The 20th century had Hemingway and Floridita. And the 21st century has Gargano and Florita!
or so jokes Luca Gargano when we ask him to tell us about the Florita, a bar in Haiti where every year he holds the final of the Clairin World Championship bartending contest.
«If I was going to make a film about rum, it would start at the Florita.» To do that, you would need to go to Jacmel, the artistic and cultural capital of Haiti. It is here that naive painters work, and where immense papier mâché masks are created for the carnival.
At its roots, the Florita is a hotel built in 1888 on a street parallel to the sea. Its wrought iron foundations have survived every earthquake. The same cannot be said for the Jacmel Cathedral and many of the surrounding houses. Next to the hotel, the bar took up residence in a former coffee depot with stone walls and a corrugated iron roof. It is a place that seems frozen in time. Walking into the Florita is like travelling back in time.