I’ve been experimenting with the aid of two new cocktail books; the first, Cuban Cocktails, is naturally all about rum. There are more rum cocktails in this book than you can shake a sugar cane at. It is profusely illustrated, packed with back ground info and probably, if you’re a rum fan, another essential cocktail book.
Now bottled and safely stored in the fridge are a fine quantity of honey syrup (perfect for the easy to make Honeysuckle or a Hot Buttered Rum), banana infused rum (for, wait for it, Banana Spiced Rum) and the super useful Demerara Syrup. What I would have liked to have seen were page references or at least the names of the cocktail that the 17 or so syrups and infusion recipes at the beginning of the book could be used in.
“From the celebrated Cuban bar Cienfuegos, owned by the co-owner of the award-winning Death & Co., named America’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2010, comes this spirited collection of 100 recipes that celebrate Cuba’s rich cocktail history and culture. Featuring classics such as the Cuba Libre, El Floridita Daiquiri and the Mojito, as well as modern craft concoctions, including the Cienfuegos Shake, Isla de Tesoros, and Jardin de Flores, Cuban Cocktails offers more than just a gathering of recipes. It captures the history, the tropical elegance and that unfiltered energy of old Cuba, brimming with beautiful, evocative images of the drinks and the places where they came to life. Sidebars shed fascinating light on the country’s legendary bars and nightclubs and the famous bartenders and entrepreneurs who ran them, while quotes and fun facts give a tantalizing taste of the once forbidden Caribbean island. ¡Bienvenidos a Cienfuegos!”
It is rather American in tone. Measures are in cups and ounces but easily converted to millilitres and ‘proper’ measurements. As with any cocktail book, for the home cocktail barman, you have to be judicious in buying your rums. While each cocktail gives a specific rum for each, buying so many different bottles is hugely expensive. So I’ve limited myself to a couple of golden rums and a white. (No, not Bacardi). Both the Whisky Exchange and Masters of Malt have a grand selection incidentally.
For the Twentieth Century Club Cocktail below I used a Flor de Cana 4 Year rum rather than the Ron Del Barrilito and a Volare White Cacao in place of the, not available in the UK, Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao. Worked just dandy for me.
Twentieth Century Club Cocktail from Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic and Modern Drinks
30ml White Rum
20ml Lillet Blanc
20ml Crème de Cacao
20ml Lemon Juice
Lemon for garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass. Decorate with lemon peel.
Honeysuckle Cocktail from Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic and Modern Drinks
55ml White Rum
20ml Honey Syrup
20ml Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.
The authors of Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic and Modern Drinks are Ravi DeRossi, Hane Danger and Alla Lapushchik all widely experienced in the US bar scene having worked at such famous bars as PDT, Death & Co and Cienfuegos. Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic and Modern Drinks is available for an RRP of £17.99.