Summer is here in Europe despite the rain and our thoughts are turning to holidays. White, palm lined, beaches, and cool refreshing cocktails to sooth the heat of the mid day sun!!
Here in Cuba the cocktails are always at hand, all rum based and plentiful combining locally grown limes and herbs into tangy mouthfuls bursting with flavours!
Havana Club is the local poison and it comes young fresh and white or more mature and dark aged for 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years! The most popular among Cubans is the white rum and “Rum Collins” would be the typical home made party drink in down town Havana. It combines simple ingredients that are fresh and local and can be found in most homes without prior planning. White rum Havana Club, lime juice, ice, sugar
Choose a long glass or tumbler and squeeze the juice of a small lime into it.
Add a teaspoon full of sugar (more if you have a very sweet tooth) and mix together to dissolve the sugar in the juice.
Pour in a good shot of Havana Club white rum and stir together
Fill your glass with ice cubes and top up with sparkling water! ……………………………………………...Enjoy!!!!
Most visitors want to try a “Cuba Libre”, which comes in a tall glass, garnished perhaps with a slice of lime, lots of ice and mixed with Cuba’s very own “Tu. Cola”. “Cuba Libre” was the battle cry of the soldiers during the war of independence from Spain in 1898 but Cola from the US did not arrive in Cuba till 1900 brought over my the armed forces. Its certain that the combination of Cola and Rum was quickly found to be delicious in a tall glass packed with ice and garnished with a slice of lime…….so the birth of this drink can be traced to 1900and has been popular the world over ever since!
Mojitos have a much longer pedigree, are 100% Cuban and fun to make, if you can get your hands on some “Yerba Buena”.! This drink needs a little more preparation but delicious and refreshing it will wake up your mouth and set your taste buds tingling! It’s been around for centuries and was popular with the pirates of the 17th century who sweetened the available “aguardiente” (a crude predecessor of rum) with “guarapo” (freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, see our news item “the sweetest sugar in the world” http://encompasstours.com/2012/05/the-sweetest-sugar-in-the-world/ ) Freshly squeezed lime juice was always on their menu to prevent scurvy at sea so adding some alcohol and flavours made it much more attractive! These days if you can’t get your hands on Yerba Buena then any fresh mint will do, guarapo can be substituted with a couple of spoons of sugar and we have the luxury of ice and sparkling water that the pirates would have lacked!!
Hemmingway’s Daiquiri is world famous but more popular outside Cuba than among the island population! It is totally Cuban in origin and made popular abroad through the maritime connection and trade with the US during the 1940s. Originally a long drink it has evolved into a shaken short with crushed ice, sugar, lime juice and rum!
Drink it cold and short…..
…….time for another?????
Have a party this weekend! Get your friends around for a taste that is pure Caribbean and get in the mood for summer.
Get yourself a bottle of Havana Club, half a dozen limes, some sugar to taste, a tray or two of ice cubes, big bottle of sparkling water or sparkling cola, a big bunch of fresh mint , if you can’t get Yerba Buena and with a couple of friends have a Cuban fiesta!!
Or why not invent your own!!?
Send us your personal favourites with a foto and we will feature the best one on facbook and on our web site!!!
Or fill in the comments form below! Don’t forget to leave your name so we can let you know if your recipe is chosen!
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