Havana – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Dry Manhattan with 1 dash orange bitters and 2 or 3 dashes Chartreuse to each drink. Stir. At the St. If sherry is used in place of vermouth in the American President, the cocktail becomes the Havana

1 part Sherry 

3 parts Gold Label Rum 

3 or 4 dashes Lemon Juice to each drink 

Shake well with cracked ice. Decorate with a twist of orange peel. 

In 2001 I visited Cuba, flew into Havana late at night, next morning got on a plane to the far side of the island, but almost everywhere on the island I went there seemed to be some sort of pull back to the capital, almost gravitational as constant comparisons between each place and the hub where made, and the locals always seemed to speak of it, as if it was here they were proud of.

I fell in love with it pretty quickly, there’s not much to dislike, except for the restaurants, and I’ve always felt like it needed an appropriate drink to represent such a spectacular city, I’m not 100% sure this is it, but its close. Being completely honest I would change a couple of things about this drink, and I did as I wanted a proper ‘Havana’ experience.

My first change was the citrus, the Caribbean screams lime at me, rum seems to beg for lime, lemon to me is limes newer genetically engineered brother, designed to pair with manufactured spirits, where as raw rum, cachaca and tequila marry better with wild lime. I used an Oloroso sherry, the type of sherry you use in this drink will vary the final flavour the same as if you use different whiskies, but with my Havana 7 year old rum, the extra age and body seemed to make more sense.

What is left is fantastic, it starts out like a daiquiri, being all about the citrus and rum, but mid palate the sherry kicks in and the finish is a lovely long sherry rum sunset. Great drink.