51 Cuban Drinks You’ll Love: Spirits | Cocktails | Wine | Beer | Alcohol-free

Let’s dive into the vibrant world of Cuban beverages that boasts an impressive array of drinks, ranging from traditional spirits and beers, to innovative cocktails and unique non-alcoholic refreshments.

This comprehensive list offers a deep dive into the diverse and rich beverage culture of Cuba. Each drink is a unique representation of Cuban traditions and flavors. >>>

1. Spirits from Cuba

1.1. Cuban Liquor

1. Cuban Rum

  • Iconic Caribbean spirit distilled from sugarcane

Cuban Rum is the backbone of the Caribbean’s spirit world, with rich history and cultural significance, that stands out for its smooth, complex flavor profile. Distilled from sugarcane, its versatility shines in both sipping varieties and as the key ingredient in Cuba’s world-famous cocktails like the Mojito and Daiquiri.

Here are some notable brands that represent the diversity and rich heritage of Cuban rum, each with its own unique qualities and flavors:

  • Havana Club: Cuba’s most famous rum brand, known for its smooth and rich flavor profile, ideal for both sipping and cocktails.
  • Santiago de Cuba: A premium brand offering a range of aged rums, distilled with traditional methods, and celebrated for its complex and refined taste.
  • Ron Varadero: Popular for its versatility, offering a variety of rums suitable for both direct consumption and mixing in cocktails.
  • Ron Legendario: Known for its sweet, almost wine-like rums, including the famous Legendario Elixir de Cuba.
  • Ron Palma Mulata: A lesser-known brand outside of Cuba, appreciated for its authentic and traditional flavors.
  • Ron Caney: Offers a range of aged rums, known for their smoothness and subtlety, often used in fine cocktails.
  • Ron Cubay: A newer brand compared to others, but rapidly gaining recognition for its quality and smooth taste.
  • Ron Vigia: A premium brand known for its high-quality aged rums, popular among rum connoisseurs.
  • Ron Santero: A brand that produces a variety of rums, often used in religious ceremonies and rituals in Cuba.
  • Ron Matusalem: Originally from Cuba, now produced in the Dominican Republic, known for its complex aging process and rich flavor.
  • Guayabita del Pinar: Distinctive guava-flavored rum from Pinar del Río, famous for its unique infusion of guava fruit, representing Cuba’s innovative spirit in distilling.

2. Aguardiente

  • Potent sugarcane spirit

Aguardiente, translating to ‘fiery water’, is a potent Cuban spirit made from sugarcane. This liquor is noted for its strong, fiery flavor and is often enjoyed neat by locals. It’s also a popular base for various traditional Cuban cocktails, adding a robust kick to every sip.

3. Santero

  • Spirit with mystic roots

Santero, a spirit deeply rooted in Cuban mysticism, is more than just a drink; it’s a part of cultural rituals. Typically homemade, its exact composition varies, but it often includes rum and indigenous herbs, offering a unique taste of Cuba’s spiritual side.

1.2. Cuban Liqueurs

4. Creme de Vie

  • Cuban homemade liqueur

Creme de Vie, a homemade Cuban delight, is akin to a creamy, sweet dessert in a glass. Made with simple ingredients like sugar, eggs, and rum, it’s a traditional holiday treat in Cuba. Its rich, smooth texture makes it a favorite for sipping after meals.

5. Legendario Elixir de Cuba

  • Sweet, aged Cuban rum liqueur

Legendario Elixir de Cuba is a uniquely sweet, aged Cuban rum liqueur. Known for its rich, velvety texture and hints of raisin and chocolate, it offers an indulgent experience. It’s often enjoyed neat or on the rocks, showcasing the depth and creativity of Cuban liquor crafting.

6. Ron Miel

  • Honey rum liqueur

Ron Miel, a honey rum liqueur, combines the warmth of Cuban rum with the sweetness of honey. This harmonious blend offers a smooth, comforting sip, perfect for those seeking a milder spirit. It’s a testament to Cuba’s ability to create diverse and flavorful spirits.

7. Coco Loco

  • Coconut-flavored liqueur

Coco Loco is a coconut-flavored Cuban liqueur that captures the tropical essence of the island. Its creamy, sweet coconut flavor pairs beautifully with Cuban rum, creating irresistible cocktails. It’s a popular choice in beach bars and resorts, embodying the spirit of Cuban leisure.

2. Cocktails & Mixed Drinks from Cuba

2.1. Cuban Cocktails & Alcoholic Mixed Drinks

8. Mojito

  • Iconic Cuban cocktail

The Mojito is perhaps the most iconic Cuban cocktail, globally renowned for its refreshing blend of white rum, mint, lime juice, sugar, and soda water. This classic drink encapsulates the essence of Cuban cocktail culture, offering a perfect balance of sweetness, citrus, and herbal flavors.

