(credit: cafebrazildenver.com)

(credit: cafebrazildenver.com)

Warm weather calls for long, cool drinks that use the best of summer’s ingredients, like rum, lime and fresh mint in a mojito. The drink’s name comes from the Cuban word mojo, which means to cast a spell. Denver casts its own summer spell with mojitos at these top spots.

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Cuba Cuba Cafe and Bar
1173 Delaware St.
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 605-2822
www.cubacubacafe.comCuba Cuba is a cute, clapboard house with a Latin soul. Mojitos are the house specialty. Cuba Cuba has a traditional mojito for purists, as well as a others with mango, blackberries, strawberries, pineapple or coconut water. If rum is your drink of choice, it takes the Caribbean spirit very seriously with a wide selection of specialty rums. Mojito happy hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., where mojitos are discounted. Be sure to check out the food menu too, Cuba Cuba is known for authentic Cuban cuisine.

Buchi Cafe Cubano
2651 W. 38th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 458-1328
www.buchicafecubano.comBuchi Cafe is one of those spots where you feel immediately relaxed. Warm (without the Cuban humidity) and at ease is the best way to describe this lovely little spot. The food and bar menu is simple, with pressed Cuban sandwiches, great Cuban coffee, a top-shelf rum selection and, of course, mojitos. If you’ve ever spent time in southern Florida, you will recognize perfection. Buchi doesn’t pipe in a fake Cuban vibe, it lets the simple selection of mojitos, sandwiches and dark coffee speak for itself.

Tom’s Urban 24
Larimer Square
1460 Larimer St.
Denver, CO
(720) 214-0516
www.tomsurban24.comThe beauty of Tom’s 24 is the place never closes (although the bar does from 2 a.m. until 8 a.m.) This bright spot on Larimer is open 24/7, so no matter what time of day you want a mojito or any other cocktail, an expert is on staff to pour up a cold beverage. Like everything else at Tom’s Urban 24, you will find familiar favorites with a fun twist. The Colfax Cooler is a mojito with a few extra splashes of this and that, including white rum, mint, simple syrup and a cool cucumber and lemon juice. The Tom’s Cup is served in a copper cup, and instead of rum, it’s a blend of gin, Pimms, strawberry puree, fizzy ginger beer, lemon juice, simple syrup, cucumber and mint.

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1575 Boulder St.
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 570-8686

This bar and restaurant that is known for tequila and coastal Mexican cuisine can also pour a respectable mojito. Lola is known for using the freshest ingredients, whether to fill a glass or a plate. Pull up a stool on the patio and order a bowl of house-made pork rinds with chimayo, cotija, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime to go with your drink.

Cafe Brazil
4408 Lowell Blvd.
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 480-1877
www.cafebrazildenver.comRum is the spirit of choice at Cafe Brazil, whether it’s a traditional mojito or a batida with rum and tropical fruit juices. Top-shelf sipping rums are also available. Pair up the mojito with a plate of grilled manchego cheese, prawns with crushed red peppers and black beans or fried calamari.

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Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.