Allison Levine of Please the Palate has shared a bit about her recent experience in Cuba on an Access Trips tour. She’s written a superb post about a quintessentially Cuban libation, the daiquiri! We loved reading her Pick of The Week, and can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks, Allison!
Please The Palate Pick of the Week – Cuban Daiquiris
By Allison Levine
I just returned from my first trip to Cuba. Cuba has been on my bucket-list for years and it was time to finally book the trip before we are banned from going there again. I found a wonderful culinary trip organized by Access Trips. For eight days we stayed in people’s houses, drove around in an old Chevy, met with farmers, chefs and artists, visited organic farms and fishing villages and ate in paladares (private restaurants). All the while, we drank daiquiris, a cocktail created in Cuba and hence the Please The Palate pick of the week.
The daiquirí is named after a village near Santiago de Cuba. The drink was supposedly invented by an American in Cuba at the end of the 19th century. By the 1920s, it became known in Havana and the owner of Floridita bar put it on the menu. Then the blender arrived and crushed ice was added, as well as maraschino cherry liquor. Ultimately, the drink was made famous by Ernest Hemingway.
A daiquiri is made with rum, lime juice, sugar and ice and it is just delicious. It can be served the traditional way but most of the time, we enjoyed it blended with crushed ice.
Daiquiris are available anywhere and everywhere in Havana but the most famous place is the Floridita. At the Floridita, barman Jesus made us daiquiris in the traditional style.
On another occasion, we had the pleasure to meet Rolli who had worked at Floridita for 39 years. He blended up some daiquiris for us. A simple but super refreshing cocktail that is tart but not sweet, I am a fan of the daiquiri and loved drinking them all week in Cuba and will continue to at home.