Cuba is the land of many drinks, and many dances. Even on a resort, sheltered from the “real” world, you can almost get a sense of the culture from the drinks and the dancing. The drink that people usually connect with Cuba is the Mojito – a refreshing drink with rum, lime and mint. I love Mojitos.

When in Cuba, I was introduced to another refreshing drink, the Canchánchara. Like the Mojito, it combines rum and citrus and lots of ice. It also includes honey, giving the drink a warm sweetness. The kicker is that it calls for “raw rum”, which I had never heard of before.

Cuba - Canchanchara

Canchánchara in Cuba – yup, that’s me, no makeup, hair covered from the sun.

It was so tasty and different that I decided I had to be able to make it at home. We even tried to buy a bottle from the bar at the resort. While they wouldn’t let us buy one, they did give us the name of the brand and said that we would likely find it in the airport shop. Lucky for us, we did find it! I think it cost us all of $4.

At home, I avoided opening the lonely bottle, knowing that once we finished it, we would not be able to find any more without going back to Cuba. Eventually, I gave in, and made the delicious drinks that I enjoyed on our trip!


adapted from this famous recipe


  • 0.5 oz / 1Tbsp honey
  • 0.5 oz / 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz / 3Tbsp  raw rum (I got some Sao Can raw rum in Cuba. If you don’t have raw rum, use white rum.)
  • 1 oz / 2Tbsp water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cracked ice


This can all be made in one glass, but I find the following steps to be the easiest (read: less sticky splash). This is definitely the best option if you are making a number of drinks at once – just pour the drink over the ice in each glass.

  1. In a measuring cup (or something else with a pour spout), add the honey and lemon juice. Stir until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rum and water (if using).
  3. Add the ice to the glass you will be drinking out of, and pour the drink into the glass.

I added a purple basil leaf as a garnish, mostly for colour. I think I might try to make a purple basil Canchánchara… that would totally rock.