Cuba is the birthplace of more than its fair share of world famous cocktails (cócteles in Spanish). And why shouldn’t it be? Cuba is a country famous for relaxation, palm trees and tranquil beaches. It’s the perfect place to sip on a delicious cocktail. Why not travel to Cuba and try it for yourself?
The main linking ingredient in Cuban cocktails generally tends to be Cuban rum. Have you ever noticed that two of the world’s biggest rum producers – Bacardi and Havana Club – originated in Cuba? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Rum, along with Cuban cigars, is one of Cuba’s biggest, most famous exports.
The Cuba Libre (“Free Cuba!”) dates back to approximately 1900, and became a symbol of a Cuba freshly liberated from Spain. You’ve probably had it a million times as a rum and coke with a dash of lime juice.
White rum is also the key ingredient in other traditional Cuban cocktails. The Havana Cooler makes use of two ice cubes, a sprig of spearmint (yerba buena) and a small amount of ginger beer, while the renowned Mojito is a long cocktail, or highball, that uses lime juice, spearmint, sugar cane juice (or just sugar if you’re not lucky enough to be in Cuba) and sparkling water. Both make refreshing summer drinks, perfect for the Cuban climate.
As is the Daiquiri, another Cuban favourite that combines rum with sugar, lime juice (and crushed ice for a Frozen Daiquiri). There are many variations, including the Banana Daiquiri, Strawberry Daiquiri and Hemingway Daiquiri.
The Caipirinha is a variation on the Daiquiri using cachaça (a sugar cane based spirit from Brazil) instead of rum. It is actually a Brazilian cocktail but is enjoyed throughout Cuba as well.
Other Latin American cocktails that are popular in Cuba include the Margarita, believed to be from Mexico, and the Piña colada, which originated in Puerto Rico. It is a combination of rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, the perfect drink for Cuba.