locations next week!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tenerife Carnaval: Sábado de Piñata

Santa Cruz hopes to recuperate the Carnaval de Día (Daytime Carnaval), with a number of events to take place today, Sábado de Piñata (Piñata Saturday).

From midday, five areas of the capital (Plaza Weyler, Plaza de Candelaria, Calle de La Noria, Plaza de Europa and the Plaza del Príncipe) will be staging various concerts, featuring; Orishas and Idaira, Edwin Rivera and Billos Caracas Boys, Pepe Benavente and Orquesta Gomeray; Village Boyz and Enrique Furiati among others.

This is all being promoted as a family day, though it might be to encourage noise during the day instead of at night.

It certainly isn't going to stop the noise inside the city with all those concerts going on and with the planned "bombazos" (a sort of mega-firework salute) that will almost literally blast off the day. Later, at 2 p.m. there is to be a "sound spectacle" with more daytime fireworks being set off in the Plaza de España.

Also advertised are "rains of colour" from six confetti canons to be installed in the Plaza de La Candelaria, Plaza de Europa and Plaza del Príncipe.

And entrance to all of these shows and concerts is free.

The bad news is that the weather prediction for this weekend in Tenerife (for Friday and Saturday, at least), is for chubascos fuertes (heavy showers).

Gran fiesta para toda la familia el Sábado de Piñata

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ruta de los Almendros en Flor

The annual Almond Flower Route must be one of the prettiest walks in Tenerife and this year's 11th Edition, is to take place this weekend, February 9th and 10th.

Starting from Santiago del Teide plaza (map) at 9 a.m., it follows the old Camino Real (Royal Road) through the Reserva Forestal del Chinyero (Chinyero Forestry Reserve), Valle de Arriba, Las Manchas, Arguayo, to arrive at Arguayo cultural center at around 1 p.m.

Once again there are two walks organized (because of demand; the numbers increase every year); one on Saturday organized by the town hall in Santiago del Teide and the second, on Sunday, under the care of El Cardón S.L.

Places are limited and there's a symbolic fee (3 euros) for transport, so prior inscription in required via Santiago del Teide council's Concejalía de Cultura (Cultural Department) or by phone to 922 863 127 ext. 234 and 235. Although, 120 people are already signed up for Saturday's walk, which probably means that day is already "sold out."

Recommended: adequate clothing and shoes, water, food and a camera. The latter particularly if you wish to enter the associate photographic contest.

Photos: Blossoming almond trees on Tenerife, Almond Blossom

More photos and videos of last year's Almond Flower Route here

Fiesta del Almendro en Flor 2008 Via: Albergue de Bolico

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday: Burial of the Sardine

Parade of 'widows' in Santa Cruz. Photo WebTenerife
Anything you heard about Carnaval in Tenerife, so far, that you thought was maybe surreal, a bit OTT, downright rude, utterly crazy ... will be rendered tame today, Ash Wednesday. Lent ("Christian Ramadan") begins and, there's a "funeral" taking place, the Entierro de la Sardina to lament the death of the fiestas. The significance of the sardine - so I'm told - is that it represents the return from the anarchy and craziness of carnaval, back to the everyday order and, presumably, everyday food, like sardines.

Then again, it might be all to do with a side of pork and some smelly fish in Madrid, as Linda Wainright discovered in response to her question about the event's origins: Why would a bunch of perfectly straight, often macho, guys dress up in fishnets, high heels and widow’s weeds, and parade themselves through town, bewailing (and take the “wailing” part of that literally!) the “death” of a giant, papier mache fish?

Whatever the reasons, apart from the final weekend to come, referred to as the piñata, carnaval is beginning to end, officially, in Santa Cruz for another year.

Even the fish is tarted up with make up and red lips!
Although the event is called a burial (entierro means putting in the earth, literally), it would be more properly called a cremation, but that seems like an unnecessary and pedantic distinction, given the circumstances. After the funeral procession (and mucho alcohol had been consumed), the effigy of the unfortunate fish is symbolically burned.

One year, also symbolically, somewhat Guy Fawkes stylee, an effigy of the lawyer who represented the Neighbours' Association in their complaint about the noise of Carnaval was also cremated. OK, so maybe 155 dB - louder than a jet engine roaring 100 feet from your ears - was a bit much for midnight, but their protests fell - pretty literally, I suppose - on deaf ears. Nobody was going to be allowed to do away with more than 200 years of the "institution" of carnaval in the streets of Tenerife's capital.

