Category: Cuban Culture

Cocoa, characteristic fruit of the island of Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 47 0

Cocoa, a tropical plant from America, whose fruit receives the same name has become an essential food for all people due to its aroma and flavor.

Its fruit is usually used to make chocolate, since cocoa powder and butter are obtained from it, both when mixed with sugar give rise to different types of chocolate.

Read on, to learn more about this important topic.

 

Aspects to be treated:

  • What are the origins of cocoa?
  • When does Cocoa appear on the island of Cuba?
  • Interesting facts about Cocoa:

Culture

Tree and Fruit

  • How is Chocolate processed?
  • What types of Chocolate exist?
  • Is there a place on the island dedicated only to the sowing of cocoa?

 

What are the origins of cocoa?

 

According to historians, the appearance of Cocoa dates back to times as old as 800-1100 years before Christ, a product of evidence found in artistic manifestations such as sculptures, murals, bowls and vessels.

A sample of his presence was the finding of his hieroglyph in many containers, deciphered as ka-ka-wa in the form of fish.

The oldest was found in a Mayan burial in Guatemala in 1984, it is known as Río Azul vessel and dates back to 500 AD. C. s.

They have been the object of imagination in various Aztec paintings, where they were represented as tributes to the emperor and offerings to the dead.

 

When does Cocoa appear on the island of Cuba?

 

Already by 1492 with the arrival of the conquerors on Cuban shores, the inhabitants knew and dominated the cultivation of cocoa.

They even offered their deities their fruit and drank chocolate in rituals performed to name children, at weddings or funerals.

Extending the novelty to other regions of the world, chocolate became one of the delicacies of preference for figures such as María Teresa, wife of Luis XIV.

Over time, cocoa spread to the city of Baracoa, today the chocolate queen on the island due to its favorable climatic conditions and soil richness.

It is currently the producer of 75 percent of national cocoa.

It has a chocolate and powder chocolate factory, which has undergone several modernizations since its foundation in 1963.

 

Interesting facts about Cocoa:

 

  • Culture:

 

Cocoa began to be grown in small plots, until the mid-twentieth century that began to promote some species of bitter taste and low quality.

But in 1956 the situation began to change.

Research began to begin to improve plantations with the introduction of clones and hybrids from Costa Rica.

Already by 1959 with the triumph of the Revolution these works accelerated and new technologies began to appear for the benefit of cocoa crops.

One of them was the creation of several banks with a high genetic level that made plants and producers of a superior quality fruit more resistant.

 

  • Tree and Fruit:

The strange-looking tree that yields cocoa, is called Theobroma cacao, which in Greek means cocoa food of the gods, more than 200 years ago by the great botanist Carolus Linnaeus.

These trees grow only in the regions located in a strip of more or less 20 degrees around the line of Ecuador.

Violet red pods when tender and yellow when ripe, contain cocoa beans that grow directly on the tree trunk.

When opening the pods we find between 30 and 40 seeds, similar to almonds, covered with a pale yellow flesh, citrus flavor.

They contain among its components sugar, water and tannin, which is processed to obtain wines, vinegar and alcohols.

Another curiosity about the seeds of the fruit of the cocoa is that from its cover feed is manufactured and from the clean almond cocoa fat and other components are extracted.

However, from the shell of the fruits, organic matter is manufactured that improves soil conditions.

The plant that originates by means of seeds is of erect growth and can reach a height of five meters, the one born by stake is of open foliage and of smaller size.

 

How is Chocolate processed?

 

The process of making chocolate begins once the growers have collected the fruits of the cocoa, and open them by hitting with a machete to remove the beans.

The fruits are cut at their optimum moment of maturity, which is noted by the color and sound of the fruit when struck.

This harvesting process is essential for obtaining good quality grain.

 

Then the fresh grains are left to ferment in drawers at room temperature between 2 and 8 days.

In order to obtain grains in optimal conditions of flavor and aroma.

To do this, the grains are piled up and covered with banana leaves.

In the process the elimination of the mucilage that covers the almonds and the death of the embryo that is inside them occurs.

Once fermented, raw cocoa still contains 60% moisture, which should be reduced to 7%.

To do this, the beans spread on the ground exposing them to the sun.

This process will take a week although it can reach two or more depending on the ambient temperature of the place.

 

Once dried and cleaned, they are packed in jute or paper bags of about sixty kilos and stored under certain conditions of temperature and humidity.

 

After this process, the cocoa beans are sent to the chocolate manufacturers where they will finish the production process.

 

When the seeds arrive at their destination, they are roasted to help develop all their aromatic and flavor qualities.

The roasting is done at about 120-170 ° C and can last up to an hour depending on the size of the pimples or if they have been deprived of the skin.

 

Roasted cocoa beans are split and passed through steel rollers several times to remove the peel and be thin enough.

The pressure and friction produce a smooth but thick liquid mixture called cocoa liquor that will serve, either to make chocolate, or to make cocoa powder.

This paste is stored in the form of semi-solid cakes.

From here, cocoa paste can take several paths depending on its use.

To obtain the cocoa butter, the cocoa liquor is passed through a filter where the cocoa particles that are later used to make cocoa powder are retained.

This process helps eliminate acidity and bitterness typical of cocoa.

In the case of chocolate, unfiltered liquor is used.

 

In the kneader the ingredients are mixed and kneaded: cocoa paste, cocoa butter, sugar.

After this a homogeneous paste is obtained, prepared to pass again through the mill.

Which takes place in the refiner, where the size of all solid particles, especially cocoa and sugar, is reduced to about 25 microns.

Subsequently, in machines called shells, between 1,000 and 6,000 kg of chocolate dough are normally heated at a temperature of 80 ° C.

In this phase caramelization reactions occur.

For a period that oscillates between one and three days, the chocolate dough is refined in the shells, at a temperature between 50 ° C and 60 ° C.

 

To obtain adequate crystallization of cocoa butter, tempering is performed.

It consists in reducing the temperature of the chocolate by guaranteeing the crystallization of a minimum amount of butter in crystals of the stable type, while the crystals of the unstable type are ready to be molded.

Then it is reheated without exceeding 35 ° C.

 

At this time the chocolate is about to be molded.

In the molding process, the liquid mass of cocoa is poured into molds

 

And once the process is finished the final products are taken to the packaging machines and wrapped in aluminum foil.

Subsequently, individual packaging is carried out and the products are put in boxes and pallets.

 

What types of Chocolate exist?

 

  1. Dark chocolate.
  2. Chocolate with nuts or cereals
  3. Chocolate with fruits
  4. Milk chocolate.
  5. White chocolate.
  6. Liquid chocolate.

 

Is there a place on the island dedicated only to the sowing of cocoa?

 

Yes, one of them is the Cocoa Trail.

 

It is accessed from the country restaurant Finca Duaba, belonging to the Gaviota S.A. Tourism Group. in Villa Gaviota Baracoa.

It is the first cocoa trail in America. It has the cocoa house and other proposals to quench the thirst of people interested in the important and delicious product that is part of the local culture.

The most exquisite tropical fruits you can try on your trip to Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 51 0

Undoubtedly, fruits constituted millions of years ago the first food of the ho for subsistence, when he had not yet learned to cultivate the land and took what nature offered for free.

Over time he gained knowledge and began to expand them throughout the world, but Cuban fruits are unquestionably the most coveted.

Not only for its nutritional value but also for its exquisite flavor and aroma.

There are many that are used for industrial purposes, that is, in cosmetics, pharmacology and food.

If you plan to travel to Cuba, read on, so you can learn more about typical Cuban fruits.

