Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mojitos on My Mind

By Paul
I don’t usually drink at lunch. But Saturday, Renée (“She Who Must Be Fed”) and I were eating Cuban sandwiches and sweet plantains at Café Atlantic in Pasadena. That’s the more casual side of the wonderful Latin restaurant, Xiomara’s. Both are famous for their mojitos, the icy rum/mint/soda drink that’s perfect for 100- degree days in the San Gabriel Valley.

Then it was off to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood to see “Miami Vice” on the huge screen. It’s a big, splashy, gloriously silly, visually stunning movie. Renée also finds Colin Farrell (Detective Sonny Crockett) to be visually stunning. I think her exact words were: “He can pat me down any time he wants.”

In the movie, Sonny falls for Isabella (the lovely Li Gong), a druglord’s squeeze and apparent financier of the cocaine biz, but it’s never entirely clear what she does. Now, I can’t replicate the conversation verbatim, mainly because Colin Farrell mumbles a lot, and the music drowns out much of the dialogue. But here’s the essence of the scene that brings the two star-crossed lovers together.

Sonny: Would you like to have a drink?

Isabella: (turns away, thinks about it, turns back) I know a place that makes the world’s best mojito.

Sonny: Where?

Isabella: Havana.

Luckily for the plot, Sonny has a million-dollar go-fast boat parked about 20 feet away.
They speed across the Florida Straits to have mojitos and sex (twice). For a video clip of the ride (boat ride, that is,) click here.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, which was hard to follow, but suffice it to say that Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) use many pricy planes, boats, and automobiles that make a lot of noise. Their guns also spit colorful flames. Then there are the clouds. Director Michael Mann seems to love clouds. Big, billowy clouds in a blue sky, orange clouds at sunset, purple clouds at sunrise. I thought I was watching the Weather Channel.

But I’m straying from the point, which is to help you make the perfect mojito. As we’re leaving the theater on Sunset Boulevard, we see a billboard that proclaims Bacardi the official rum of “Miami Vice.” Okay, we’re from Miami, so we know something about mojitos. (I’ve also tried the mojitos at the lobby bar of Nacional Hotel in Havana, but that’s another story). Sure enough, Bacardi light rum is my preferred choice. But that’s NOT the secret of a great mojito.

On Sunday morning, we go to the Farmer’s Market in Studio City to buy the most important ingredient of the mojito. FRESH MINT. The mint is not just for decoration. You must bruise the leaves by crushing them with a spoon in the glass. Use a lot; if the recipe calls for two or three leaves, use six or seven. Another sprig for decoration. Also, squeeze FRESH LIME JUICE. Nothing frozen or bottled. Here’s the basic

That’s it. I have to go on Netflix now. Renée insists I order “Phone Booth,” “The New World,” and “Alexander.” I have no idea why.


"How She Really Does It" is now out in paperback. The author is my daughter, Wendy Sachs, public relations executive at Dan Klores Communications, former TV news producer, and mother of two (making me a grandfather!!!) Last Saturday, "The Guardian" (London) published this excerpt under the headline, "How To Be a Happy Stay-at-Work Mum."


Yes, of course, it's Mel Gibson's B-movie dialogue when being arrested for DUI. Speaking to a female sheriff's deputy: "What are you looking at, Sugar Tits?"



  1. And if you can get your hands on Key limes (also Mt. Gay white rum or smuggled-in Havana Club) those mojitos are all the better. Hmmm, lunch is fast approaching and you've inspired me...

  2. Sugar. Tits.


    Your daughter's book sounds wonderful! As do the mojitos...

  3. Had a wonderful experience once upon a time drinking mojitos with a champagne float. Yum.

    And I agree with Renee - Colin Farrell is just it on a stick. I love me some naughty Irish boys...


  4. Your Mojitos recipe sounds divine. Mel wasn't partying at your place that night, was he? Congrats to Wendy!

  5. Mojitos with Colin in Havana :)

  6. Jamie Foxx is a lot better looking than Colin F, IMO.

    I'm glad you at least mentioned Mel Gibson, Paul. Mystery Bloggers seem to be tiptoeing around the subject, afraid to offend. Seems Tom Cruise is fair game, Gibson isn't. I think it makes great plot fodder. Anti-semetic actor - with local cop connections and a father who believes the Holocaust was a reality TV show - found dead as the proverbial doornail. If I were writing it, my perp would be Sugartits.