Drinking Your Way Through Cuba: The Best Cocktails in Havana

I am so excited to finally start sharing some content from my recent trip to Cuba. I’m not gonna lie, I have a little TOO much in the works and there’s a good chance I’ll have to just whip up a huge guide at some point to cover all of the basics. In the meantime, I thought it would be more fun to share a few of my favorite highlights over the next few weeks. Think best looks, travel tips, charming moments and more. First up, and what some might consider one of the most important things, the best cocktails in Havana. Whether you’re planning a trip to Cuba (pending the latest restrictions) or just looking to draw inspiration for your next dinner party, I’ve rounded up the five cocktails you just won’t be able to live without after trying them. Cheers!

  1. Watermelon Mojito at Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La HabanaThis was the first cocktail we had in Havana and it just might be the best cocktail I have EVER had. If you followed along on IG Stories, you saw that we stayed at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana. There is much much more to come on our stay but in the meantime…y’all this watermelon mojito was amazing. Mojitos are obviously a must when in Havana so having a fruity, summery twist on the rum cocktail was such a treat. Insider tip: skip the extra sugar and add a little more watermelon for a fresh taste with half the sweetness. 
  2. Traditional Daiquiri at Floridita: Floridita is a common tourist haunt in Havana as this was a place Hemingway often frequented. And I get why. We stopped by for a daiquiri and ordered a few for “research” purposes. We had both the classic and strawberry and the traditional daiquiri was definitely my favorite. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never had a classic one before this night. I’ve always gone for the flavors and the traditional lime was so SO good. I mean, Floridita is known for their daiquiris so I’m not too surprised. Insider tip: with any frozen cocktail, it can get a little watered down. Throw in an extra splash of Havana Club for a stronger taste! 
  3. Ale at Roma: For our last night in Havana, we stumbled upon the coolest rooftop bar called Roma. There was a DJ, the coolest crowd of people, a chill vibe and one of the yummiest cocktails I had on our trip. The Ale was a combination of Havana Club rum, pineapple and fresh ginger. The key here is LOTS of ginger. The pairing of pineapple and ginger reminded me of a healthier juice you might snag in the states and the boozier rum finish was perfect. Talk about a refreshing and fun cocktail. Insider tip: use fresh ginger in the mix/shaker for a spicy touch. Just make sure you strain it before pouring the cocktail. 
  4. Ron Collins: If a mojito is a must in Havana, a Ron Collins should also be on your list. We had a few of these simple cocktails when we went out to Jibacoa and they were the perfect beach beverage. It’s literally a mojito without the mint and it might be one of my new go-to’s. I loved how refreshing it was and the lime juice wasn’t totally overpowered by the mint that is usually in a mojito. Insider tip: use fresh lime juice and a little extra sugar to play up the sour + sweet combo. 
  5. Cuban Girl at Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana: Surprise – we’re back to the Kempinski! To be honest, I could have done this post about the 5 best cocktails in Havana located right at the Kempinksi bar. In addition to the classic Cuban cocktails, they offer a ton of custom creations inspired by the culture in Havana. Take the Cuban Girl. It’s a rum based cocktail with chocolate and milk and ya’ll – it is tastey. The cocktail itself is inspired by the mixing of people in Cuba – literally a “mixed” Cuban girl. I could also do a whole post on how much I loved seeing this different mixes in variation in real life throughout Cuba – but that’s for another day! Insider tip: swirl the chocolate sauce on the inside of the glass and then pour in the cocktail mixture to see the colors swirl together. 

A huge thank you to the team at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana for treating us to an afternoon of cocktails (seriously, the watermelon mojito is TO DIE FOR) and offering some tips for exploring the cocktail offerings around the city. More to come on this amazing hotel soon!