 

Aspects related to the topic:

Typical Cuban fruits:

  • The banana.
  • The coconut.
  • The Mango.

  • The melon.

  • Papaya.

  • The mamey.

  • The maracuyá.

  • The Grapefruit.

     

Typical Cuban fruits:

 

  • The banana :

Banana, or banana, was probably one of the first species that spread spontaneously and one of the first to be cultivated.

Although it is originally from India, it adapted very easily in many countries of tropical America.

Being one of the highly esteemed fruits in Europe to where a large export flows.

 

It can be used in different ways:

  1. Whether as a dessert fruit, served whole and using the peel to hold it without the hands coming into contact with the pulp directly.
  2. In pieces it is incorporated into fruit salads, jellies and other desserts, as well as smoothies and other drinks.
  3. Due to its high energy intake and its high potassium content, it is often consumed among athletes and bodybuilders.
  4. Cooked, it is used as an accompaniment for some meats in tropical recipes, as well as in Cuban rice.
  5. With brown sugar, lemon juice or vinegar and spices, sauces or jams are prepared, sometimes very spicy.
  6. They are used to prepare mash, a very frequent food for children.
  7. Another way to consume them is cooked, that is, ripe bananas are fried in butter or oil.
  8. In the form of tostones (mashed and fried banana slices) they are served to accompany meats.

 

 

  • The coconut:

It is an edible fruit obtained from the coconut palm, the most cultivated palm in the world.

In Cuba they grow in some places, especially in coasts and beaches, giving the landscape a special attraction, as in other Caribbean islands.

It is characterized by having a juicy pulp and an exquisite water inside, the presence of it is checked by mild agitation.

 

Due to its pleasant and refreshing taste, different uses have been attributed to it:

  1. In cosmetic products or in pharmacies, for the great fat and coconut oil it has.
  2. In many places they are used to drink the liquid it contains – coconut water – poured into a container or, more commonly drink it from the coconut itself.
  3. Used in diseases for its excellent medicinal properties.
  4. It is useful for making saoco, a typically tropical and Cuban drink, which is prepared with coconut water, combined with brandy.
  5. Coconut oil is used to make some packaged industrial confectionery products.

 

 

  • The Mango:

Mango is recognized as one of the best and most delicate fruits in the world.

Not only for its colorful appeal, and exquisite flavor but also for its nutritional values:

  1. It provides a significant amount of carbohydrates so its caloric value is high.
  2. It is rich in magnesium and as for vitamins it is rich in provitamin A and C; Both vitamins also have an antioxidant effect.

 

Apparently it is native to northwestern India and northern Burma on the slopes of the Himalayas and possibly also Ceylon.

But it was not until the year 1793 that the first mango seeds from Jamaica landed through the port of Havana that were sown on the farms outside the walls, in the lands of the Counts of Jibacoa, where Galiano Avenue is today.

From there they spread throughout the island, although it is not ruled out that from Jamaica more seeds have arrived to the east.

Hence, it is impossible to believe that about 200 years ago in Cuba there was not a single tree of the exquisite fruit when today there is a large amount.

 

Forms of employment:

  1. The pulp that is obtained is used in the elaboration of concentrated puree, compotes, nectar and jams, destined for export, tourism and the national market.
  2. Much of the crushed mango is used in the manufacture of mash in aseptic bags for shipping to European countries, where it has gained great prestige for its quality.

 

 

  • The melon:

Melon or watermelon comes from tropical Africa.

It is a spherical fruit, fragrant and highly esteemed for its pleasant and characteristic flavor.

Its quality depends on the color, juicy content and cultivation mode; but there is no doubt that it is necessary to open it and try it.

Among its nutritional properties are: the amount of minerals it provides such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium; and 80% of its composition is water.

Hence it is an ideal moisturizer, so it can be consumed in the desired amount without fear of ingesting excess calories or sugars.

It is a diuretic fruit par excellence, and therefore recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure or blood vessel conditions.

 

The ways to consume the melon are very varied:

  1. The most common way to consume it is in its natural state.
  2. Also in both sweet and savory preparations.
  3. It is ideal for making compotes, jams, creams, and preparing.

 

 

  • Papaya:

Native to tropical America, its fruit is similar to that of melon.

 

Among the properties it presents are the following:

  1. It constitutes a good diuretic (water) for presenting 90 percent of water.
  2. Increase natural defenses (vitamin C), that is, 100 grams of food cover one hundred percent of the daily recommended amount for an average adult.It provides even more vitamin C than orange!
  3. It improves skin health (vitamin A) as it covers 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of this nutrient for an average adult.
  4. Cardiovascular disease prevention
  5. Restores the acid-base balance of the body as it contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

 

 

  • The mamey:

One of the most delicious fruits on the palate is the mamey, its most exact origin is in Mesoamerica.

It is one of the most beautiful and appreciated fruits of tropical flora, its thick red mass is very sweet and aromatic.

There is another variety, called mamey de Santo Domingo, with yellow flesh, sweet and very pleasant.

Its flavor is sweet, with a delicious orange pulp turning reddish and with a seed of about 10 centimeters dark brown or black.

 

Its use is very varied:

  1. Mamey can be eaten raw as a fruit, or also in ice cream, smoothie.
  2. It can also be found in jam or in the form of jelly.
  3. It is usually used as an aphrodisiac.
  4. The seed in the form of oil – sapayul oil, is also used in beauty products.
  5. It is ideal to stop bleeding from wounds due to tannin (substance that is extracted from the bark of trees), contained in its leaves.

 

 

  • The maracuyá:

It is an oval, hard-shell fruit that contains seeds.

 

Some of the benefits offered by this food are:

  1. Reduces muscle and headaches and relieves the body fighting stress and insomnia.
  2. Eliminates cough and respiratory problems.
  3. It provides the body with vitamins A and C and the B complex, as well as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  4. It is ideal for constipation due to its high fiber content.
  5. It helps to lose weight and take care of the line.
  6. It helps strengthen the immune system.
  7. Its seeds have an oil that help contribute to skin care.

 

 

  • The Grapefruit:

It is a citrus native to Southeast Asia, but its cultivation has been spreading to countries such as Israel, Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries and to states such as Florida and California in the United States.

Its shape is like that of an orange, but larger and is yellow like lemon, although there are varieties of colors.

Its taste is somewhat bitter, although they can be sweet, both very pleasant to the palate.

They are tasty by themselves or by adding them to any fruit or green salad.

They are also a delicious and unique ingredient in sauces

It contains 32 calories per 100 grams and 90% water.

 

Among its medicinal uses are:

  1. It exerts a diuretic effect, being ideal in situations of heart failure and hypertension due to its low sodium intake and its high potassium content
  2. Its high content of vitamin C is beneficial in cases of infections, since this vitamin stimulates the functions of the immune system.
  3. Its habitual consumption prevents cancer thanks to the excellent combination of limonoids, vitamin C and pectin.

Cuban Habanos, something that you should taste in your visit to Cuba.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 72 0

Cuba is not only recognized worldwide for its beautiful beaches, for its colonial architecture, for the exquisiteness of its cocktails but also for the freshness and quality of its tobacco.

This is because it has the best technique to prepare cigars, and its texture, aroma and taste are unique among many, so they meet the standard for the most refined tastes in the world.

Hence, they are considered without discussion as the best of their kind on the planet and claimed by the most demanding markets, mainly due to an increasing quality and novelty.

 

If you are a lover of Cuban cigars, read on, I can guarantee that you will find very curious data that you probably did not know.

