We Found the Best Cuban Cocktails in Canada

If you want to do Cuban right, it all comes down to the rum.

‘Cause you simply can’t fake greatness. Or smoothness. Or any other ‘ness’ you’re looking for.

Which is why you’ll find Havana Club 3 Year Old in every one of the best Cuban cocktails across the entire country.

Don’t believe us? Well, we hit up barstools in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal (we know, the things we do for you) to get a taste of three of the most authentic Cuban cocktails you’ll find anywhere in Canada.

And trust us, whether you’re an amateur or an aficionado, you won’t be disappointed with what we found.


Tableau Bar and Bistro and The Big Bamboo.

Created in the 60s by Mariano Licudine, this Tiki cocktail creation was a staple on the famous Mai Kai Restaurant list for decades in Florida and reflects a time when Cuban immigrants were landing in waves along the coast. 

A perfect blend of fresh citrus fruit and passion fruit flavours come together with Havana 3 Year Old and a dash of bitters to create an expressive but easy drinking cocktail. The lighter style of the Havana Cuban rum brings a slight sweetness to the drink and provides a round and lingering finish. Perfect for sipping, this is what you’ll find:

– ¾ oz Havana Club 3 Year Old

– ½ oz Lime Juice

– ½ oz Grapefruit Juice

– ½ oz Orange Juice

– ½ oz Passion Fruit Syrup

– 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Mix all the ingredients into a cocktail tin, add ice and shake. Strain into a water glass, add ice, and garnish with a mint bouquet.


We already told you how great Rush Lane Co. is.

So it’s no surprise that when we wanted an authentic Cuban cocktail, we went to one of the most forward-thinking bars in the city.

Well, maybe that is a surprise to you – but anyone looking to succeed in the future has to have a solid understanding of the past.

A prime example of this is Rush Lane’s Hemingway Daiquiri.

Prepared in the classic El Floridita style made famous by America’s biggest drinker (okay, he could write too), Rush Lane’s bartender, Jordan Bushell, explains that this version was developed to offer an option that featured less sugar.

“It’s a great way to start a night out. Light, refreshing, classic – a graceful entrance into the evening.”

Here’s the delicious breakdown: 

– ½ ounce lime juice

– ¾ ounce grapefruit juice

– 2 ounces Havana Club 3 Year Old

– ½ ounce Maraschino liquor

Remember the future we were talking about, though? Well, that comes into play with Rush Lane’s decision to serve the Hemingway Daiquiri on tap.

Now don’t get scared. Let us explain.

The dream of any bar is to be able to offer unparalleled consistency. And by choosing to serve the Hemingway Daiquiri from a keg that’s been filled with the exact recipe they’ve slaved over creating (and controlled with argon gas so there’s no oxidization whatsoever), you’ll never get anything other than the perfect cocktail.

And when you’re dealing with a rum as flawless as the Havana 3 Year Old, you want it to be able to shine every single time. As Bushell tells us:

It still has the light, bright flavours of a young rum but a complexity that rounds out the Hemingway Daiquiri and gives it a depth while managing not to dominate it. Havana 3 Year Old is able to become a part of the whole as opposed to battling the juices for supremacy.  

Sounds like a fine balance to us. And one that you shouldn’t wait to try.


The red and white colours of the Havana Club bottle shine on the back of the bar at Barraca – a place where customers feel on vacation right in the centre of Montreal’s Plateau.

And the Mojito is like a rock star that keeps bringing people back for one more encore.

The recipe?

– 1 ounce Havana 3 Year Old

– 1 ounce sugar cane syrup

– 1 ounce fresh lime juice

– 3-4 mint leaves

– Shake with ice and pour in a highball glass

– Fill with 1 ounce of soda

The key is keeping the recipes simple – after all, these drinks are usually prepared in tropical weather by people who are ready to dance to Cuban music at a moment’s notice and have no time for toiling on anything that isn’t fun, delicious, and immediately enjoyable.

Sounds perfect to us.


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