Old Cuban Cocktail Drink

Old Cuban

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

The Old Cuban recipe stands out with its stellar ingredients when it comes to timeless cocktails. This drink is not only a crowd-pleaser but also a breeze to make.

Old Cuban Recipe

Try our Old Cuban recipe for a simple delight! It's the perfect summer drink with rum, lime, and champagne.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

212 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Aged Rum
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine, to top
  • Mint sprig, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Champagne Flute

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your champagne flute.
  • Muddle Mint: Muddle 2-3 fresh mint leaves with ¾ oz simple syrup in the cocktail shaker.
  • Add Ingredients: Pour ½ oz fresh lime juice, 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, and 1½ oz Aged Rum into the shaker.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake the mixture vigorously until well chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the cocktail into a chilled champagne flute.
  • Top Off: Fill the rest of the flute with champagne or sparkling wine.
  • Garnish: Decorate the cocktail with a mint sprig.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Aged Rum: I often use dark rum when I don't have aged rum. It offers a rich depth that complements the cocktail's other ingredients.
  • Simple Syrup: Sometimes, I've run out of simple syrup, so I dissolve some sugar in water. Agave nectar also makes a good swap, but I use a tad less since it's sweeter.
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine: A crisp Prosecco or Cava does wonders if you're out of champagne.

Making a Pitcher of Old Cuban:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 12 oz of aged rum, 6 oz of simple syrup, 4 oz of fresh lime juice, 16 dashes of Angostura bitters, and around 24 mint leaves. When ready to serve, top off each glass with champagne.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients except the champagne in a large pitcher with ice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual champagne flutes, top with champagne, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Aged Rum Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic dark rum or a mix of pineapple and coconut water for a tropical flavor.
  • Champagne Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic sparkling wine or club soda for that bubbly kick.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitutes, omit the Angostura Bitters and follow the original steps to relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure the champagne or sparkling wine doesn't employ animal-derived fining agents like gelatin, egg whites, or milk proteins. Most modern brands have vegan-friendly options, so always check the label.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
212
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
20
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Potassium
 
117
mg
3
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
92
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Calcium
 
17
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Old Cuban Cocktail Drink

Old Cuban Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Try our Old Cuban recipe for a simple delight! It's the perfect summer drink with rum, lime, and champagne.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 212

Ingredients
 

  • oz Aged Rum
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine - to top
  • Mint sprig - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Champagne Flute

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your champagne flute.
  • Muddle Mint: Muddle 2-3 fresh mint leaves with ¾ oz simple syrup in the cocktail shaker.
  • Add Ingredients: Pour ½ oz fresh lime juice, 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, and 1½ oz Aged Rum into the shaker.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake the mixture vigorously until well chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the cocktail into a chilled champagne flute.
  • Top Off: Fill the rest of the flute with champagne or sparkling wine.
  • Garnish: Decorate the cocktail with a mint sprig.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Aged Rum: I often use dark rum when I don't have aged rum. It offers a rich depth that complements the cocktail's other ingredients.
  • Simple Syrup: Sometimes, I've run out of simple syrup, so I dissolve some sugar in water. Agave nectar also makes a good swap, but I use a tad less since it's sweeter.
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine: A crisp Prosecco or Cava does wonders if you're out of champagne.

Making a Pitcher of Old Cuban:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 12 oz of aged rum, 6 oz of simple syrup, 4 oz of fresh lime juice, 16 dashes of Angostura bitters, and around 24 mint leaves. When ready to serve, top off each glass with champagne.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients except the champagne in a large pitcher with ice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual champagne flutes, top with champagne, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Aged Rum Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic dark rum or a mix of pineapple and coconut water for a tropical flavor.
  • Champagne Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic sparkling wine or club soda for that bubbly kick.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitutes, omit the Angostura Bitters and follow the original steps to relish a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure the champagne or sparkling wine doesn't employ animal-derived fining agents like gelatin, egg whites, or milk proteins. Most modern brands have vegan-friendly options, so always check the label.

What is an Old Cuban?

Old Cuban is a rum cocktail that blends champagne with aged rum and the zest of lime. It is an ode to the vibrant nightlife of Havana, drawing inspiration from the city’s lively atmosphere. The drink captures the essence of old-world elegance combined with the Caribbean’s refreshing flavors. Listed under ‘New Era Drinks’ this cocktail has earned recognition from the International Bartender Association (IBA).

A side shot of an Old Cuban cocktail in a champagne glass on a coaster placed on a yellow table surrounded by a knife, two limes, green cloth, and a jigger in front of a blue wall.

What is an Old Cuban made of – The ingredients

Before you start making your Old Cuban, make sure you have these ingredients at hand:

  • Aged Rum: Provides the cocktail with a rich, deep flavor that serves as the drink’s base.
  • Lime Juice: Adds a zesty tang, balancing the sweetness of other ingredients.
  • Simple Syrup: Sweetens the mix, enhancing the overall taste profile.
  • Mint Leaves: They offer a refreshing and aromatic touch in the drink.
  • Angostura Bitters: Contributes complexity and depth with its herbal and botanical notes.
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine: Gives the cocktail its effervescence and lightness, elevating the overall experience.
  • Mint Sprig (for garnish): Enhances presentation and adds a hint of minty aroma upon sipping.

Prosecco, aged Rum, Angostura Bitters, limes and sugar cubes laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make an Old Cuban Cocktail?

Join our easy guide to make your own Old Cuban:

1
<p>Start by stirring some ice cubes in the champagne flute to chill your glass.</p>

Start by stirring some ice cubes in the champagne flute to chill your glass.