9. Cuba Libre

  • Rum and cola classic

The Cuba Libre, simply rum and cola with a splash of lime, is a staple in Cuban bars. Its creation dates back to the early 1900s, symbolizing the close relationship between Cuba and the United States. This cocktail’s simplicity belies its rich, harmonious flavor and historical significance.

10. Daiquiri

  • Citrusy rum cocktail

The Daiquiri, a blend of rum, lime juice, and sugar, is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Cuban cocktails. Originating from the town of Daiquiri near Santiago de Cuba, this drink has gained worldwide popularity, particularly in its frozen form, which adds a slushy texture.

11. Hemingway Special

  • Daiquiri with a twist

The Hemingway Special, also known as the Papa Doble, is a variation of the classic Daiquiri. Created for Ernest Hemingway in Havana, it features a blend of white rum, lime and grapefruit juices, and maraschino liqueur. It’s stronger and less sweet than the traditional Daiquiri.

12. Piña Colada

Tropical rum cocktail

Although more commonly associated with Puerto Rico, the Piña Colada, made with rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, is also a popular choice in Cuba. This creamy, tropical cocktail is synonymous with Caribbean beaches and relaxed island vibes.

13. Mary Pickford

  • Prohibition-era cocktail

The Mary Pickford, a cocktail from the Prohibition era, was created in Havana for the American actress of the same name. It blends white rum with pineapple juice, grenadine, and maraschino liqueur, offering a sweet and fruity taste with a touch of sophistication.

14. Presidente

  • Elegant, vermouth cocktail

The Presidente cocktail, a refined mix of white rum, orange curaçao, dry vermouth, and grenadine, was named in honor of Cuban President Gerardo Machado. It is known for its smooth, balanced flavor and is often garnished with a cherry or orange peel.

15. El Nacional

  • Signature Havana cocktail

El Nacional, a cocktail named after the famous Hotel Nacional in Havana, is a blend of rum, pineapple juice, apricot liqueur, and lime juice. This drink encapsulates the glamour of Havana’s golden age, offering a tropical and sophisticated flavor profile.

16. Cubanito

  • Cuban Bloody Mary

The Cubanito is Cuba’s answer to the Bloody Mary, featuring rum instead of vodka. It combines rum with tomato juice, lime juice, and various seasonings, offering a spicy and savory cocktail experience, perfect for brunch or as a hangover cure.

17. Saoco

  • Coconut-rum refreshment

The Saoco is a traditional Cuban drink made from rum, coconut water, lime juice, and sugar. This refreshing cocktail has rural origins and is known for its simplicity and the way it showcases natural Cuban flavors.

18. Canchánchara

  • Honey-lime-rum mix

The Canchánchara, hailing from Trinidad, Cuba, is a delightful mix of rum, honey, lime, and water. This drink dates back to the 19th century and is often considered the precursor to the Mojito. It’s known for its soothing and revitalizing properties.

19. Havana Special

  • Pineapple rum cocktail

The Havana Special is a cocktail combining rum, pineapple juice, and maraschino liqueur. It offers a sweet and fruity flavor, capturing the essence of Cuba’s tropical climate and vibrant cocktail scene.

20. Mulata

  • Chocolate-rum cocktail

The Mulata cocktail is a unique Cuban creation that blends dark rum with cream and chocolate liqueur, often garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This indulgent cocktail offers a perfect balance of richness and rum’s complexity.

21. Rebujito

  • Sherry-based highball

The Rebujito, while more commonly associated with Andalusian culture in Spain, has found its way into Cuban bars. It’s a refreshing mix of sherry and soft drink, often served with fresh mint, offering a lighter, more approachable alternative to traditional rum cocktails.

22. El Floridita

  • Classic Cuban Daiquiri

El Floridita is a variation of the classic Daiquiri, named after the famous Havana bar where it was created. It typically includes rum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and grapefruit juice, offering a tart and refreshing taste with a hint of sweetness.

23. Cuban Highball

  • Rum and ginger ale

The Cuban Highball, or the “Cubata,” is a simple yet delicious cocktail made with rum and ginger ale, often garnished with a lime wedge. This drink is known for its refreshing and invigorating qualities, making it a popular choice in Cuban bars and clubs.

24. Cuban Sidecar

  •  Citrusy rum cocktail

The Cuban Sidecar is a twist on the classic Sidecar cocktail, substituting rum for brandy. It blends rum with triple sec and lemon juice, offering a perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors, making it a favorite among Cuban cocktail enthusiasts.

