Classic Cuban Cocktails with Havana Club Rum

What do a Mojito, a Daiquiri and a Cuba Libre have in common? They were all created in Cuba, are all rum based and they’re still headlining as some of the most popular cocktails out there. Cocktails really kicked off in Cuba when the Prohibition hit America, bartenders travelled south and continued to develop drinks and cocktails in Havana. Below are some of the classics we still love and booze hard on with Havana Club Rum.



One of BarChick’s favourite highballs, the Mojito is a combination of five ingredients for one helluva refreshing cocktail. There’s a whole bunch of different ideas as to where it originated. One of them being that Francis Drake’s sailors discovered it after hunting for medicinal cures, returning from Cuba with all the basic ingredients. What a find!

What we do know is that Ernest Hemmingway drank a lot of them in Havana's La Bodeguita Del Medio. If that guy was into them then we sure are too.

  • Pour into a highball:
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 mint sprigs (Cuban mint is much more fragrant than others)
  • Muddle
  • Fill glass with ice cubes
  • 4,5ml of Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
  • 90ml of soda water
  • Stir lightly and garnish with mint




El Presidente

The don of all Cuban cocktails. Named after the President of Cuba, Gerardo Machado, this was heavily enjoyed by the upper more sophisticated drinkers of the time. It packs a punch and gives off an elegant air… if that’s what you’re looking for this is ideal.

  • In a glass filled with ice, mix together:
  • 50ml of Havana Club Añejo 7 Años
  • 5ml sugar syrup
  • 12.5ml of orange Liqueur (or 1 dash of orange bitter)
  • 15ml dry vermouth
  • Give it a gentle stir and garnish with some orange peel.



Cuba Libre

Named after the battle cry (it means “Free Cuba”) of the Cuban Liberation Army in the War of Independence, it was first enjoyed in Cuba when Coca Cola was brought to the island. It’s so easy to make that you could probably make it with your eyes closed… simple, but boy is this a delicious drink.

  • Simply mix together in a highball filled with ice:
  • 50 ml of Havana Club Añejo Special
  • Few drops of lime or lemon juice
  • 100 ml of Coca Cola
  • Garnish with a lime wedge



Floridita Daiquiri

Y'all might think you know your Daiquiris, but do you know your Floridita Daiquiri? It's a slight twist on the classic with the addition of Maraschino Liqueur. Created in El Florida, one of Cuba's most famous bars by a bartender called Constante Ribalaigua Vert in 1937, it’s a great little number if you’re looking for something fresh and boozy.

Never used your electric blender? Now's the time.

  • Blend together the following ingredients then pour into your chilled Martini glass:
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • The juice of half a lime
  • Couple of drops of Maraschino Liqueur
  • A cup of crushed ice
  • 60ml of Havana Club Añejo 3 Años




El Nacional

This was named after Hotel Nacional, one of Cuba’s most popular hotels that used to fill with nothing but a cool crowd who drank only the finest of cocktails. British Bartender Fred Kaufman invented it, using the sweet taste of the local pineapples and the unusual addition of apricot brandy. A true classic and ever so tasty.

  • Take a shaker and muddle a couple of slices of pineapple (or pour 25ml fresh pineapple juice) 50ml of Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
  • 20ml of fresh lime juice
  • 10ml of sugar syrup
  • 10ml apricot brandy
  • Shake hard and strain into a coupe




So the name might give you a couple of problems but we can assure you that the simplicity of its ingredients will make up for it. Created during the 10 Years’ War (1868–1878) in Cuba, it reflects a time of short supplies with only three simple ingredients.

  • In a shaker mix together:
  • 50ml of Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
  • 25ml of fresh lime juice
  • 25ml of honey
  • Shake and pour into a glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with a wedge of lime



Jose Marti Especial

This year Havana Club held their 10th Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix to find the next Cuban classic cocktail. Made by Andy Loudon from East London bar Satan’s Whiskers, this drink is a damn fine cocktail and well worthy of our list:

  • Muddle 4 cloves in the bottom of a shaker
  • Add 2ml of Ricard
  • 20ml lime juice
  • 15ml Tio Pepe
  • 20ml sugar syrup
  • 40ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
  • Shake with ice and strain into a coupette glass.



Main image photo credit: José Parlá