The origins of many cocktails are hotly disputed, from where they were first created to their proper original ingredients. There are, nevertheless, undoubtedly plenty of bona fide Cuban cocktails. The five Cuban classics listed here appear time and again on drinks menus throughout the country.

  • Cuba Libre The simplest of Cuban cocktails, no more than white rum with cola and a twist of lime, is second only in popularity to the mojito. It was given its name (“Free Cuba”) in 1902 after the country had broken free from Spanish colonial rule.
  • Daiquiri There are countless variations on the daiquiri but the classic – as popularized by La Floridita and championed by Ernest Hemingway, who regularly visited that renowned bar in Old Havana – is made with white rum, Maraschino liqueur, sugar syrup, lime juice and crushed ice.
  • Mojito The most famous Cuban cocktail, which came to prominence in La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana, is a refreshing combination of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint.
  • Presidente Gained fame during the years of American Prohibition in the 1920s and named in honour of Mario García Menocal, president of Cuba from 1912 to 1920. There are lots of recipes but the basic components are dark rum, curacao, white vermouth and a dash of grenadine.
  • Ron Collins This is the Cuban version of the gin-based American Tom Collins, made here with white rum, sugar, lime, soda water and ice.

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