 

Data to be treated:

  1. How did the Habano in Cuba?
  2. What are the best brands of cigars in Cuba?
  3. How to recognize the authenticity of the Habano?
  4. What should be taken into account when choosing a Cuban Habano?
  5. How to make the cut to a Cuban Habano?
  6. Where to buy Habanos in Cuba?
  7. What are the prices of Cuban Habanos?
  8. How to preserve the Habanos?

 

How did the Habano in Cuba?

 

Tells the story that tobacco arrived in Cuba by the year three thousand before our era.

It is also said that our aborigines, mostly composed of the so-called Indian Taíno, gave the plant healing properties and a role determinant in social, political and religious ceremonies.

Then with colonization, the tobacco plant spread throughout the world, instantly unleashing a strong passion for it. Spain quickly figured among the countries with the highest number of followers.

Later it spread to other parts of Europe, where the most serious sanctions against tobacco were established.

The first factories of the cigar appeared in 1676 in Spain and by 1731 the factories of the royal cigars had been established there.

Italian ports in Venice and Genoa became key points for transporting cigars to central Europe and Russia.

During this period, the leaf grown in Cuba was being transported to Spain to become pure. When they realized that the cigars of Havana survived the transatlantic trip much better than the leaf itself, cigar factories were born in Cuba.

Tobacco intensified its value.

 

What are the best brands of cigars in Cuba?

 

  1. Partagas

Partagas was announced in 1845 by its creator Jaime Partagás.

It is a brand of Cuban cigars that belongs to the national company Habanos S.A. administered by the Cuban state for the production and commercialization of tobacco in the region.

It is recognized for its fine cigars, without doubt the size of many, also recognized worldwide.

In any of its presentations, the layer of Partagas cigars is generally light colored.

 

  1. Cohiba

Cohiba became known in Cuba for the year 1966, and since then it has remained among the favorites by many.

It is a brand of cigars made in the region ‘Vuelta Abajo’, has the best vitolario in the world and is characterized by its great strength and the flavor of cigars.

He has obtained great recognition and the best scores in international competitions.

 

  1. Punch

It is another of the great brands of Cuban tobacco, which has great international prestige and is one of the most traditional and ancient in Cuba. Its quality and presence make it one of the most sought after in the old continent, especially in the United Kingdom.

 

  1. Montecristo

It has its beginnings in Cuba for the thirties.

They are characterized by being strong cigars, with a dark Carmelite layer and with a great strength present in their traditional formats.

It is one of the best brands of cigars in Cuba, and the one that sells the most, especially the No. 4, and are characterized by having a somewhat spicy flavor.

 

  1. H. Upmann

It is one of the oldest cigar brands in Cuba founded by the brothers August and Hernan Hupmann, in 1844, and for years they have maintained the tradition of creating cigars of the best quality internationally.

At present, it has two factories: one in Cuba and another in the Dominican Republic, to serve the North American market.

It is easily recognized by its particular smell that conceals a mixture that for many experts is the best.

 

  1. Romeo and Julieta

This brand has its beginnings for 1878.

It became known worldwide for the twentieth century, has a somewhat classic flavor, especially because it has a very distinctive aroma that is mixed with the leaves of gut and cloak.

They are globally recognized for being a quality brand.

 

How to recognize the authenticity of the Habano?

Check the Guarantee Seal or label that the box has, it will always be located on the upper left side, approximately in the middle of the shield, subtracting 3 or 6 mm at the edge of the housing.

Take a good look at the silkscreen of the vitola, the fakes of homemade printers are quite good but, if you look closely, the authentic vitolas have to match the pattern of the serigraphy with the relief.

This element is important, since it has 2 security conditions, to guarantee that you obtain legitimate Habanos.

The first is that it is made on special synthetic paper, with numerous characteristics that make it unique and with protection against photocopies or scans.

And the second is that it has a unique barcode for each box.

 

What should be taken into account when choosing a Cuban Habanos?

 

All five senses are required when choosing a Habano.

The coat should please the eye. You may prefer a light color or perhaps a ripe or dark one.

Either way, the color should be uniform throughout the Habano and the layer sheet should have some luster.

If you notice any white or green spots, these are natural effects, which appeared during the growth or healing processes.

None of them affects the quality of the Habano.

Touch the Habano gently, pressing it lightly between your thumb and forefinger to verify its condition.

You should notice it firm but not hard to touch it.

Enjoy the aromas that always constitute a foretaste of the flavors that you will later enjoy.

Flavor can only be assessed when smoking.

 

How to make the cut to a Cuban Habano?

 

The cut should be made just above the line where the cap joins the layer.

In order to create an opening wide enough to ensure a proper shot, while ensuring that a part of the knob remains, to prevent the layer from falling off.

There are several instruments that can perform the cut.

It is usually used a guillotine with one or two leaves.

There are also special scissors for Habanos.

Another is the die (or bullet) cutter with its circular blade: it removes a section of the Habano knob, and has the advantage of preserving the shape of that knob although it has several limitations, as in the case of figured Habanos .

 

Where to buy Habanos in Cuba?

 

When you are visiting the island, and you want to taste a quality Habano, you should buy it only in official stores.

Otherwise you risk being cheated.

There are several places where you can buy Habanos, one of them are the official shops of the hotels.

Here you will not only find your authentic Habano but also special spaces to fully enjoy it, such as the Meliá Cohiba, Meliá Habana hotels, the Habana Libre Hotel, the National Hotel and in Santiago de Cuba, La Casa del Habano at the Meliá Hotel Santiago.

Another option is to buy in the stores that are in the city of Havana.

El Corrojo Tobacco Shop, located at the Meliá Cohiba Hotel.

“La Corona” Tobacco Factory, located in Agramonte between Colon and Refugio, Old Havana.

La Casa del Habano 520, located in the Partagás factory, Industria street # 520 e / Dragones and Barcelona, ​​Old Havana.

 

What are the prices of the boxes of Cuban Habanos?

 

The most sold and preferred by everyone who visits the island, ranging between 90 and up to 500 dollars, depending on the brand.

  • R and J (Romeo and Juliet) Exhibit No. 4 is priced at $ 90.
  • Hole Epicure No. 1 (SLB) costs $ 109.
  • Montecristo Special Nº2, $ 120 and Montecristo Petit EDMUNDO, $ 208.
  • Juan Lopez Selectos Nº2, at the price of $ 118.
  • Habano Punch Churchill can buy it at the price of $ 143.
  • The Double Crowns Hole costs $ 154 and The Hoyo des Dieux Cabinet costs $ 155.
  • At the price of $ 170 you can enjoy a Punch Punch SBN 25.
  • The famous Partagas Series D N’4 SBN 25 has a price of $ 190.
  • Bolivar Giants SBN 25, $ 250.
  • Two varieties of Cohiba, the first Cohiba Siglo III costs $ 167 and the Cohiba Esplendidos Var 25, $ 490.

 

How to keep the Habanos?

 

They can be stored for up to 15 years if they are kept at a temperature between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity of 65 to 70 percent.

If it gets wet it will not turn on, if it dries it will have a spicy flavor so it is advisable to have a Humidor at hand.

Humidors are the best tool to keep the cigar, it can be a box, a cabinet or even a complete room, specially designed and containing a source that generates or controls humidity.

Therefore, the temperature should be kept as constant as possible and the humidity controlled.

 

I hope that this small document has been useful, and remember that there is no better place than Cuba to taste an authentic Habano.

Everythink you need to know about of Cuban Cocktails

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 141 0

Cuba is one of the most famous countries in terms of music, style, sun, beach but even more for the exquisiteness of its cocktails.

