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Old Cuban Cocktail

Cocktail recipe
Old Cuban Cocktail

The Old Cuban Cocktail is one of my favorite drinks because it transports me back to another era. Cuba is one of those places that I have never visited but it has an enchanting place in my memory. It conjures up the 1940s-1950s, an era that I often imagine living through. In Cuba, it is as if time stopped. The oversized vintage classic American cars, old colorful yet crumbling buildings, sweltering humidity and heat and the incredible music. I just want to play the Buena Vista Social Club album and break out in a salsa routine on the streets of Havana. I listened to this album so many times when it came out and I still don’t have a clue what they are singing about but it doesn’t matter, the passion comes through in every song.

My grandmother was actually on a plane to Florida which was highjacked to Cuba back in the 1960s. Prior to that, she used to visit Havana for vacations with my grandfather who was a bandleader and very fond of Latin music. Maybe that is why I have this ongoing Havana fantasy.

Now back to the Old Cuban Cocktail, it contains simple ingredients but when made properly has a perfect balance of sweet, tart and bubbly.


Rum is made from fermented sugar cane juice, sugar cane syrup, molasses, other sugarcane byproducts. What differentiates it is how it is aged. Depending on the distillery, it will be aged it different types of barrels for varying lengths of time.

White rum is also known as silver rum and has the lightest flavor. I don’t think it has enough flavor to hold up to the flavors in this drink. I would choose a gold or aged rum which look similar but have some differences. The gold has a lighter flavor and the aged rum has more depth. Either of these will work perfectly for the Old Cuban Cocktail, so I suggest you experiment to see what you prefer!

To find some interesting rum brands to test out in your cocktails, check out this very informative article.

You can try this with the Gigantes Greek Bean Salad.

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Old Cuban Cocktail

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  • Author: Lisa King
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


  • 10 mint leaves
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • A dash or 2 of agave syrup
  • A dash of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 ounces Rum (Mt. Gay is one of my favorites)
  • Splash of champagne


  1. Put mint leaves, lime juice and agave syrup into a cocktail shaker and mull the ingredients for 1 minute or until broken down.
  2. Fill shaker with ice then add rum and bitters.
  3. Shake and pour into a coupe glass.
  4. Top with champagne.


  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Mixology
  • Cuisine: Cocktail



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