Cuba Libre

Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
Trip End Apr 20, 2011

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed

Flag of Cuba  ,
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cuba is famous for its rum cocktails, and rightly so. It is, after all, the birthplace of Bacardi. There's the Cuba Libre - simply rum, coke and lime - one of which I enjoyed in the hotel bar just a few short hours after touching down in Havana. Next up is the mojito, and and it didn't take me long to find one of those either, as a pre-dinner drink in the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Sevilla. It was a refreshing accompaniment to sunset views of the city, a lovely seafood meal, and the mellow stylings of the piano player who seranaded the diners. Still to try: Ron Collins (lesser known cousin of Tom), Daiquiri, Presidente, and of course the "Hemmingway Special".  
Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is backdrop to the expected crumbling grand old buildings and late 50's American cars. One of the squares, Plaza Vieja, has been beautifully restored, as have a few selected other buildings in the old city, which gives just a hint of how gorgeous Havana must have been in its heyday. We learned from our guide a few insignts into how things work in Cuba - how there is a black market for almost everything you can imagine, and how "everything is possible, under the table".  

Lunch outdoors at a restaurant on one of the squares was uninspired in terms of food (choice of ham, cheese or tuna sandwich), but once again, there was live music to entertain us. I appears that it's illegal in Cuba to dine without musical accompaniment. One of the band members salsa'd (Is that a verb? In Cuba, si!) over to our table and held out the maracas for one of us to try as they continued to play. Since there were no other takers, I gave it a shot.  Next thing I know, the singer grabbed me and pulled me up with the band to shake through the rest of the song. Part embarassment and part delight - see Exhibit A!
But back to the cocktails. Havana evening #2 started off with cocktail mixing lessons with one of Cuba's top champion bartenders on the rooftop terrace of our hotel. Mojitos, Daiquiris, Ron Collins and Cuba Libres were flowing freely. I know I learned how to make all of them, but the detaills are a bit foggy.  

After dinner (a much needed interlude for soaking up the aforementioned rum drinks), a few of us stopped in at a music club to watch a set by the local band performing. The group had a flautist, which gave me romantic ideas of taking up taking up the flute again, and giving up my day job for a stab at a music career. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the cumulative cocktail consumption of the day. 
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: