Sugar, mint leaves, a decent dash of lime juice, then gently, gently, mash the leaves, add the strong stuff… and stir. Add ice shavings and a dash of soda water, then sit back and relax.

Whatever could go wrong in making the perfect Cuban beverage? Those of us disappointed with the efforts at some of Dubai’s establishments in preparing the quintessential warm-weather drink should perhaps ponder a dalliance at the band new 88 Ultra Lounge at Traders Hotel. The perfect mixed drink? Perhaps not quite, but certainly a very decent attempt.

The Bur Dubai venue offers a spacious outdoor arena with ample lounge and seating areas featuring sleek furnishings lit by neon lights. Views are, for the most part, annoyingly blocked by adjacent buildings.

Labelled as a pre-club venue, there would certainly be no harm in staying there until late for a relaxed night out. Tunes – and decent lighter trance at that – were played at a refreshingly acceptable decibel level when we visited. Being able to actually speak to your chums without hollering has its charms.

The launch of the new venue comes complete with its own weekly Ultra Fridays night, from 6pm, which we’re hoping to see pick up steam in coming weeks.