25. Ron Collins

  • Cuban take on Tom Collins

Ron Collins, Cuba’s take on the classic Tom Collins cocktail, is a refreshing blend of Cuban rum, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water. It stands out for its perfect balance of sweet and tart, making it a popular choice for cooling off in Cuba’s tropical climate.

2.2. Cuban Hot Alcoholic Beverages

26. Café Cubano

  • Strong Cuban espresso

Café Cubano, also known as Cuban espresso, is a staple in Cuban culture. This intensely strong and sweet coffee is made by brewing espresso with sugar, creating a thick, frothy layer known as ‘espuma’. It’s not just a drink; it’s a daily Cuban ritual, reflecting the vibrant energy of the island.

27. Caribbean Coffee

  • Rum-infused coffee

Caribbean Coffee is a warm, inviting blend of rich coffee and Caribbean rum, often sweetened and sometimes with added cream. This comforting beverage is perfect for sipping on cool evenings and combines the bold flavors of coffee with the smooth warmth of rum, embodying the essence of the Caribbean.

28. Planchao

  • Hot rum toddy

Planchao is a warm Cuban cocktail, often enjoyed in the cooler months. It combines rum with hot water, honey, and lemon, offering a comforting and soothing drink, reminiscent of a hot toddy, with a distinctively Cuban twist.

29. Ron Punch

  • Rum-based punch

Ron Punch is a popular Cuban party drink, a punch that usually combines rum with a variety of fruit juices, such as pineapple and orange, along with spices and sugar. It’s a festive, communal beverage, perfect for social gatherings and celebrations.

3. Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Beverages from Cuba

3.1. Cuban Beer

Cuban beer production, primarily consisting of lagers, plays a significant role in the country’s beverage culture. Brands like Bucanero, Cristal, and Mayabe are staples, offering a range from robust to light flavors. Breweries in Cuba, often state-owned or in joint ventures, focus on catering to both local preferences and the tourist market. The emphasis is on easy-drinking beers, fitting the island’s warm climate and vibrant social settings. While not as internationally renowned as Cuban rum, these beers are integral to Cuba’s social fabric, enjoyed in daily life and festive occasions alike.

30. Bucanero

  • Strong Cuban lager

Bucanero is a strong lager and one of Cuba’s most popular beers. Known for its robust flavor, it perfectly complements the island’s spicy cuisine. Bucanero offers a deep, satisfying taste with a hint of sweetness, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

31. Cristal

  • Light Cuban lager

Cristal is often referred to as the ‘light’ beer of Cuba. It is a pale lager with a crisp, refreshing taste, ideal for Cuba’s hot climate. Its mild flavor and smooth finish make it a popular choice for a relaxed day at the beach or a casual gathering.

32. Mayabe

  • Mild, smooth lager

Mayabe, a lighter Cuban beer, is known for its smooth and mild flavor profile. It is less intense than some of its Cuban counterparts, making it an excellent option for those who prefer a gentler beer. Mayabe offers a clean and refreshing finish, ideal for savoring on a sunny Cuban afternoon.

33. Cacique

  • Popular, accessible beer

Cacique is a well-liked beer in Cuba, valued for its accessibility and straightforward taste. It’s a standard lager that caters to a broad audience, offering a balance between flavor and refreshment. Cacique is a reliable choice for casual drinking occasions.

34. Tínima

  • Locally brewed lager

Tínima, brewed in the central region of Cuba, is valued for its local production and distinctive taste. This beer offers a unique flavor profile that reflects the region’s brewing traditions, making it a point of pride for locals and a delightful discovery for visitors.

35. Palma Cristal

  • Refreshing, light lager

Palma Cristal is a light Cuban lager known for its refreshing and easy-drinking qualities. It’s a popular choice in Cuba for its gentle, approachable flavor, perfect for enjoying in Cuba’s tropical climate and pairing with a wide range of Cuban dishes.

3.2. Cuban Wine

36. Vinos de Mesa Cubanos

  • Niche, locally adapted table wines from imported grape concentrates

Cuban table wines (vinos de mesa Cubanos) represent a unique, though niche, aspect of Cuba’s beverage culture. These wines, primarily produced from imported grape concentrates, include basic varieties of reds, whites, and rosés. Brands like Soroa, which cater mostly to the domestic market, lead this effort. While not as globally recognized as Cuban spirits, these wines are an intriguing exploration into local winemaking, often finding favor with tourists for their novelty. Experimental vineyards and the use of imported grapes reflect Cuba’s growing interest in winemaking, despite the industry’s small scale and limited variety.