A couple of widows at Santa Cruz' Burial of the Sardine in 2007.
Photo: kasia kazmierska
Still, the best description of this whole surreal and blasphemous closing parade is Julie Burchill's article, Carnaval Queen, in the Guardian. She asks, "Can we imagine a family night out solely about witnessing displays of blasphemy and hardcore porn?"

The sardine's "widows" are mostly blokes in drag, dressed as tarts (they're going on the game now their "husband" is dead and they have no other means of support) wailing inconsolably at their loss. Others dress as popes, priests, pregnant nuns, "many of them carrying huge dildos with which they blessed the crowd", says Burchill. She continues: "On the night the sardine is laid to rest, you realise how irretrievably the Catholic church's backing of Fascism during the second world war has damaged its reputation in its heartland. I knew that the Catholic countries of southern Europe now boast the lowest birth-rates in the world, but I never realised how complete their contempt for their religion is until I saw the burial."

La Laguna Ahora published an article which explains that during the "Fiestas de Invierno" (Winter Festival) - the name that carnaval had to go under during Franco's dictatorship - they used to have to mess with the calendar to make sure that the sardine - which, of course, was "prohibited" anyway - didn't coincide with Ash Wednesday. Once liberties were regained, the event was restored with enthusiasm. They have wonderful old sepia photos of the epoch.

The official site lists the event as running from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., starting from the Plaza de la Paz and ending in the Plaza de Europa. As with everything else, there will be fireworks to finish, just before the all-night revelries start.

More images of the Entierro de la Sardina at Carnaval 2007

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Carnaval Tuesday: The Main Carnaval Parade

The program for Tenerife Carnaval, says the parade kicks off from around 4 p.m. this afternoon in the Avenidas de Anaga y Marítima (map) along the sea front in Santa Cruz, culminating in a huge fireworks display (around 9 - 9.30 p.m.)

This video shows a montage of photos from the main Coso or carnaval parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2007, which last year drew a crowd of 110,000. Today is a holiday in the city of Santa Cruz, but as people come from all around the island (and world), numbers in the evening will swell to "and the rest."

So while Pancake Day may be at risk of dying out in the UK, I don't see evidence of carnaval losing its popularity, especially attendance at the main parade on Shrove Tuesday, or Carnaval Tuesday.

As is traditional, the parade will be headed by the Afilarmónica Ni Fú-Ni Fá, followed by 26 floats - which will include all 17 of the candidates for carnaval queen, not just the queen and her attendants - plus all the various dancing and singing troupes; comparsas, murgas, rondallas, etc.

There are also the familiar characters at carnaval such as; Charlie Chaplin, Fidel Castro, Kermit and Miss Piggy and even a touch of Elton John and Queen Marie-Antoinette Photos here - not to mention the hundreds that defy identification!

These figures have become such local "institutions" (Santiago Díaz has been Harpo Marx since 1969, Francisco Arvelo became Michael Jackson in 1992), that there was an outpouring of public concern when Tenerife's Fidel Castro (real name, Antonio Meseguer) was stabbed during the 2006 Carnaval. Fortunately, he recovered from his injuries. The perp, however, Juan Francisco P.S. was condemned to 14 years in prison for attempted murder.

Later on the 150 kilos or so of explosives, around 500 fireworks, will be provided by Los Realejos firm, Hermanos Toste and, of course, there's the funfair, the various bands for dancing in the streets until the next morning ...

The other thing I need to point out to those not familiar with the whole carnaval culture is that, though this parade is the carnaval's finale (because today is Shrove Tuesday and therefore carnaval "ends", because tomorrow is lent), there is the "funeral" (The Burial of the Sardine) tomorrow, Ash Wednesday and, even then the party continues in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz through to the weekend, later moving on to other towns on the island.

Among traditional eats at carnaval time here (apart from perros calientes (hot dogs) and the mountains of other food at street stalls) are Rebandas de Carnaval or these Sopas de miel (literally honey soup, but which aren't soup at all.)

It's a chilly 54 °F / 12 °C in the north of Tenerife this morning, with some ominous scattered clouds. There nearly always are for carnaval day, but it'll warm up and there are no serious weather systems about, as far as I know.