Which has been the result of Spanish, Caribbean and African influences, which combined are something very delicious.

Many of them have achieved international recognition, but the taste is indisputably better when you drink in your country of origin.

That is why everyone who visits Cuba is amazed and eager to return to their bars and restaurants.

 

If you are interested in this world of Cuban cocktails, I recommend that you continue reading.

Here you will find what is necessary for the preparation of those drinks so known in  the island.

 

 

Aspects to be treated:

Ingredients and  Preparation of:

 

  1. Mojito
  2. Daiquiri
  3. President
  4. Havana Special
  5. Cuba Libre
  6. The Canchánchara
  7. Pina Colada

            

Mojito

 

Favorite cocktail of millions of Cubans especially in this hot season for its unparalleled freshness and flavor.

Its emergence dates back to the 16th century, known at that time under the name “ El Draque”, in honor of a slave merchant, named Francis Drake.

This drink can be found in all the menus of bars and restaurants in the country, so you will not have difficulty finding it.

But the place of predilection for all is “ La Bodeguita Del Medio”.

Bar-Restaurant located on Calle de Empedrado No. 307 in Cuba and San Ignacio, a few blocks from the Malecon, in Old Havana, specifically halfway down the street as you might say.

 

This illustrious drink of Bodequita requires the following ingredients for its preparation:

 

  • two ounces (60 ml) of rum (Havana Club Silver Dry).
  • half lime juice.
  • a branch of mint (clinopodium douglasii). It is good to point out that the plant known in Cuba as spearmint differs from the European plant and is not a mint.
  • two teaspoons of white sugar (No brown)
  • four ice cubes.
  • Two ounces of siphon or soda water.
  • a slice of lemon to decorate or a branch of mint.
  • Optionally a few drops of narrowness, to enhance the flavor of the ingredients.

 

Preparation:

 

  • Add the sugar and half lime juice directly to the glass and shake until the mixture is chamfered.
  • Add the peppermint crushing it, only the stem, but not too much. The key is not to break the leaves, but to release their essential oils.
  • Put the ice, add the Havana Club and complete the glass with siphon or sparkling water.
  • Stir and garnish with a straw or remover, a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

 

 

Daiquiri

 

One of the best cocktails for the summer!

Originally from Santiago de Cuba, the eastern region of the island, it is one of the most famous drinks in the country along with mojito and Cuban rum.

It is a very versatile drink, being able to be used in any type of situation.

Different ingredients, especially fruit, can be used for its preparation.

But the one that has truly gained international fame is mixing in one of the most famous bars in the world, Bar Floridita, where Ernest Hemingway took them regularly.

 

Ingredients for its preparation:

 

  • good white rum, preferably Havana Club Silver Dry
  • juice of a lemon
  • two tablespoons of white sugar
  • some ice cubes.

 

Preparation:

 

  • All the ingredients are beaten for about 30 seconds, so that the ice is crushed and the rest of the ingredients well beaten.
  • It is served in low glasses.
  • For greater taste before serving the edge of the glass can be wet with lime and lemon.
  • Sugar is placed on a plate and the inverted cup is placed so that the sugar is impregnated on its edge, which will make the cocktail more attractive.

 

As stated by Ernest Hemingway himself:

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquirí in El Floridita”.

 

President

 

This cocktail emerged in the city of Havana.

But it was not until the 20s and 40s that it became popular.

It was invented in honor of the Cuban president Gerardo Machado, becoming from then on the preferred cocktail for the upper class of that time.

Currently there are many Cubans and tourists from all over the world who delight in this tasty cocktail.

 

For its preparation the following ingredients are required:

 

  • 4.5 cl of Cuban white rum
  • 2.5 cl dry vermouth
  • 2.5 cl of curacao de naranja (Triple Seco, Cointreau)
  • A trickle of grenadine
  • Orange peel
  • Cherry
  • Ice

 

Preparation:

 

  • Fill a cocktail glass with ice, to cool down.
  • Put a few cubes of ice in the cocktail shaker and add the white rum, the dry vermouth, the orange curacao and the grenadine splash.
  • Shake the shaker with enough energy to cool and mix all the ingredients well.
  • Remove the ice from the cocktail glass and strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into it.
  • Twist the orange peel over the contents of the glass so that it releases the oil and introduce it inside.
  • Finish decorating with a cherry.

 

Many change the dry vermouth for red and many others usually add the trickle of grenadine at the end, but this is a matter of taste.

 

Havana Special

 

In the yearIn 1912, the American billionaire Henry Flagler built a railway route which he called “The Havana Special”.

Whose route connected the city of New York with Miami and then extended throughout the keys of South Florida to reach Key West.

At this point, the trains were sent to Havana, where they then continued their railway journey to the city of Santiago de Cuba.

This fact caused thousands of American tourists to arrive to Cuba constantly.

As it was an extensive day, and the tiredness a lot of tourists visited important places, among them the Floridita bar, but not only with the objective of resting but also of taking some Cuban drinks.

At that time the owner of El Floridita, Constantino Ribalaigua, created this cocktail with the aim of enchanting with its flavor all the tourists of that route so that on returning from the east, they would go back to their bar.

 

Ingredients for its preparation: 

 

  • 5 mL Marrasquino
  • 45 mL Pineapple juice
  • 45 mL White rum
  • ice cubes
  • 1 slice of pineapple

 

Preparation:

 

  • Mix the ingredients in the order described except the pineapple slice.
  • Place the ice cubes and pour the whipped mixture into a cocktail glass.
  • Cut the wedge-shaped pineapple slice and place it as a decoration.
  • Accompany the cup with remover, preferably.

 

Cuba Libre:

 

This drink was invented around 1900.

According to rumors, after the Spanish-American war, soldiers met frequently at the military base of the city of Havana to enjoy this drink, which would later become famous under the name Cuba Libre.

It is said that they began to mix soda cola with Cuban rum and lime and when offering they exclaimed: “Viva Cuba Libre!”, Hence the name.

However, we could not speak of liberation, since at that time the island was, instead of under Spanish rule, under US domination. That is why Cubans in exile call this drink “little lie”.

A very common confusion.

 

You do not need many ingredients: 

 

  • a good rum
  • a cola drink
  • fresh limes
  • small ice cubes.

 

The basic recipe is the following:

 

  • wash the files and cut them into quarters.
  • Place them in the glass and squeeze them with a wooden stick.
  • Fill the glass in a quarter with small cubes of ice.
  • Add four to five centiliters of rum.
  • Depending on the size of the glass and the taste, it may be a little more. Mix and fill with cola drink. Ready!

The glass can be decorated with slices of lime it is very important that the limes are fresh, since these are the ones that give a special touch to the cocktail, the concentrates should be used only in case of emergency. Nor should you miss a sorbet and the drink You must have enough ice.

 

The Canchánchara

 

It is a cocktail that emerged in the eastern region of the island during the period of independence wars against Spain.

His name is clearly Cuban, without foreign influence that announces Cubanness.

It is considered a symbol of the city of Trinidad.

Formerly served in a güira (rounded and hard fruit when dry) or in a container made of dried coconut.

Today it is served in small clay pots, whose shape resembles that of güira or coconut, which are also sold as souvenirs.

 

Ingredients for its preparation:

 

  • Sugar cane rum
  • Honey bee
  • Lemon juice.
  • Water

 

Preparation:

 

  • Mix of all the ingredients.

 

 

 

 

Piña Colada:

 

This cocktail is classic in Cuba, although it is not originally from the country, but was created in Puerto Rico.