3.3. Other Cuban Brewed and Fermented Alcoholic Drinks

37. Sidra

  • Cuban apple cider

Sidra, or Cuban cider, is a less common but cherished alcoholic beverage in Cuba. Made by fermenting apple juice, it offers a sweet, fruity flavor with a light alcoholic content. Cuban Sidra is typically enjoyed during celebrations and festive occasions, reflecting a diverse alcoholic beverage culture on the island.

38. Cuban Chicha

  • Traditional fermented corn drink

Cuban Chicha is a traditional, homemade fermented beverage made from corn. It’s part of Cuba’s indigenous and rural heritage, known for its slightly sweet and sour taste. Chicha varies in alcoholic content based on fermentation duration and methods, embodying a rustic and authentic Cuban drink experience.

4. Non-Alcoholic Drinks from Cuba

4.1. Cuban Non-Alcoholic Beverages

39. Materva

  • Herbal tea soda

Materva is a unique Cuban soft drink made from yerba mate, a type of herbal tea. This soda offers a distinctively sweet and slightly herbal flavor, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists seeking a taste of traditional Cuban refreshments.

40. Ironbeer

  • Iconic Cuban soft drink

Ironbeer is a classic Cuban soft drink with a rich history dating back to 1917. Its taste is often described as a cross between root beer and cream soda, with a unique fruity twist. This beloved beverage is a staple in Cuban cuisine and culture.

41. Jupiña

  • Pineapple-flavored soda

Jupiña is a popular Cuban soda known for its sweet pineapple flavor. It’s a refreshing and fruity choice, particularly favored during the hot Cuban summers. Jupiña’s tropical taste makes it a delightful pairing with various Cuban dishes.

42. Ciego Montero

  • Cuban carbonated drink

Ciego Montero is a range of Cuban carbonated soft drinks, offering various flavors including cola, fruit sodas, and sparkling water. Known for their refreshing taste, these drinks are widely consumed across Cuba and are integral to the Cuban soft drink market.

43. Malta / Maltego / Refresco de Malta

  • Sweet, malt-based soft drink

Maltego (also malta or refresco de malta), is a popular non-alcoholic beverage in Cuba, made by brewing malted barley and hops.  Although resembling beer in its production process, it is a sweet soft drink that tastes like beer but without the alcohol, providing a refreshing, sweet, and malty flavor. It’s consumed among all ages as a casual, everyday drink.

44. Guarapo

  • Fresh sugarcane juice

Guarapo is freshly pressed sugarcane juice, a quintessential Cuban drink. It’s known for its natural sweetness and refreshing qualities, often served ice-cold with a splash of lime. Guarapo is a staple in Cuban street food culture.

45. Tamarindo

  • Tamarind juice drink

Tamarindo is a popular Cuban drink made from tamarind pods. This beverage is celebrated for its tangy and sweet flavor, often enjoyed as a refreshing escape from the heat. Tamarindo embodies the tropical essence of Cuban non-alcoholic drinks.

46. Limonada

  • Cuban lemonade

Limonada, or Cuban lemonade, is a simple yet refreshing drink made with fresh lemons, sugar, and water. Often served ice cold, it’s a staple in Cuban households and eateries, perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

47. Granizado

  • Cuban shaved ice

Granizado is a Cuban version of shaved ice, typically flavored with fruit syrups like mango, tamarind, or lime. It’s a popular street food item, offering a sweet, icy treat to beat the tropical heat.

48. Batidos

  • Cuban fruit milkshakes

Batidos are Cuban milkshakes made with fresh tropical fruits, milk, and sugar. These creamy, flavorful beverages are a staple in Cuban cuisine, often featuring fruits like mamey, guava, papaya, pineapple, and mango.

4.2. Cuban Hot Alcohol-Free Beverages

49. Cafecito

  • Strong Cuban espresso coffee

Cafecito, a Cuban expresso coffee, is famed for its intense strength and sweet character. It’s traditionally made by brewing finely ground coffee with sugar, creating a bold, aromatic, and slightly thick espresso. This coffee is a daily ritual in Cuba, reflecting the island’s vibrant coffee culture.

50. Café con Leche

  • Cuban milk coffee

Café con Leche is a strong espresso coffee mixed with warm milk, a Cuban breakfast staple. It’s known for its rich flavor and comforting qualities, often enjoyed with a sweet pastry or toast in the mornings, embodying the warmth of Cuban hospitality.

51. Chocolate Caliente

  • Cuban hot chocolate

Chocolate Caliente, Cuban hot chocolate, is a rich and creamy drink made with milk and traditionally prepared chocolate. It’s often enjoyed as a comforting treat, especially during cooler evenings or festive occasions. This beverage is a testament to Cuba’s love for sweet, warming drinks.

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