Getting there and back: the bus company, TITSA, have as always, put on extra buses. For visitors coming from the south of the island, the bus number 111 from Las Americas to Santa Cruz is the most useful as the extra ones will run through the night and become virtually carnaval coaches and an extension of the party.

The Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval parade is being televised live by TVCanaria from 4 .p.m. this afternoon. It can also be seen on the Spanish mainland (at 5 p.m. there) on Digital+ (dial 96), in Europe via Astra or Hispasat satellites and, in America via TVCanaria's International Channel (from 11 a.m. EST).

Le Carnaval de Tenerife (en Français)

Carnaval numbers keep increasing ...

Some 60,000 people - 10,000 more than last year - attended yesterday's parody fiesta of Los Indianos in La Palma, according to local police, report ABC.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Carnaval Monday: Los Indianos

It's the turn of Santa Cruz de La Palma, the capital of our neighbouring island, to provide the curious custom of the day in the province.

The video above, found via the folks at Un vistazo a Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is a promotional video for the Los Indianos fiesta that happens in Santa Cruz de La Palma every year on Carnaval Monday. Even if you don't understand, there's some lovely footage of the beautiful town - before it becomes besieged by thousands of battlers with baby powder.

The fiesta of Los Indianos, in which everyone (about 50,000 people last year) dresses in white - men preferably in the guayaberas (a.k.a. Beach wedding shirts) traditionally associated with Cuba and, also often carrying their luggage - better yet if it is typical of the period; leather suitcases and trunks, maybe filled with Monopoly money, started off to poke fun at the emigrants returning from Cuba (At the start of the 20th Century, around 7 ships a month left La Palma for La Habana (Havana.), who, having "made their fortune" arrived back home in La Palma ostentatiously showing off their wealth and finery.

These fiestas, to the rhythm of Son Cubano, also enact a talcum powder battle in the city's streets. First mentioned in writing in 1867, by José Viera y Clavijo as "los polvos" (the powders), though the tradition itself is older than that.

Award winning travel writer and author of More Ketchup than Salsa, Joe Cawley enlisted to serve in the talcum war one year and survived, battle warn - if smelling of roses and possibly being "as smooth as a baby's derriere" can be called that - to tell the tale of the Battle in a bottle.

Sheila Crosby, who says, "When I lived in Santa Cruz, you could follow the progress of the parade by the cloud of talc drifting above the four-storey buildings on the route, " has photos of Los Indianos, 2007 here and, if we're really fortunate, perhaps she may post a report later at her new blog about the island of la Palma, A small rock in the Atlantic.

The talcum powder - about 5,000 kilograms of the stuff was given out by the town hall this year - harks back to an age old custom of throwing eggs (the white and yolk having been previously removed) refilled with talc (or flour) and confetti at the masked carnaval goers from the windows and balconies.

Just don't go asking me why this age-old custom exists.

Officially, these fiestas started at about noon or before - it was on TV most of the afternoon - and the parade carries on throughout the evening and on well into the night. The talcum powder stays around for weeks, apparently! :)

More photos: Indianos Santa Cruz La Palma 2007 .

More in Spanish: La Palma: La capital se viste de blanco con el desfile de Los Indianos, Los Indianos de la Palma , Los Indianos de la Palma , Más de 50.000 indianos toman La Palma , Indianos en la Wikipedia.

If you think throats will be rather dry in all that talcum powder, don't worry, there'll probably be the odd mojito - traditional Cuban cocktail made from rum, citrus and mint - to refresh the revellers. :)

Cuban Mojito recipe

The original authentic recipe from Havana Cuba

1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces)
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces)
2 ounces club soda

Source: Taste of Cuba.

The word mojito is derived from the diminutive of the word mojo, which is a Canarian word for the sauce that originated in the Canary Islands.

The word and the sauce were introduced into Cuba and the Caribbean, due to heavy Canarian emigration. The recipe is for the authentic mojito much favored by Ernest Hemmingway (and rediscovered by Michael Palin in his Hemmingway Adventure), direct from the coctail's birthplace, the La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba. Those of you who don't have time to mix coctails or go all the way to Havana can also find La Bodeguita del Medio in an alleyway off Kensington High Street in London or try the trendy restaurant and pub, Mojos y Mojitos, in the old quarter of Calle de La Noria, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
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