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Cuba’s famous cocktail line up.


Cuba is the birthplace of some delicious cocktails that are famous all over the world. The top 3 of these cocktails, the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre all have two ingredients in common: rum and lime juice. In this article you can read a bit about their history and learn how to prepare them! more...


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Cuba is the birthplace of some delicious cocktails that are famous all over the world. The top 3 of these cocktails, the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre all have two ingredients in common: rum and lime juice.

The main ingredient of the cocktails featured in this article is Rum. The most famous Cuban rum brand, though not necessarily the best, is Havana Club. Rum comes in different varieties with very distinct tastes. In general you can say that white rum has a dryer taste and is less sweet. Most bartenders use white rum while preparing a cocktail. The quality of the Cuban rum has everything to do with the soil and the molasses that are being extracted. The love for rum is engrained in the Cuban culture and is passed on from generation to generation. Many Cubans drink rum without water, ice or any other mixture, something that is typical only in countries where rum is being produced.

The most famous of all Cuban cocktails is the Mojito, although the exact origin of this classic cocktail is still being discussed, one story traces the Mojito to a similar 16th century drink, the "El Draque", named after Sir Francis Drake. Some say the origin of the name Mojito relates to the word mojo, a Cuban seasoning made from lime and used to flavor dishes while others argue that the name Mojito is simply a derivative of mojadito, Spanish for "a little wet", or "mojado" (wet). According to various Cuban historians African slaves who worked in the Cuban sugar cane fields during the 19th century were instrumental in the cocktail´s origin. Guarapo, the sugar cane juice often used in Mojitos, was a popular drink amongst the slaves.

While the Mojito is being prepared all across Cuba, the Daiquiri has kept a slightly lower profile and is served in the more luxury establishments. The simple blend of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar was said to be invented around 1905 by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was working at an iron mine in the town of Daiquiri near Santiago on the southeast coast of Cuba. Legend has it that Cox came up with the idea when he ran out of gin while entertaining guests. But it’s just as likely that this combo was already being drunk in Cuba before Cox arrived, since limes, sugar cane and rum are three things the Cuba produces in abundance. Either way, the daiquiri remained a Cuban specialty until 1909, when a US Navy medical officer named Admiral Lucius Johnson discovered it and sailed back to the States with the recipe.

The key to a good daiquiri is to get the balance of ingredients right. Too much lime and the cocktail will be too sour and sharp; too much rum and it will only taste of alcohol; too much sugar and you get an unpleasantly sweet mix. You need to adjust the measurement of your rum depending on which brand or type you use. Before there were blenders, the cocktail was prepared in a cocktail shaker.

The Cuba Libre is a variation on the world´s second most popular drink, a rum and coke. The famous rum maker Bacardi upholds the story that one afternoon a group of off-duty soldiers from the U.S. Signal Corps were gathered in a bar in Old Havana. One of them ordered a Bacardi (Gold) rum and Coca-Cola on ice with a wedge of lime. This sparked the interest the others. They had the bartender prepare a round of the captain´s drink for them. The Rum and Coke was an instant hit. When they ordered another round, one soldier suggested that they toast ¡Por Cuba Libre! in celebration of the newly freed Cuba. There are some problems with this account, since Cuba´s liberation took place 1898 while Coca-Cola was not available in Cuba until 1900. No matter what the real story No matter what the real story might be, a Cuba Libre is a mighty refreshing beverage!

Recipes:
Mojito
50 ml rum
1 lime for juicing or lemon juice
75 ml sparkling water
1 teaspoon castor sugar
4-8 mint leaves (depends how strong you like the mint taste save one for decoration)
Ice

To prepare
In a highball glass, mix together the limejuice, mint leaves and sugar until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add rum.
Fill up the glass with ice.
Top off the glass with the chilled soda.
Garnish with Mint.

Daiquiri
1 measure Havana Club
½ measure lemon juice
½ measure sugar syrup (cane syrup) or (sugar 1 small tablespoon)

To prepare
Place ice cubes in a shaker.
Add syrup and juice.
Add rum.
Use a Mixer or shaker and serve in a cocktail glass.

Cuba Libre
40-50 ml dark or white rum
Juice of half a lime
Ice
Cola

To prepare
Pour Rum in a highball glass
Add ice
Add Cola
Squeeze ½ lemon and pour the juice into the drink.

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