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Havana Club Rum
Now that spring is here and the weather is starting to warm up, I’ve been craving some refreshing rum cocktails. I’ve only tried a few white rums, so I was excited to check out something new, and the simple black and white label of Havana Club Puerto Rican Rum caught my eye immediately.
Although now produced in Puerto Rico by the Bacardi company, Havana Club was first distilled in Cuba by José Arechabala in the 1860’s. The Arechabala Family produced the rum until the Cuban Revolution in the 1960’s, and the new government nationalized rum production. Arechabala soon left cuba for the United States.
Cuba continued selling rum with the “Havana Club” name worldwide with an eventual partnership with spirit industry giants, Pernod Ricard. But in the 1990’s, the Arechabala family sold their rum recipe and name rights to Bacardi, and continue to sell Havana Club in the United States and US territories. Here is an article about the ongoing legal battle for the Havana Club trademark.
Spirits typically get darker during the aging process, but Havana Club is completely clear, despite being aged twice. It’s aged for one year, blended, and then aged again for at least another 2 months before bottling.
❖ Spirit: Blanco Rum
❖ Distillery: Bacardi
❖ ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
❖ Double aged
❖ Low Price
My Tasting Notes
❖ Color: Clear
❖ Nose: Brown sugar, Vanilla extract
❖ Taste: Brown sugar, strong heat from alcohol
❖ Finish: Medium, slight bitterness, spice
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
- 2 oz Rum
1. Add ingredients to a shaking tin, fill with ice and shake until chilled (about 15 seconds)
2. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel
I haven’t tried a new rum in a while, so I wanted to go back to basics and make one of the most iconic rum cocktails. The Daiquiri is deceptively simple with only three ingredients, but can be tricky to balance, especially since there is such a wide range of rums. I like using white rums since it results in an appealing color, but you can also use darker rums to get a richer flavor.
Although Havana Club is pretty sweet, I still wanted to stick to the classic daiquiri specs to see how it would turn out. And while it was still refreshing, the overall balance was off. I could hardly taste the citrus because the sweetness of Havana Club was so overwhelming, and I ended up adding and extra splash of lime juice.
Since I don’t have a go-to white rum for cocktail mixing, I was excited to check out Havana Club Rum to see if it could fill that void. Unfortunately, I found the the flavor much too sweet and lacking in complexity, especially by itself. This won’t matter as much in most popular rum cocktails with more ingredients, like a mojito, but I will still look elsewhere for something that I like in a daiquiri without tweaks.
Although not to my personal taste, I still see how an overly sweet spirit would come in handy for cocktails, and the price makes Havana Club a decent value. I can regular find it in my local supermarkets and liquor stores for under $20, so it’s not much of a commitment to give it a try.
As always, drink responsibly.
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