Friday, August 21, 2015

Mixology Monday: Old Cuban

Old Cuban

Today may be Friday, but it's Mixology Monday time again! And this one is very special: MxMo C, the 100th Mixology Monday. I'm very much a newcomer to this online cocktail party, having only participated in three so far, but I love that it's been a way to instantly become a part of a great community of other bloggers who love cocktails. I'm thrilled to be here for the 100th.

This month's theme is Cocktail Chronicles, hosted by Frederic of Cocktail Virgin Slut and fittingly inspired by Mixology Monday founder Paul Clarke. He's been blogging about cocktails longer than most; his blog The Cocktail Chronicles was started 10 years ago, and he's since become a big-name cocktail writer for all sorts of major publications. His book The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass just came out last month. So it's really perfect timing that we can celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mixology Monday with a tribute to him.

The challenge, then, is to choose a cocktail that is "timeless (or potentially timeless) and elegant in its simplicity" using Paul's blog and book as inspiration. It's certainly a theme open to interpretation, and I can't wait to see the collection of recipes that fellow bloggers think will continue to stand the test of time. I went to Paul's blog and looked at the recipes he had posted there, and the one I wanted to make jumped right out at me: the Old Cuban.

Old Cuban

Paul actually made the Old Cuban for MxMo III over nine years ago. If you're not familiar with this cocktail, it's basically a Mojito with aged rum and champagne instead of club soda, and a couple of dashes of bitters for good measure. The champagne is what cemented the choice for me. I love champagne cocktails, and when I see the word "elegant" I can't help but think that something with champagne is an obvious choice. The Old Cuban exudes elegance. Another thing Frederic stressed in his announcement post is how Paul thinks that cocktails should remain accessible to everyone, and I think the Old Cuban nails that. The ingredients are simple, and I can't imagine someone not liking it. Still, its combination of flavors and textures is something that I think even a cocktail connoisseur has got to appreciate. What's more, I think it is definitely a drink with staying power. The first place I ever saw it was in Vintage Cocktails, and I assumed it had been around for a while. It's also on the menu at Park in Cambridge, and I've recommended it to numerous friends. I was pretty surprised to find out that it was invented recently, by Audrey Saunders of the Pegu Club in New York. As far as I'm concerned, it's a new classic, and one of my favorites.

The MxMo C round-up post is here!

Old Cuban

Old Cuban

1 1/2 oz. aged rum (I used Folly Cove)
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
6 mint leaves

Combine mint, simple syrup, and lime juice in the bottom of a shaker and muddle. Add rum and bitters. Shake with ice until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a sprig of mint or a sugar-coated vanilla bean. (For the record, when I have vanilla beans sitting around to be used as cocktail garnishes, I will know I've made it.)

Recipe adapted from The Cocktail Chronicles.

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