It is often dense and creamy in consistency. As with the daiquiri, there are variants of this cocktail: with golden rum instead of white, with condensed milk, etc.

The presentation varies considerably from one place to another, although a more attractive presentation does not always imply better flavor.

It is the maximum to refresh in the intense heat of Cuba.

 

Ingredients for its preparation:

 

  • 60 milliliters of coconut cream
  • 120 milliliters of white rum
  • 1 slice of coarse natural pineapple
  • 180 milliliters of pineapple juice
  • 2 streams of condensed milk
  • 1 glass of crushed ice

 

Preparation:

 

  • Cut the pineapple. Remove the heart of the fruit, which is the darkest central circle, and chop the rest of the slice.
  • For most cocktails, 1 shot is used as a measure, equivalent to about 30 milliliters. Keeping this in mind, bring all the ingredients of the pina colada to the blender and beat at full power.
  • Test the result and correct the sweetness of the cocktail with the condensed milk or the level of alcohol pouring more rum.
  • If you want the piña colada to have more coconut flavor, you can substitute white rum for Malibu or any other coconut rum.

 

Serve the pina colada cocktail in a glass and decorate it with natural fruit, with the leaves of the pineapple or with a candied cherry. It is also very good to add a little currant or grenadine on the walls of the glass and then serve the drink.

 

 

Here you have the main Cuban cocktail,are you ready to prepare some?

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquirí in El Floridita”.

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 137 0

Visiting Havana and not enjoying a tasty daiquiri in El Floridita or a refreshing mojito in La Bodeguita Del Medio, is a total mistake for anyone who wants an atmosphere of glamor and cubanía.

 

As stated by Ernest Hemingway himself:

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquirí in El Floridita”.

 

Aspects related to the topic:

 

  1. Address of El Floridita.
  2. History of the bar: El Floridita.
  3. Interesting data on Floridite.
  4. Menu The Floridita.
  5. The daiquiri.

            Ingredients for its preparation.

            Preparation.

            Price.

  1. Address of La Bodeguita del medio.
  2. History of La Bodeguita del medio.

     8. Data of interest about La Bodeguita del medio.

  1. Menu La Bodeguita del medio.
  2. The Mojito.

           Ingredients for its preparation.

           Preparation.

           Price.

 

“El Floridita”

 

 

 

Address of El Floridita:

On the corner of Obispo and Monserrate in the heart of Old Havana a couple of blocks from the Capitol opened its doors in 1817 the Floridita bar.

 

History of El Floridita bar:

 

In its beginnings, it was known as La Piña de Plata, then La Florida and finally it was awarded the designation El Floridita.

In 1914, under the name La Piña de Plata, the Catalonian Constantino Ribalaigua Vert (Constant), a Spanish immigrant, entered as a bartender, who brought the daiquiri for the first time to Havana, a drink that would have been born in the interior of Cuba.

Already by 1918 product to his excellent professionalism, smiling treatment and respect towards the multitude was granted him the property of the place but already under the definitive name, Floridita.

In the ’30s, Hemingway settled in the Ambos Mundos Hotel, a few blocks from Floridita, a bar that became very common and where he used to drink daiquiri almost every day.

They say that one day the writer asked Constante for a stronger drink.

This is the origin of Papa Doble, a drink exclusively made for the North American, which is distinguished by doubling the amount of rum and using grapefruit.

Of the Double Pope Hemingway would say: «I am drinking glory».

Reason why he usually traveled from Finca Vigía, located on the outskirts of Havana, to the capital since for him that was “the best bar in the world”.

 

Interesting facts about El Floridita:

 

The Floridita constitutes a permanent tribute to Hemingway, with an exhibition of photographs of the writer with his friends (almost all accompanied by a Double Pope).

But the most striking thing is a sculpture made by José Villa Soberón of normal size bronze located in his favorite corner inside the bar, where he sees himself leaning on the bar.

In addition to all this plot of history that is reflected just by entering the bar, and by its distinguished cocktails; It has the most elegant and exclusive restaurants in Havana.

It offers the best dishes based on seafood and fish, prepared by experts in International and Cuban cuisine.

Attended by an excellent team of work and prestigious musical groups to the Cuban rhythm.

 

It is not the only bar called this way.

In England there is the Floridita London bar, in Spain the Floridita Madrid, and in California, the United States, El Floridita Restaurant, which emulate the Cuban atmosphere of its homonymous Havanan, with its “perfect blend of cubanía”.

El Floridita has received international recognition, as one of the 7 most famous bars in the world, and the Best of the Best Five Star Award from the American Academy of Gastronomic Sciences as the King of the Daiquiri and Restaurant specialized in fish and seafood more representative .

 

This bar-restaurant has received famous personalities in all these years, including:

  1. To the boxer Rocky Marciano,
  2. The writer Tennessee Williams,
  3. The film director Francis Ford Coppola,
  4. The French fashion designer Francisco Paco Rabanne,
  5. The actors Jean Paul Bel Mondo, Matt Dillon and
  6. The musician Jean Michel Jarre, among others.
  7. In addition to Pablo Milanés and Silvio Rodríguez

 

El Floridita Menu:

 

Within your menu menu we can highlight:

 

      1. Floridita Cream

This is a hot appetizer very requested. Made from a seafood velouté (flour, butter, nutmeg, seafood smoked, cream and tomato sauce)

 

       2. Hemingway great dish

Seafood was among Hemingway’s favorites. That is why Floridita has made this dish in his honor. The lobster, the shrimp and the fish are part of it. In it you can savor that touch of the Caribbean that Hemingway enjoyed so much.

 

       3.Gulf shrimp cocktail

It is one of the most requested dishes of Floridita for its presentation and flavor. It consists of shrimps seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

        4. Snapper Wheel “Both Worlds”

His name is an allegory to the Ambos Mundos hotel, located almost

end of the famous Obispo street, very close to the Floridita, where Hemingway was staying, and that perhaps, thanks to its proximity, began to frequent this restaurant.

 

       5. Baked Alaska

It’s an ice cream cake with different layers and flavors covered in meringue that recreate the “Nieves del Kilimanjaro”, one of Hemingway’s works. It flames in front of the customer with mint liqueur and Havana rum.

 

The Daiquiri:

 

The Daiquiri is an equal mixture (cocktail) of Havana Club Silver Dry rum and lemon juice or criollo. Many other variants exist of this drink, but the perfect mix, the one of world-wide fame is that of El Floridita.

 

Ingredients for its preparation:

  1. good white rum, preferably Havana Club Silver Dry
  2. juice of a lemon
  3. two tablespoons of white sugar
  4. some ice cubes.

 

Preparation:

 

  1. All the ingredients are beaten for about 30 seconds, so that the ice is crushed and the rest of the ingredients well beaten.
  2. It is served in low glasses.
  3. For greater taste before serving the edge of the glass can be wet with lime and lemon.
  4. Sugar is placed on a plate and the inverted cup is placed so that the sugar is impregnated on its edge, which will make the cocktail more attractive.

 

 

Price:

A daiquiri costs 6 CUC

 

 

“La Bodeguita del medio”

 

 

Address of La Bodeguita del medio:

 

It is located in Empedrado Street No. 307 e / Cuba and San Ignacio a few blocks from the Malecon, in Old Havana, specifically halfway down the block as its name would say.

 

History of La Bodeguita del medio:

 

Before being a bar and restaurant, in 1942 under the name La Complaciente was just a small “bodega” where typical products were sold and people went with their friends.

Then he adopted the name of Casa Martínez.

