Havana Special

The Havana Special is a refreshing and fruity cocktail that is perfect for summer days. It is made with white rum, lime juice, orange juice, and a splash of cranberry juice. The combination of these ingredients creates a delicious balance of tart and sweet flavors. The drink is garnished with a lime wedge and a cherry, making it a perfect addition to any summer gathering. Try the Havana Special today and experience a delicious tropical escape.

Havana Special

The origin of the Havana Special cocktail is intertwined with the vibrant history of Havana, Cuba. This rum-based cocktail pays homage to the island's rich cocktail culture and the influence of the renowned El Presidente cocktail.

The Havana Special cocktail emerged during the mid-20th century as Cuba became a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Havana's thriving nightlife and bars became renowned for their inventive cocktails, which often showcased the island's famous rum.

While the exact origins of the Havana Special cocktail are not well-documented, it is believed to have been created in one of Havana's many upscale bars or hotels. The cocktail's recipe features a combination of rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and a dash of Angostura bitters.

The Havana Special gained popularity as it perfectly captured the tropical essence of Havana. The use of pineapple juice adds a refreshing and tropical twist to the cocktail, while the rum brings out the flavors of Cuba. The addition of grenadine adds a touch of sweetness, and the lime juice provides a balancing citrusy kick.

Today, the Havana Special is enjoyed not only in Havana but also in bars and homes around the world. It serves as a reminder of Cuba's vibrant and colorful cocktail culture, transporting drinkers to the lively streets of Havana with each sip.

The Havana Special's popularity and enduring appeal can be attributed to its delicious blend of flavors and its association with the golden era of Cuban cocktails. It continues to be a favorite choice for those seeking a taste of Havana's tropical charm and the island's renowned rum expertise.

Difficulty: Beginner



  1. SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.


Tips for preparing a better Havana Special cocktail:

  1. Choose quality ingredients: Use authentic Cuban rum, fresh lime juice, and good quality cola.
  2. Measure accurately: Use a jigger or measuring tools to ensure correct ratios and balance of flavors.
  3. Muddle the lime: Gently crush the lime slices with a muddler to release their essential oils and enhance the citrus flavor.
  4. Add a touch of sweetness: Consider adding a dash of simple syrup or a small amount of cane sugar to balance the tartness of the lime and enhance the overall taste.
  5. Use plenty of ice: Shake or stir the cocktail with enough ice to chill the drink and dilute it slightly for a smoother texture.
  6. Garnish creatively: Finish off your Havana Special with a lime wheel, mint sprig, or a twist of lime zest for a visually appealing presentation.
  7. Experiment with variations: Feel free to experiment with different proportions, additional ingredients like bitters or fruit garnishes, to create your own unique twist on the classic Havana Special.
  8. Serve in appropriate glassware: Use a highball glass or a Collins glass to showcase the vibrant colors and layers of the cocktail.
  9. Enjoy responsibly: Remember to drink responsibly and savor your Havana Special cocktail in moderation.
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