Time to loosen up with and embrace cocktail culture in Havana!
Havana is a city of charm and style. Not only because once you visit it you will be able to appreciate history all along but its cocktail tradition. Walk with us through the stories of some of the most popular drinks in town, included in the menus of bars and restaurants.
Here are the 10 most popular rum based Cuban cocktails:
This is probably the most universal Cuban alcoholic drink; it’s often an international citizen’s introduction to Cuba. Popularized by Hemingway in “La Bodeguita del medio” where he used to drink it every day it sets the precise mood and refreshes at the same time on the basis of rum, lemon, sugar, angostura, peppermint, ice and sparkling water.
Once again the Nobel Literature Prize winner is involved in popularizing a Cuban drink, this time in the famous Cuban bar “El FLoridita” where today a statue in his honour stands leaning on the bar bench. His liking of the beverage was such that he went so far as to mention it in one of his novels.
Originally invented in Santiago de Cuba by an American engineer as he ran out of gin it exploded in popularity all over the country.
Treat yourself and have it a go in its Havana cradle, side by side with Hemingway’s spirit still lurking in “El Floridita”. The ingredients are rum, sugar, lemon and ice all mixed in a blender.
Cocktail making historians affirm that this drink was invented by an American barman in Cuba in the years of prohibition in the United States. The dedication to one of the then Cuban presidents provided the reason behind its name.
Popular among the bourgeois class in Havana during the neo-republic due to its elegance and equilibrium of rum, dry vermouth, curaçao (triple dry, cointreau), a trickle of grenadine, shell of an orange, cherry, rum and ice it still holds pleasant surprises for the interested.
Considered as one of the greatest Cuban cocktail jewels it is absolutely delicious and refreshing. It was created in the 1950s when American tourists were flocking Havana. Born out of the hands of Constantino Ribalaigua, owner of the notorious “El Floridita” bar its aim was to provide foreign visitors with a Cuban taste to keep them coming back for more. Its preparation contains rum, pineapple juice, cherry liquor (Maraschino), a pineapple slice, and custom cut ice.
This is the Caribbean variant of the well known Brazilian cocktail Caipirinha, but instead of cachaza rum is used, lime, sugar and ice are also added. The secret to pleasure is to drink it using a straw as the lime juice and sugar remaining at the bottom slowly mix with the rum. Make sure you don’t drink it in front of a Brazilian because you’d be committing high treason consuming this rum version!
No wonder this drink is named after our nationality, colourful, lots of ingredients and spicy! This classic is one a Cuban bar should not be without off. Put together Havana club white aged rum, lemon juice, tomato juice, English sauce, ice, pepper sauce and salt, all decorated with a slice of lemon and there you have it!
It is said to help with the digestion process.
Who would have thought? This is probably the easiest of all; grab your good ol’ white Cuban rum, add any sort of Cola and you got yourself a party going on barman! Even though its origin is not clear it is known that Cuban troops would shout Cuba Libre! as they charged against the Spanish troops. The introduction of Coca Cola by the American troops mixed with white rum was simply VOILA! the drink was born. Adding some drops of lemon juice is optional.
Adán y Eva
The complex of your senses stirs upon arrival of this delicacy to your palate. Just imagine a conversation of apple liquor, white vermouth, Havana Club 7 years, some drops of Campari assembled in a religious ceremony. It’s easy to succumb to a first prize winner in the Seville World Cocktail Making Classic Championship.
The birth child of the Tryp Habana Libre hotel barman Sergio Ramírez is meant for amusement, not excess, dedicated to love, friendship and personal exploration.
Its different variants for each time of the day will make you question whether you’ve joined Adam and Eve seizing heaven, assailing the gates of paradise in Havana.
Served in an old thick vintage glass you pour some Oro rum, lemon juice, grenadine, aged rum, peppermint, a lemon slice for the looks and ice toppings.
Invented in the famous “Hotel Nacional” in Havana it bursts refined elegance, the flavour coming out of the combination of sugar syrup, pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, apricot brandy and 5 year aged Havana Club rum incites leisure from the inside out.
The taste closely resembles cognac.
* For the above please drink responsibly.