2
<p>Take fresh mint leaves and place them in the cocktail shaker.</p>

Take fresh mint leaves and place them in the cocktail shaker.

3
<p>Pour the simple syrup over the mint leaves in the shaker.</p>

Pour the simple syrup over the mint leaves in the shaker.

4
<p>Muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup without tearing the leaves, to release their refreshing aroma and flavor.</p>

Muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup without tearing the leaves, to release their refreshing aroma and flavor.

5
<p>Pour the fresh lime juice into the same shaker.</p>

Pour the fresh lime juice into the same shaker.

6
<p>Add the Angostura aromatic bitters to the mix.</p>

Add the Angostura aromatic bitters to the mix.

7
<p>Add the aged rum to the shaker.</p>

Add the aged rum to the shaker.

8
<p>Fill the shaker with ice.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice.

9
<p>Shake the mixture vigorously until the outside feels cold.</p>

Shake the mixture vigorously until the outside feels cold.

10
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled champagne flute.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled champagne flute.

11
<p>Fine strain the well-chilled mixture into your glass, ensuring no mint fragments are in the final drink.</p>

Fine strain the well-chilled mixture into your glass, ensuring no mint fragments are in the final drink.

12
<p>Top off the cocktail with champagne or sparkling wine, adding that bubbly effervescence.</p>

Top off the cocktail with champagne or sparkling wine, adding that bubbly effervescence.

13
<p>Garnish the drink with a mint sprig for an added touch of elegance and aroma.</p>

Garnish the drink with a mint sprig for an added touch of elegance and aroma.

14
<p>Enjoy your Old Cuban!</p>

Enjoy your Old Cuban!

Old Cuban Cocktail vs Mojito – What’s the difference?

The Old Cuban Cocktail and the Mojito have things in common, yet they have several distinct differences. Firstly, the Old Cuban prominently features champagne or sparkling wine, giving it a bubbly taste, while the Mojito does contain soda water. Additionally, a Mojito traditionally uses white rum, an Old Cuban typically opts for aged rum, adding a richer flavor profile. The cocktail often incorporates bitters, like Angostura, to further enhance its flavor complexity, which the Mojito does not do. In terms of presentation, an Old Cuban is served in a coupe or champagne flute, contrasting with the Mojito’s highball glass. Finally, even though both drinks embrace mint for a refreshing touch, the Mojito strongly emphasizes its lime and mint flavors, often having a more pronounced lime presence than the Old Cuban. Despite their shared Cuban origins and similar ingredients, these drinks provide distinctly different taste experiences.

Best Rum for an Old Cuban Cocktail

Choosing the right rum for an Old Cuban Cocktail can make your drink go from good to excellent. Aged rum is the way to go; its deeper, mature flavors meld beautifully with the bubbly champagne. While white rums shine in Mojitos, for an Old Cuban, you want the caramel undertones and smooth finish that only aged rum can provide. Bacardi 8, with its hints of dried fruits and subtle oakiness, is a top pick for many enthusiasts. Havana Club 7 is another stellar choice, offering a warm, tropical depth that feels like a sunset in Havana. But if you’re looking for a personal recommendation, give Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva a whirl. This Venezuelan rum is rich, slightly sweet, and full-bodied, making it an outstanding companion for your cocktail. Whatever your preference, remember that investing in quality rum will always pay off in flavor.

An Old Cuban cocktail, shot from above, in a campagne glass on a wooden board placed on a yellow table surrounded by a knife, a lime, sugar cubes, and a green cloth.

History and Origin of the Old Cuban Cocktail

The Old Cuban stands as an elegant bridge between two beloved drinks: the Mojito and the classic Champagne cocktail. Invented by Audrey Saunders in 2001 is one of the drinks that symbolize the cocktail renaissance of the 21st century.

The drink’s name is a nod to Cuba lifestyle, evoking images of vintage cars, sultry jazz bars, and balmy tropical nights. The combination of aged rum (a spirit Cuba is renowned for) with the effervescence of champagne captured the essence of the city’s old-world charm paired with its festive, celebratory spirit.

Its balanced fusion of sweetness, sourness, and effervescence ensures that, much like the timeless elegance of Havana itself, the cocktail will continue to delight palates for decades.

An Old Cuban cocktail, shot from above, on a white marmol table surrounded by a Prosecco bottle, an Angostura Bitters bottle, an aged Rum bottle, two limes, and sugar cubes.

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FAQ

How many calories does an Old Cuban contain?
Typically, an Old Cuban has around 150-200 calories, but this can vary based on the specific ingredients and their quantities.
How strong is an Old Cuban cocktail in terms of ABV and proof?
An Old Cuban usually has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of about 20-25%, translating to 40-50 proof. This can fluctuate based on the chosen rum and champagne.
What alcohol is predominantly used in the Old Cuban?
Aged rum is the primary alcohol in an Old Cuban, complemented by the addition of champagne or sparkling wine.
In what type of glass is an Old Cuban typically served?
The Old Cuban is traditionally served in a coupe or champagne flute.
What does an Old Cuban taste like?
The drink offers a balanced profile of sweet and sour with a hint of mint freshness, complemented by the fizz from the champagne.
What is the standard ratio of ingredients in an Old Cuban?
The typical ratio is 1½ oz of aged rum, ½ oz of lime juice, and ¾ oz of simple syrup, topped with champagne, with the addition of mint leaves and Angostura Bitters.
How is the Old Cuban usually served in terms of ice or presentation?
The cocktail is typically shaken with ice, strained, and then served up, meaning without ice, with champagne.

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