The Houston heat is sizzling and has me dreaming of a refreshing cocktail. I want a summertime drink that's delicious, of course, but also light and not too sweet. I want that certain "I could drink this all night - it's that darn good" quality.
I needed professional help.
I decided to turn to an expert for a recommendation in order to save myself time and any potential stomachaches from the many less-than-stellar beverages out there. That cocktail savant is Alba Huerta. Amid her notable list of credits are president of the Houston Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild and general manager at acclaimed Anvil Bar & Refuge. In short, she knows her stuff.
You'll taste the basis of a mojito, but The Old Cuban takes the flavors to a more sophisticated level.
When I asked Alba about her choice for the perfect warm-weather cocktail she, without hesitation, named Anvil's version of The Old Cuban. Without waffling on my part, I tried it. My initial reaction was: It has all the traits I was looking for . . . and it was love at first sip.
For this edition of Bottoms Up!, CultureMap's "drink of the month" video diary, Huerta shares the recipe and shows us how to shake it up. You'll taste the basis of a mojito, but The Old Cuban takes the flavors to a more sophisticated level. It's sure to become a beloved cocktail on your drink rotation — summer or not.
Cheers from CultureMap, Bottoms Up! and Anvil Bar & Refuge!
The Old Cuban
- Six fresh mint leaves
- 1.5 oz. of 7-year-old Flor de Caña
- .75 oz. of fresh lime juice
- .75 oz. of turbinado syrup
- A dash of Angostura Bitters
- 2 oz. of Champagne
- 1 mint sprig for garnish
To make turbinado syrup: Take 2 cups of unrefined sugar and 1 cup of water, mix slowly over low heat.
To make the cocktail: In a mixing glass, add six fresh mint leaves and .75 oz. of turbinado syrup. Lightly press with muddler; do not bruise. Add .75 oz. lime juice. Remove muddler and add 1.5 oz. rum, a dash of angostura bitters and shake. Fine strain into a cocktail glass, top with 2 oz. of champagne and garnish with mint sprig.
Consume. You're welcome.