When flipping through the book to find a suitably smooth entrance to the World of Old Man Drinks, there were a few strong options. We settled on a drink that I likely would have NEVER tried: a Cuba Libre.
A little background; this book is more than just a recipe book, it's a real slice of time with your Grampa. There's a little blurg of background of the drink along with the recipe and then a little quote from a 'mature man of leisure'. Here's what we have to say about the Cuba Libre.
Return to those glorious pre-Castro days when gangsters ruled Cuba and Coca-Cola flowed freely in the Mafia-owned casino's. This refreshing cocktail was first concocted in 1900, the year US soldiers introduced soda pop to the island. It later inspired a hit song by the Andrews Sisters titled, appropriately enough, "Rum and Coca-Cola". The proper toast when drinking it in is: "To a free and independent Cuba!"
The Andrews Sisters - Rum and Coca-Cola
"That's all I did on my down time. Sit around and get shitfaced. All the time. Then I'd go work for a week or so. Then get shitfaced again. What can I say, I get bored easily. It helped kill time."- Patrick, 65, Trucker
2oz Light Rum
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
I'm SO not a fan of rum. It's not as bad as Gin for me, but I can't remember a time where I've ever ordered a rum-drink so why not start here? Went out to the local adult beverage sales establishment and showed off my book, told them what I was up to and requested a suggestion for a nice starter rum to break me in. A quick stop at the corner grocer to get some limes, ice and the cola and back to my friends place to kick this off.
I love making a drink. Its like cooking, only you know there's gonna be less dishes when you're done.
I quickly set about the business of getting the out the tools to get after it.
So I've gone on record that I'm weary of rum-based drinks and it's time to admit that it was... INCREDIBLE! The citrus from the lime helped to cut the sweetness from the cola and it all came together really smoothly especially considering how strong a double can taste in a short glass filled with ice! I was instantly transported to a dominoes match in Old Havana, smoking a stogie and listening to a steel drum band.
Now, I really love the fact that we were using real limes, that is until drink #5. At about that point, you don't know any difference and you're wasting valuable boozin' time by juicing the limes. When you're busting out bass tracks on Rock Band with your close friends and talking to friends in Denver you don't have time for juicing. There's fun to be had and you don't wanna be the one in the kitchen mixing up everyone's drinks and miss out when the underwear hits the floor.
What did I think of the Cuba Libre? I give it 5 hammocks under a beach umbrella; and beyond that, this drink is going into my regular rotation and at the end of the day, what better revue can I give it than that?
Side Note: When I woke up in the morning, this song was loaded up on YouTube from at some point during the evening.. further proof of the party that is the Cuba Libre!
To a free and independent Cuba!