When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

On Thursday, June 10, Charlotte Voisey joined Phil Greene in presenting a seminar titled "When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba."  The event was held at the wonderful Georgetown restaurant Mei N Yu, located at 3125 M Street, NW.  Charlotte and Phil discussed the history of Cuba, as a Spanish colony, independence, and pre- and post-Castro life.  They particularly focused on the role Cuba shared (with England, France and Italy, among others) during Prohibition as being one of the "carriers of the torch" with respect to keeping the craft of the cocktail alive, as so many talented mixologists were forced to flee the U.S. in order to maintain their profession.
The event was sponsored by Museum sponsors Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Beam Brands (Ri(1) Rye Whiskey), Hendrick’s Gin (William Grant & Sons, namely, Bols Liqueurs), Appleton Reserve Rum, Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, and we also received generous product donations from Martini & Rossi and from Haus Alpenz (St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram and Dolin Vermouth).  Thank you to Mei N Yu and our wonderful sponsors!
Charlotte and Phil talked about the famous watering holes of Havana, particularly the Floridita, Sloppy Joe’s, Dos Hermanos, the U.S. Bar, and La Bodega del Medio.
They discussed (and in some cases served) the following cocktails:

Cuba Libre

½ oz lime juice

2 oz white rum

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

4 oz Coca-Cola

In a tall glass filled with ice, assemble all ingredients, stir, garnish with lime wedge


El Presidente

1.5 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum

3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth

1/4 oz Bols Orange Curacao

Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with orange twist


Mary Pickford

½ oz each pineapple juice

½ oz grenadine

½ oz white rum

shake with crushed ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, serve


Sloppy Joe’s Cocktail

2 oz pineapple juice

1 oz Cognac

1 oz Port wine

Dash orange Curacao

Dash grenadine

Shake well with ice, strain and serve in chilled cocktail glass, serve with a straw


The Classic Daiquiri

1 ½ – 2 ounces rum

¾ ounce fresh lime juice

¾ oz simple syrup

Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass


Floridita Special

2/3 oz  Ri(1) Rye Whiskey

1 oz Martini & Rossi Italian vermouth

1 teasp Torani Amer (or Amer Picon if you can find it)

½ tsp Bols Orange Curacao

½ tsp simple syrup

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Lemon peel

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon peel

Josephine Baker

To make one:

1½ oz Cognac

1½ oz tawny Port wine

1 oz Bols apricot brandy

¼ oz simple syrup sugar

1 egg yolk (use pasteurized if you’re nervous)

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon peel and dust with cinnamon

The following drinks are served as punches at Cienfuegos, a new Cuban-themed restaurant in New York.

Cayo Romano

(This recipe is to make one.  To make a punch, multiply recipe by 10)

1 oz Appleton Reserve dark rum

1 oz Wray and Nephew Overproof rum

½ oz lime juice

½ oz Clementine or tangerine juice, orange if nothing else

¾ oz Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur

1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

1-2 dashes orange bitters

1 Teaspoon St Elizabeth Allspice Dram (MOTAC will source)

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Recipe by Phil Greene

Moveable Feast – batch for 20 full size cocktails

“Ernest Hemingway loved, and lived in, Cuba, as he did Paris, the muse for his memoir A Moveable Feast.  Here his passions are paired in an elegant, crisp and light punch”

21 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Silver rum
21 oz Wray And Nephew Overproof rum
42 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
3.5 oz fresh lime juice
3.5 oz simple syrup
42 oz Dry French Cider
21 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
1 green apple
Freshly ground nutmeg

In a punch bowl combine all ingredients except cider, apple and nutmeg. Stir and add punch ice.
Garnish with apple slices and finish with a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg.

Recipe by Charlotte Voisey


4 tubs of coconut ice cream
42 oz jugo de tamarindo – I can provide if needed
28 oz fresh pineapple juice
24 dashes Angostura bitters
14 oz fresh lime juice
28 oz simple syrup
7 oz Fernet Branca

Combine ingredients in a large measuring cup and blast with immersion blender.
Then pour into a punch bowl over ice and finish with Jarritos Tamarindo.  Garnish with lime wheels and nutmeg sprinkles

Note:  For other amazing cocktails from the Cienfuegos menu, please see http://www.urbandaddy.com/uploads/assets/file/pdfs//f4a3cf24a541bc45f20763d669336d2c.pdf

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1 Response to When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

  1. Interesting post. My buddy owns a Cuban-themed bar called Cubanos in Taipei, Taiwan. I’ll be sure to pass the recipes onto him.

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