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Old Cuban

Cotswold Cocktail School - Old Cuban Cocktail Recipe

ABV 17.6% / 2.1 alcoholic units

Primary ingredient: Rum

A Brief History of an Old Cuban

The Old Cuban cocktail is a creation attributed to Audrey Saunders, a renowned mixologist based in New York City. Emerging in the early 2000s, this cocktail pays homage to classic Cuban flavours while introducing a contemporary twist. Its name reflects the fusion of the classic Cuban cocktail, the Mojito, with the effervescent allure of Champaign/Prosecco, encapsulating the essence of both worlds in a single glass.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Old Cuban cocktail offers a symphony of flavors:

  • Aged Elegance: Aged rum, with its deep and nuanced character, forms the backbone of the cocktail, providing a rich and velvety foundation.
  • Citrus Spark: Fresh lime juice adds a bright and zesty kick, balancing the richness of the rum with a refreshing acidity.
  • Champagne/Prosecco Brilliance: The effervescence of Champagne/Prosecco brings a touch of luxury, lifting the cocktail to celebratory heights.
  • Bitter Complexity: Angostura bitters contribute a hint of spice and complexity, weaving through the other elements with finesse.
  • Minty Freshness: Fresh mint leaves add a burst of herbaceous freshness, creating a harmonious balance with the other ingredients.

The result is a cocktail that marries the opulence of Champagne/Prosecco with the warmth of aged rum, creating a sip that transcends eras.

Food Pairings

The Old Cuban cocktail's refined and effervescent character pairs wonderfully with a variety of culinary delights:

  • Seafood: The cocktail's citrusy and minty notes complement the flavours of fresh seafood, such as oysters or ceviche.
  • Canapés: Serve with elegant canapés featuring smoked salmon, cream cheese, or caviar for a sophisticated pairing.
  • Light Desserts: Pair with light desserts like fruit tarts or sorbets to enhance the refreshing qualities of the cocktail.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Hawthorne strainer and fine mesh sieve
  • Jigger
  • Coupe glass


  • 45ml Dark rum
  • 22ml Brut Prosecco/Champaign
  • 22ml  Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15ml simple syrup*
  • 6 Fresh mint leaves
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Ice
  • Garnish: mint sprig/lime twist


  • Add all ingredients except Champagne/Prosecco into the cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled
  • Double strain into the chilled coupe glass
  • Top with Champagne/Prosecco and garnish with a mint sprig

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Dark Rum for an Old Cuban Cocktail?

The best rum for an Old Cuban cocktail is one that brings a rich and nuanced flavor profile, complementing the other ingredients in the drink. Typically, a quality aged rum with complexity, depth, and a hint of sweetness works well. Here are some recommended rums for crafting an exceptional Old Cuban cocktail:

  • Ron Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva: This Venezuelan rum is known for its smoothness, sweetness, and notes of dark chocolate and dried fruits. It adds a luxurious touch to the cocktail.
  • Appleton Estate 8 Year Reserve: A Jamaican rum with a well-balanced profile of rich molasses, oak, and tropical fruit notes. The complexity of this rum enhances the overall depth of the Old Cuban.
  • Mount Gay XO: Hailing from Barbados, Mount Gay XO offers a blend of aged rums with a balance of oak, caramel, and fruity undertones. It contributes to the cocktail's elegance and sophistication.

    When selecting a rum, consider your preference for sweetness, the level of oak influence, and the overall complexity you desire. Experimenting with different aged rums allows you to tailor the Old Cuban to your taste, creating a well-balanced and luxurious cocktail experience.

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