For the first time Hemingway arrived to Havana in 1928. He stayed just for one night there but liked the place so much that he lived in Cuba for twenty years. Even when he moved to America he often visited Havana. Cuba definitely was the writer's second homeland. He ended his days at Key West, not far from Havana.
Living in Havana the writer could not avoid such a cult place as 'La Bodeguita del Medio'. Although it cannot be denied that Hemingway added to its popularity as well as other celebrities left their numerous signatures on the legendary bar walls.
The famous bar walls are covered with pictures, centerfolds, posters, and autographs. Plenty of pictures are put in the hall: Hemingway on the Pilar yacht, Hemingway with his wife Maria Welsh, with Fidel, with fishermen, with actors, poets, composers, celebrating Nobel Prize award, at the library, in his favorite armchair, with a fishing rod, or with a glass of rum in his hand.
Many Hemingway's famous contemporaries visited the bar: particularly, Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn, Harry Cooper. The Chilean politician El Salvador Allende's signature is framed under glass. Muhammad Ali, Benny More, Pablo Neruda, Francis Ford Copolla and many others loved this place. They signed the bar walls, leaving their wishes and gratitudes for the perfect time and the best mojito in the world.
A great connoisseur and fan of good drinks, Hemingway first tried Mojito here. Usually his daily route started from right here to other hangouts of Havana became popular later. The author declared that in his opinion the real mojito was made exactly here, and confirmed it by writing on the bar wall 'Mi mojito en la Bodegita'. A barman doubled a portion of young rum from the classic recipe especially for the writer, and named it Double Papa – daddy Ham's double.
Today Havana Bodeguita bar as well as the writer's house "Finca Vigia" (where he created "The old man and the sea") are a must see for tourists to touch the ambience where the great writer worked and created his best novels inspired by Cuba.