Tag Archives: Cuban



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.

Missing Cuba

Today was gloomy, and full of rain and freezing rain.

It made me miss Cuba.

In an attempt to get back a little piece of Cuba, I decided to look up some Cuban recipes. I’ve made a few Cuban dishes before, but I have a hard time knowing if it tastes the way it’s supposed to. There aren’t many Cuban restaurants here in Toronto, and we just found out that the one we usually went to is closed. Boo!

I just bought some Mahi-Mahi, which reminded me of our last trip to Cuba. I paired it with some Moros Y Cristianos (rice and black beans) and drizzled with Cuban Mojo. “Moros y Cristianos” means Moors and Christians – the white rice and black beans representing the cultural mix of Cuba’s early settlers.

Cuban - Mahi-Mahi and Moros Y Cristianos

I think I missed again.

I have to say that this didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. I don’t think the mojo recipe is quite how I remember it from Cuba (a little less blended, more mixed, and less like a super tangy garlicky mayo). It was a little overpowering. The Moros y Cristianos turned out pretty yummy, but it took a little longer to cook because I chose to use brown basmati rice instead of regular white rice. That, and I can see that it isn’t the typical dish found in Cuba — their dish is coloured almost entirely by the black beans (see this photo, the dish on the left). I’m not sure if they start with dried beans normally, or if they put the canning liquid into the dish to get that colour. In any case, mine was good, but not quite right.

I still miss Cuba. Next time I’m making plantain fritters or yuca fritas. Yummy!

Recipes after the Jump

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