Fidel Castro, Cuba’s united communist dictator, took power in 1959 through a coup and remained in power until 2008. Castro came close to initiating a third world war in 1962 when he allowed Russian nuclear missiles on his island. It is unsurprising that this notoriously infamous character has had a drink or two dedicated to his name. The Fidel Castro cocktail is as infamous as its namesake, and best ordered or made when one wants to have a wild night.
The Fidel Castro cocktail is a long liquorice drink, originally made with dark Cuban Rum, ginger ale, and crushed lime. It’s spicy, dark, strong, and comes with hints of bitterness and sourness. It’s potent and strongly flavoured nature makes the drink a respectable tribute to Fidel Castro himself. Making it is easy – simply mix all the ingredients in a shaker, pour over ice, wipe the rim and think of Cuba!
Many varieties of Fidel Castro exist, where spiced cream may be substituted in place of the dark Rum, or coke instead of ginger ale. But if you replace the ginger ale, then the drink is called by a different name; the Cuba Libre. This great Cuban drink is a favourite of cocktail lovers and Cubans alike. When Fidel Castro died in late 2016, bars across Cuba and the United States offered complimentary Fidel Castros to anyone who said “Viva Cuba” to the bartender.
Here is the classic recipe for the notorious Fidel Castro cocktail, modified with some local Cuban twists.
- Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker
- Shake until completely blended
- In a highball glass, add ice
- Pour the mixture over the ice
- Garnish with twist of lemon and sprig of mint
- Cocktail shaker
- Lemon twist
- Highball glass