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How To Mix A Cuban Cocktail

A classic drink, mojitos are the perfect Cuban cocktail for hot summer days.

A classic drink, mojitos are the perfect Cuban cocktail for hot summer days.

 

Summer: the perfect season for a refreshing Cuban cocktail. Spend your hot days sipping cold, tasty drinks just like the locals.

What makes a cocktail “Cuban”? With its rich history, Cuba has created and influenced a wide variety of drinks that are associated with strong flavors and, often times, contain fresh fruit. Whether you’re a shaken or stirred type of drinker, chances are there is a Cuban cocktail for you.

Cuba Libre

This classic drink is made from rum and soda, or cola, usually with lime. Invented in Havana, Cuba at the start of the 1900s, “Cuba Libre” [Spanish for “free Cuba”] was the battle cry for soldiers fighting for Cuba’s independence from Spain.

Start by filling a 12-ounce glass with ice. Pour in 2 ounces of dark rum, and top with 4 ounces of cola such as Coke or Pepsi. Garnish with a splash of lime juice and a lime wedge.

Mojito

Refreshing and smooth, mojitos are easy-to-drink, minty, and perfect for hot summer days. They also happened to be a favorite of the famous writer Ernest Hemmingway.

This drink requires a little more than just mixing and pouring. Begin by muddling 2 lime wedges and 2 teaspoons of Castor sugar. Using a large spoon, or a mortar and pestle, press and combine them together to extract their flavors and aroma.

Next add one sprig of mint (or 8-12 leaves) to the glass with sugar and lime and continue to muddle. In the drink glass, fill it ¾ of the way with ice. Pour 1.5 ounces of white rum into the glass, and add the mint, sugar, and lime mixture. Stir. Top with another splash of lime juice and/or a mint leaf.

Havana Loco

This light, fruity drink will bring you straight to the beaches of Cuba. Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in 1.5 ounces of white rum. Top with orange juice. Garnish with a slice of orange, slice of melon, and a cherry.

Daiquiri

This fun icy drink can be made with whatever flavor is your favorite. One of the most popular types is strawberry. Make sure you have a blender ready to make this drink.

Add 6 cups of ice, ¼ cup of white sugar, and 4 ounces of frozen strawberries (fresh work too, but frozen strawberries will help the texture). Add 1/8 cup lime juice, ½ cup lemon juice, and ¾ cups of white rum.

Blend until smooth – ice will be completely broken down and sugar will be dissolved. Pour into glasses with stems and serve. Makes around 8 servings.

El Presidente

If you need a stiff drink, this one is for you. This classic cocktail is served neat and is great in the evening around dinnertime.

Start by filling a cocktail glass with water and ice. Set aside. Add 1.5 ounces white rum, .75 curacao, .75 dry vermouth, and a dash of grenadine into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake.

Take the cocktail glass with water and ice and dump. Strain the drink into the chilled glass and serve.

Saoco

This unique drink is fun for serving at parties. With its unique drinking glass, your guests will be impressed with this cocktail.

Fill a shaker with ice. Add 2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce coconut water or milk, 1 ounce lime juice, 1 tablespoon of grapefruit juice, and a dash of maraschino liqueur. Shake. Pour into a coconut (that produced the coconut milk or water) and add a straw. If the coconut is broken and cannot be used as a drinking glass, party stores often have plastic versions that will do just fine.

Next time you’re hosting a party or acting as “bartender,” try making one of these Cuban cocktails. By using fresh ingredients and sticking to traditional recipes, your guests will be surprised they’re not sitting at a local’s bar in Havana.

Image: Flickr