Traditionally the “bodegas” were located in the corners, but this one unlike the rest, was in the middle of a street. Hence, in 1950 it was given the name “La Bodeguita del Medio”.

 

Interesting facts about La Bodeguita del medio:

 

It is characterized by an atmosphere of the 50s, stools, rustic tables and walls marked with the signature and phrases of all that has happened there, along with photos of the most illustrious characters that Bodeguita went to taste its flavor and all to enjoy a Mojito.

 

Here have passed characters such as:

  1. Gabriela Mistral,
  2. Pablo Neruda,
  3. Ernest Hemingway,
  4. Nicolás Guillén,
  5. Salvador Allende,
  6. Carlos Mastronardi …

For its good taste in food and drink Mojito has been replicated in Argentina, Costa Rica, Bolivia, France, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

 

As the Cuban national poet Nicolás Guillen refers to in his poem:

“ La Bodeguita is already the bodegona. ”

 

Menu La Bodeguita del medio:

 

Apart from the legendary Mojitos, you can enjoy typically Creole dishes such as black beans, pork legs, yucca with mojo, white rice, rillettes and tostones.

It is important to mention that if you want to eat you must book in advance as it is usually full.

If you only go for the Mojitos, you can arrive at any time.

 

The Mojito:

 

The Mojito, is prepared with Cuban rum Havana Club Silver Dry, white rum specifically created for cocktails, rather dry and unlike the old does not change the taste of the cocktail allowing the grass and lemon to be fully savored.

 

Ingredients for its preparation:

  1. two ounces (60 ml) of rum (Havana Club Silver Dry).
  2. half lime juice.
  3. a branch of mint (clinopodium douglasii). It is good to point out that the plant known in Cuba as spearmint differs from the European plant and is not a mint.
  4. two teaspoons of white sugar (No brown)
  5. four ice cubes.
  6. Two ounces of siphon or soda water.
  7. a slice of lemon to decorate or a branch of mint.
  8. Optionally a few drops of narrowness, to enhance the flavor of the ingredients.

 

Preparation:

 

  1. Add the sugar and half lime juice directly to the glass and shake until the mixture is chamfered.
  2. Add the peppermint crushing it, only the stem, but not too much. The key is not to break the leaves, but to release their essential oils.
  3. Put the ice, add the Havana Club and complete the glass with siphon or sparkling water.
  4. Stir and garnish with a straw or remover, a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

 

 

Price:

A mojito costs 5 CUC.

 

 

On very hot days, you already know that:

 

The best place in the world to cool down with a tasty mojito is La Bodeguita del Medio, where he was born some 70 years ago and from where he launched himself into the world with Hemingway.

But the same fame course is the Daiquiri in El Floridita.

 

You will not regret.

CLASSIC CARS IN CUBA

Posted By : Liannys Perez/ 285 0

It is impossible for us to visit the Cuban archipelago and not be amazed by those old machines that despite the passing of years continue to circulate and capture with their beauty anyone who walks the Cuban streets.

Today, not only constitute an attraction for the tourism but a valuable treasure and heritage for the inhabitants of this beautiful island. Being an extraordinary fact to walk on objects with more than half a century, that’s a luxury!

When observing them, time recedes, it reminds many of their childhood, without doubts it is like traveling in time.

 

And it is at that moment when we ask ourselves

 

1. What is the real story of these cars so old in Cuba?

 

• What happened to the classic cars in Cuba once the US embargo was imposed?
• Why The Old Car Club “ A lo cubano” got this name?
• So, do not exist in Cuba authentic classic cars?

2. Will it be safe to travel in these old cars?

3. What are the classic cars that abound in Cuba?

4. Where to find a classic car once in Cuba?

5. How much should I pay for a tour over these old machines?

6. What site can I look for to rent a classic car in Cuba?

7. Data of interest

 

These are some of the questions that come to mind. Keep reading and you will find the answer.

 

 

What is the real story of these cars so old in Cuba?

 

In the year 1898, in the period of culmination of the war of 1868, Havana capital enjoyed a certain development and apogee for the simple reason of not having been directly involved in the war.

And it was there at that moment where an event happened, for some insignificant but for others transcendental, the appearance of automobiles in Cuba.

In the first decade of the twentieth century the arrival of cars from Havana from Europe did not cease, around four thousand vehicles of varied models moved their streets, all with their brands created by car manufacturers as

The Charles Berndez house, creator of the Mercedes brand, Seigle and Tolon of the Hum-mobile brand, Fausto Rodriguez of Chevrolet cars and Mack trucks, and others.

By the year 1959 this number rose to more than 190,000 cars but this did not last long, with the Triumph of the Revolution and with the subsequent arrival of Fidel Castro to power for any person it became illegal to import cars without government permission paralyzing the history of the automobile on the island.

Beginning this way the US embargo on Cuba, and therefore the stoppage of the flow of American cars and spare parts to the country.

 

 

What happened to the classic cars in Cuba once the US embargo was imposed?

 

 

As there was no organization that would agglutinate and promote them in the interests of conservation, movements began to be created among the owners of these cars until several groups emerged with the primary function of maintaining and enriching the country’s automotive heritage.

One of those groups was founded on October 4, 2003 by Alberto Gutiérrez, named: The Old Cars Club “ A lo cubano”.

 

 

 

Why The Old Car Club “ A lo cubano” got this name?

 

It received that name because most of the old cars over the years were necessarily transformed in dependence on the ability that each one had to acquire the spare parts becoming the largest and best organized group of antique cars of all the country.

It currently has an exhibition component and meets in the areas of “La Tropical”, in the vicinity of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and the Meliá Cohiba Hotel at least once a month, while regularly organizing the Castrol Cup Rally.

Hence, sometimes, a car at first glance may seem authentic but if we look in detail we appreciate that only some retain the body, the rest has been adapted with pieces of other vehicles, rarely handmade pieces since they are not entirely safe; and they have even suffered changes in fuel.

Most work with oil in not very large quantities, an innovation made by Cuban mechanics and drivers, and a certain brotherhood arises between them with the same purpose: Keep those ancient relics standing.

 

 

So, do not exist in Cuba authentic classic cars?

 

Just as there are not so authentic cars, there are others that have preserved their original pieces entirely, including the interior upholstery product to the inventiveness, the persistence of its owners.

 

 

Will it be safe to travel in these old cars?

 

It really is very reliable to travel in classic cars.

 

 

 

 

Since they are characterized by fewer problems than modern vehicles because the best prevention is not given by the car or the presence of modern parts.

But the care and love that its owners have, the driving style and especially the skills of the driver, not only the skills as a driver but also the skills as a mechanic, professions that Cubans have had to learn and exercise, some by obligation and others by passion.

In addition, as a result of Cuban laws, all cars, whether classic or modern, are examined before being used as public transport and once on the road they are undergoing technical inspections to check whether the address, the parking brake (emergency), the lights, the engine or everything related to the mechanics of these are in good condition.

These operations are executed and oriented by state government inspectors, the Ministry of Transport and the National Traffic Directorate as part of the accident response system.

Being authorized to handle only those people capable of complying with the requirements of an excellent driver, and that is when the authorization is granted (license) to be able to transit the Cuban streets.

 

What are the oldest cars that abound in Cuba?

 

Although there is no doubt that there is a wide range of cars, such as Jeep Willy, Jaguar or Dodge, Cadillac, Pontiac, all with their peculiarities, the 2 mentioned above are the most circulating in the streets, from one place to another, calling the tension of all those who stumble on their journey.

According to studies it was shown that in the year 1959 24 percent of the cars that had been bought were American Chevrolet brand, existing a lot of Bel Airs.

