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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Main image photo credit: José Parlá