A guide to staying hydrated in Cuba
|Guarapo- fresh squeezed sugar cane – is made for a nearby guaraperia where a Hemingway-inspired drink that also uses fresh squeezed pineapple is served.|
It’s important to stay hydrated in tropical Cuba and the natives do it in style, notably with mojitos and daiquiris, good local beer and guarapo. The latter is freshly squeezed sugarcane juice sold at roadside guaraperias, often served with rum but quite thirst-quenching, if sweet, served straight up..
I first saw it being squeezed at a stand near Hemingway’s Vinca Vigia, the home he bought with his first royalty check from “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The author, who loved Cuba and lived there 20 years, has achieved cult status among Cubans and fans from all over the world make Hemingway pilgrimages there.
I’ll have more about our visit to that 20-acre hilltop estate soon.
Havana Club is the rum used in almost every drink. The rum and coke called the Cuba Libre is probably the simplest drink though I didn’t see any Coca Cola (or any other brand name) during my visit to Cuba.
People seem perfectly content using TuCola, a knock-off of sorts.
El Floridita, one of the downtown Havana bars regularly frequented by Hemingway, today carries his signature on its marquee and inside a lifesized size bronze statue of the author leans with an elbow on the bar.
Hemingway wrote about the daiquiris served at El Floridita and today they still are sold there but are said to be overpriced.
The sugarcane being squeezed below Vinca Vigia was near a sign boasting that Hemingway tasted his first pineapple there and a pineapple drink is made and sold in his honor.
|This is the pineapple juice, lemon juice, sugar cane juice and rum drink offered near Hemingway’s Cuban home. Note the sugar cane stalk, pineapple slice and lime used as a garnish.|
Bartenders using Cuban rum to top off a multiple variety of drinks often look to the imbiber to “say when”