Havana: Cigars, Rum, & Mojitos

Cuba
Good Cuban rum, good Cuban cigar

One cannot visit Cuba without sampling the rum, enjoying a cigar, and having a mojito. I had a list of Cuban cocktails I wanted to try, but knew my time would be tight so I had to prioritize just in case I only got the chance to enjoy one cocktail. The choice was easy. I mean, one cannot go to the birthplace of the mojito and NOT have one. Really, who does that?

One of the highlights of my trip to Cuba was the rum and cigar pairing we attended after our tour of Old Havana. Our tour guide extraordinaire, Tony, took us to Tocororo Restaurant for the tasting. And let me tell you, this place is full of character and ambiance. There is something to catch your attention on every wall and in every corner from murals, art work, displays, and pictures. It really is just the sort of eclectic place I’d love to hang out in with good company and great drinks. While here, we were walked through the proper way to prepare and a light a cigar, got to sample some wonderful Cuban coffee and Havana Club rum, and had a live band play for us. All in all, it was a great time.

Fun Fact: The colors of the tocororo bird reflect the red, blue, white of the Cuban flag.  It is for this reason it was chosen as the national bird of Cuba

Tocororo Restaurant
Really vibrant art work on one of the walls (my camera didn’t do it justice though)
Tocororo Restaurant
This was like a combo wall of fame/wall of messages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuba

After a quick walk around the restaurant, we were lead to our tables, which were already set for our rum and cigar pairing lesson. We had a taste of the Havana Club 7, a Romeo y Julieta cigar, and cup of espresso. I’m not usually a fan of drinking any liquor straight, but the Club 7 is a smooth aged rum meant to be sipped as is. I was pleasantly surprised at its mellowness and can personally attest this is a great rum (I made sure to purchase a bottle) that pairs very well with cigars.

We were also given a shot of espresso made with Cuban coffee beans. Not an espresso fan, however this was very smooth–I didn’t even need to add sugar. Not a lot of people know this, but Cuban coffee pairs extremely well with cigars. Something about the flavors really balance out the cigar well.

Cuba
Proper lighting of a cigar with a cedar spill

Next up was a lesson on the proper way to light a cigar. Our presentation included the classic way of using a cedar spill (piece of cedar) vs. a lighter. Using the candle on the table, I actually managed to light my cedar spill & use it to start my cigar without burning myself, or the restaurant down. 🙂  After the lesson, we all sat back and enjoyed ourselves and fellowship with one another. We were treated to the sounds of authentic Cuban music from a great band.

 

Cuba
The mojito

Since the restaurant had a full bar, I used this opportunity to get a mojito and I was not disappointed. With absolute no exaggeration, I tell you this was the BEST mojito I have ever had.

Ever.

Hands down.

(did I say ever yet? 🙂 )

I looking forward to visit Cuba again in the future. With only one day to visit, there is definitely a lot more of both the Havana & the country left for me to explore.

 

 

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Comments 2

  1. Aisha Walker
    Reply

    Hey, this is Aisha from the Black Girls Travel Facebook group! I absolutely enjoyed your post of Cuba in its entirety. You made me feel like I was right there! Also, you have inspired me to do more traveling and maybe even start a blog once I do! When I go to Cuba, I will definitely be sure to check out the places you’ve highlighted here. I have so many mre questions though. You said the liquor was good, but how was the food? I know I’ll want to eat out every day that I’m there, I’m such a foodie! Anyway, thanks for pointing me in the direction of you blog, I’ll be sure to keep paying attention to it!

    27 January, 2018
  2. La-Tessa
    Reply

    Hi Aisha! I had a blast in Cuba & please check Tocororo if you get the chance & do yourself a favor & order a mojito—it will change your life. lol

    I was limited on time & my tour took up a little over 4 hrs, so I didn’t get a chance to check out any food while there. My focus was primarily on seeing as much as I could & the rum :-).

    27 January, 2018

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