Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Havana Club Rums


Another trip to Grand Cayman for the Cayman Cookout and vacation meant an opportunity to drink some Havana Club rum. It's always fun to enjoy food and liquor that is not available back home. With its close proximity to Cuba, Havana Club is readily available all over Grand Cayman and while there, I often drank Havana Club 7 Year on the rocks. Returning home this time, I picked up the Havana Club Añejo Especial and the Havana Club Selección de Maestros.

Añejo Especial

Classified as their "versatile gold mixer" -- a golden rum that's created from a blend of rums aged up to 5 years -- a blend of old and young rums. It has the lightness of a white rum with the aroma and some nuance of dark rums. This combination means it is perfect for a Mojito or Cuba Libre. Rum and cokes were one of my first consistent drinks of choice - meaning at 18, I was getting shit-faced on Bacardi and Cokes. The Cuba Libre is worth revisiting with the Havana Club Añejo Especial and a unique cola like Fentimans. Add 2oz. of rum and 1oz. lime juice in a tall glass over ice, top up with Fentimans and garnish with a slice of lime. Also try blending lemon and lime juice.


The El Presidente

Añejo 7 Años

This is the classic - it's what the folks at Havana Club call "the epitome of Cuban rum." Perfect on its own, exhibiting notes of vanilla, cedar and tobacco with a richness that is not quite sweet, but balanced. For a richer daiquiri, this is an ideal rum. Also try substituting this rum for rye / bourbon in a Manhattan. Another wonderful cocktail for rum is Tony Conigliaro's El Presidente (with rum, dry curaçao, sweet vermouth and grenadine).

Selección de Maestros

This rum is "the expression of six Cuban Maestros Roneros collective know-how, led by Don Jose Navarro."  They pick the best of their aged rums, blend them, and further age the blend in selected barrels. The final blend is bottled at barrel proof (45%). It's not a cheap bottle, so not sure it's "worth" (a subjective term) mixing, but it's a knock-out when you simply add a large chunk of ice to it.