In second place, the Ford with 13 percent, which are considered more reliable, arrived in Cuba before Fidel Castro took office.

And, in a third place, the Buick’s stood up, being the main cause of their preservation, not entirely authentic, for the reasons stated, but with the capacity to resist death and not allow themselves to be overcome by time.

 

 

 

 

Where to find a classic car once in Cuba?

 

In Havana the classic cars are concentrated next to the Capitol, where Obispo Street ends, near the Central Park or on the Avenue Puerto.

Key points for tourists or in the vicinity of the National Hotel on Saturday afternoons where the owners of classics usually come together to show off their cars.

In Varadero, it can be located more frequently on street 42, first avenue, Park Ocho Mil Taquillas or on street 15 near the craft market.

But you do not necessarily have to go to those places to enjoy them, just walk easily, either in a corner or in front of a hotel and even if you are staying you have the possibility to go directly to the folder in search of information.

 

 

 

How much should I pay for a tour over these old machines?

 

The cost depends on the length of the route.

In the case of Varadero, a price is charged between 20 and 40 CUC,  approximately 18 and 36 euros, per hour.

In Havana it ranges between 40 and 50 CUC per hour in convertible cars, which are the main attraction in this city, especially in Old Havana.

 

This is definitely the best option to find the oldest part of the capital either the famous avenues of the Port, Prado and Malecón, and why not?

The cities of Varadero and Trinidad, important tourist poles of the country, on top of a Ford or a Chevrolet, reliving the time of our ancestors or believing us protagonists of those old Hollywood films of the 50s.

 

What site can I look for to rent a classic car in Cuba?

 

According to Tripadvisor, the 10 best private travel agencies with classic car services in Cuba are:

 

Cubaoutings
Fertours 2 Havana
CubanLandscape Tours
CubanTrip Compass-Private Tours
Cuban Connection Tour
Havana Journeys-Day Tours
Havana Tors With Blexie
Cuba Among Cubans
Havana Vintage Car Tours
Nosotros Cubaneamos

 

All offer personalized and excellent services where you have the ability to choose and design the trip according to your abilities and preferences, becoming the main protagonist.

 

 

Data of interest:

 

For more information you can go to our official website Havana60.com, a travel agency available 24 hours a day, which offers the best services at very cheap prices and the possibility of renting classic or modern cars in perfect conditions.

As well as chauffeurs and tour guides in different languages ​​so that you have the best trip in history and can enjoy these authentic museum pieces that still circulate today.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the history of classic cars in Cuba,

there is a book entitled:

“The true history of automobiles in Cuba”, written by Morales. It has three volumes, a total of 850 pages and 3,000 photographs. You can find it in ART-EX stores at a price not very high.

Havana Architecture

Posted By : Havana60/ 464

At the point when Cuba picked up its freedom from Spain instantly before the turn of the century, the nation prepared to re-design itself as a cutting edge country. In the principal many years of the twentieth century, palatial structures began to rise in Havana to house the workplaces of new…

At the point when Cuba picked up its freedom from Spain instantly before the turn of the century, the nation prepared to re-design itself as a cutting edge country. In the principal many years of the twentieth century, palatial structures began to rise in Havana to house the workplaces of new equitable establishments, fruitful organizations, families, recreational offices, et cetera. More than just serving an utilitarian capacity, these structures were making an impression on the world about Cuba’s thriving and prosperity as an autonomous country. A number of them stay right up ’til the present time the most excellent ever in the neighborhood engineering scene.

Capitol Building

Initiated in 1929, this lovely Neoclassical working by Cuban designers Evelio Govantes and Felix Cabarrocas served for a long time as the seat of the Cuban Government, until the point that the 1959 Revolution changed the nation’s administration structure.

At the season of keeping in touch with, it is as yet shut because of a capital remodel that began in 2013, after which it’s required to be introduced as the new seat of the Cuban Parliament.

Like the Capitol in Washington, the building is delegated by a dome – which for a decent piece of the 1950s was the most noteworthy point in Havana (until the point when the development of the Revolution Square). Inside the building, a statue speaking to the Republic ascends more than 55 feet (17 meters) into within the vault, which makes it the third biggest indoor statue on the planet. At her feet, a 25 carat precious stone denotes Cuba’s Kilometer Zero.

Extending to the laterals of this main issue (got to through a 55-stage stairway prompting Paseo del Prado Street) there are corridors that interface with crescent chambers on the extremes of the building.

The themes and enhancement of the Capitol Building highlight plated lights, marble floors, statues by Italian artist Angelo Zanelli, and greenery enclosures outlined by French scene engineer Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier (the creator of the Champ de Mars plants beneath the Eiffel Tower).

Bacardi Building

The Bacardi Building is a standout amongst the most excellent Art Deco structures in Cuba, as well as in Latin America. Of the numerous Art Deco structures in Havana, this was the special case that completely grasped the striking and brilliant appearance of Art Deco design. Its façade, floors, and inside are canvassed in marble and rock, which as per development records were transported in from no less than seven European nations, including Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, France, Belgium, and Hungary.

When it was introduced in 1930, the 12-story building turned into the tallest Cuba had ever observed. Initially worked to house the central station of the Bacardi rum organization, today it is an office fabricating that suits remote and Cuban firms.

Great Theater of Havana

Where U.S. President Barack Obama tended to the Cuban individuals amid his notable visit to Havana in 2016, the Great Theater of Havana has a long history as one of the primary social and aesthetic focuses in the nation. Composed by Belgian engineer Paul Belau, this Neo-Baroque building, initiated in 1915, has a rich façade highlighting four models by Giuseppe Moretti that symbolize philanthropy, instruction, music, and show.

Since 1964, the venue has filled in as the base camp of Cuba’s National Ballet and the lofty Havana International Ballet Festival, and in addition the central station of Cuba’s Lyric Opera House, and of the National Spanish Ballet Company.

Museum of the Revolution

Introduced in 1920 as Cuba’s Presidential Palace, the building that now houses the Museum of the Revolution is one of Havana’s structural jewels. The diverse development was planned by designers Rodolfo Maruri (Cuba) and Paul Belau (Belgium), and executed by General Contracting Company from the U.S.

The copula that tops the building, shrouded in excellent hued tiles, is especially tempting, yet within the building is the place its magnificence truly dwells. The floors and staircase are made of Carrara marble, and the inside embellishment was dispatched to New York’s Tiffany and Co. The Hall of Mirrors impersonates the display of a similar name in the Palace of Versailles, in Paris, France. It was the corridor where the swearing-in functions were held for new Cuban presidents, and where recognized visitors and new diplomats were invited by the president. The Golden Hall filled in as a feasting corridor for official meals.

National Museum of Fine Arts

This building initially housed the Asturian Center, a social club and magnanimous association for individuals from Asturia in Spain, and their families in Havana. Initiated in October 1927, this diverse development consolidates Spanish Baroque and Plateresque styles, trying to pass on a picture of greatness and tastefulness. An a valid example is the rich staircase prompting a similarly surprising settled bay window of recolored glass that delineates the entry of Columbus’ boats to the Americas.

The development of the building, drove by Cuban designer Manuel del Busto, utilized best in class procedures. Favor materials, for example, marble, were transported in from Italy, Spain and the U.S., and Cuban mahogany and cedar were utilized for woodworks.

After a redesign drove by Cuban designer Jose Ramon Linares Ferrara from 1999 to 2001, the building was re-opened as the new home of the global workmanship accumulation of the National Museum of Fine Arts.

