2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll: Adding Cuban Rum to the Mix

Among purists, the most popular Cuban rum is the Havana Club Gran Reserva, a 15-year-old spirit that can be compared favorably to the finest Cognacs. But for centuries Cuba has been producing younger, lighter rums that are ideal for mixing in cocktails.

In the early 1800s, the English favored the daiquiri, which evolved from the British navy’s discovery that lime juice, when added to the daily ration of rum, staved off scurvy. During Prohibition, Cuban rum soared in popularity among vacationing Americans, who mixed it with their favorite soft drink; by 1945 the bouncy tune "Rum and Coca-Cola" topped the hit parade. Rum and Coke remains popular today in Cuba, but to pass for a native, you have to mix your rum with Coke made for the Latin American market; the carbonation is lighter, aficionados say, and it is sweetened with cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

For Ernest Hemingway, what he drank depended on where he was: At Havana’s Floridita, he drank daiquiris; at the Bodeguita del Medio, he drank mojitos. Cubans, however, tend to believe that there is no wrong place—or way—to drink Cuban rum. A popular drink among locals and tourists alike is the guarabana, made with orange juice, white Havana Club, and guarapo (sugarcane juice).

With a turbocharged engine and three electric motors, the new NSX will challenge the top models...
Photo by Mercedes-Benz USA
AMG GLE63 Coupe and AMG GLE450 Coupe boast impressive acceleration times…
The two-seat sports car features contemporary reinterpretations of classic Bentley design cues…
One of the most technologically advanced electric power trains to make its way onto a production...
Photo by Royce Rumsey
The annual springtime event highlights some of the world’s finest collector cars…
The new vehicles are lighter and quicker than their gas-burning counterparts…
The new car has a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.1 seconds and can lap the Nürburgring in less than 7.5...
Photo by Richard Prince
Robb Report puts the Corvette Z06—essentially a street-legal racecar—through its paces on the track…
The 458’s replacement is a street-legal supercar with racecar credentials…
Photo by Darin Schnabel⁄RM Sotheby's
One of the finest car collections in the country is paring down...