National Museum of Fine Arts, Calle Trocadero e/ Zulueta y Monserrate, Havana, Cuba. 

Tour from Varadero to Havana

Posted By : Havana60/ 487

If there is one “must see” in Cuba, it’s the capital city of Havana where old men sit eating stogies in peeling entryways and where the blares of vintage Cadillacs blend with salsa beats.
On this excursion, you’ll find Havana’s best attractions in one hurricane day. Subsequent to driving through beautiful farmland, you’ll take a guided voyage through its old and new locale.

If there is one “must see” in Cuba, it’s the capital city of Havana where old men sit eating stogies in peeling entryways and where the blares of vintage Cadillacs blend with salsa beats.

On this excursion, you’ll find Havana’s best attractions in one hurricane day. Subsequent to driving through beautiful farmland, you’ll take a guided voyage through its old and new locale. See the sixteenth Century El Morro Castle and harbor where gold-loaded Spanish ships docked on their way once more from the New World.

Next, meander the cobbled boulevards of Old Havana (Habana Vieja). This UNESCO World Heritage site is stacked with Baroque houses of prayer, courts, and historical centers. View the forcing structures of New Havana’s Revolution Square where the mammoth bronze face of Che Guevara lingers over the activity.

You’ll likewise get some an opportunity to investigate without anyone else. Peruse a business opportunity for keepsakes or set out toward one of Ernest Hemingway’s most loved bars to taste on mixed drinks. A remarkable day

If you are planning your stay in Varadero, Cuba, then check our differents offers to visit Havana: Havana Classic, Havana Colonial and Havana & Hemingway.

Mojitos in Cuba

Posted By : Havana60/ 399

In Havana, at established watering holes like El Floridita—where expatriates like Ernest Hemingway would seek respite from the city’s sultry heat—they found expert cantineros who were already mixing local rum with fresh fruit juices. As the 1930s gave way to the war years and then the 1950s, a distinctive Cuban rum highball-on-ice canon developed and solidified.

When bartenders from the United States migrated to Cuba seeking jobs during the Prohibition era they brought cocktail culture along with their shakers.

In Havana, at established watering holes like El Floridita—where expatriates like Ernest Hemingway would seek respite from the city’s sultry heat—they found expert cantineros who were already mixing local rum with fresh fruit juices. As the 1930s gave way to the war years and then the 1950s, a distinctive Cuban rum highball-on-ice canon developed and solidified.

Of the resulting daiquiri-Cuba Libre-mojito triumvirate, the mojito stands above the others as the quintessential Cuban cocktail. Unlike the others, its honest mélange has remained untainted by bottled mixes, Coca Cola, or Spring Break excess.

The traditional mojito consists of five ingredients: white rum (in Cuba it’s Havana Club), cane sugar, fresh-squeezed lime juice, sparkling water, and muddled mint.

Yet it took a trip to Cuba’s capital city and a tour of its mojito hot spots to understand how this simple mixture can express so much more than the sum of its parts.

Here are five ways to savor Cuba’s signature cocktail in Havana:

Classic

Hemingway is said to have declared that he liked his daiquiris at El Floridita and his mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. And in Havana, there’s no arguing with the ghost of Papa. Especially if you ask the hundreds of mojito-swilling tourists who jam up the tiny street in front of the bar during daylight hours.

So I went at night, instead. In the dusky shadows of La Habana Vieja, the city’s old town, you almost feel like Hemingway is alive. Perhaps he’d still feel at home at the storefront bar, like I did.

The wooden bar? Timeworn and branded by past patrons. But that’s nothing compared to the establishment’s walls, which are quite literally covered in the signatures of former patrons, many famous.

The bartenders? Wearing traditional guayabera white cotton “wedding” shirts and no facial hair.

The mojito technique? Expert assembly line, with precisely four ice cubes in each highball glass. (One bartender I spoke with, Arturo, said he slings between 600 and 800 mojitos a day.) The taste? Minty and suave.

And the company? Excellent. I chatted in English with tourists from Mexico and Puerto Rico, between attempts at dancing to the live salsa band’s energetic renditions of traditional Cuban hits.

High-Class

I sensed a whiff of controversy at La Fontana, an upscale paladar (owner-run restaurant) with a modern mirror-meets-koi pond atmosphere befitting its location in Havana’s well-heeled Miramar embassy district. Because when I asked the mixologist, Adrian Rivero, where he got his mint, which is sometimes in short supply in the city, he glared at me with the accusatory intensity of a vegetarian who has discovered a speck of meat hidden in the vegetables.

“This is not mint!” he cried, brandishing a bunch of what looked suspiciously like mint from behind his sleek bar. “This is yerba buena. Try it.”

When I chewed a leaf I understood. Yerba buena is definitely more delicate and citrusy than the chewing-gum flavored variety of mint growing in my garden back home. Rivero also adds a dash of hard-to-procure Angostura bitters to his perfectly balanced mojito to cut the sweetness of the cane sugar. Arriba!

Retro

Though La Guarida is Havana’s oldest, and arguably its most famous, paladar—located in an apartment where Strawberry and Chocolate (1993) was filmed—I still felt like Indiana Jones as I passed through the massive wooden portico into its grand, dilapidated entrance hall.

As private paladars tend to fly under the radar, it’s useless to look for a neon sign. Lucky for us, there was no where to go but up (and up) the majestic staircase to the top floor and into a lovely rabbit warren of movie-set-worthy dining rooms bursting with crystal chandeliers, burnished silver, etched glass windowpanes, time-worn white linen and mismatched art deco-era chairs.

Only one thing was needed to complete a scene that felt ripped straight from the sepia-toned Havana of yesteryear. A mojito and a cigar. After the steamy climb, La Guarida’s strong, sparkling mojito quenched my thirst like no other of the trip. As for the cigar, this non-smoker did indulge—for the sake of authenticity—in one of La Guarida’s private label Cubans. And it tasted vaguely of chocolate, so I didn’t even cough.

Romantic

There’s hardly a more poetic place to enjoy a mojito than on a cobblestone terrace at the base of the Torrean de la Chorrera, a 17th-century fortified stone tower on the Havana waterfront.

This is one hyper-local hangout. In fact, I’m not even sure of the bar-restaurant’s name, but if you head to the historic tower, located in the atmospheric Vedado neighborhood, on a sunny weekend afternoon or early evening, and find a seat under one of the parasol-shaded plastic tables outside, you’ll have a fine view of the city’s legendary five-mile-long seaside malecon.

The mojitos are tasty, if a bit watery, but that means your legs will still be steady if you plan to head over to the new Fabrica di Arte Cubano avant-garde art center in Vedado or opt for a scenic stroll back to Old Havana.

Historic

Sometimes—no, always—a spectacular view from a history-soaked spot is worth the price of a mediocre drink. Given the 19th-century cannons sunken into the hilltop lawn at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, visitors like me are far from the first to appreciate the site’s strategic location overlooking Havana’s picturesque port.

It’s worth taking time to explore the hotel’s well-preserved interior; an unusual amalgam of Moorish tiles, carved wood, and Cuban revolutionary memorabilia that has attracted a long list of A-listers—from Ava Gardner and Winston Churchill to Fidel Castro and Che Guevara—since the massive grande dame opened its doors in 1930.

After peeking into the hotel’s musty bar, I decided to drink in the atmosphere (and a run-of-the-mill mojito) from a wicker armchair on the terracotta patio as peacocks strutted about nearby. After sunset, I migrated to one of the wrought iron tables on the lawn for another round, made memorable by the echo of the past mingling with the lights of modern-day Havana twinkling down below.