A Havana Club experience
Back in 'the old days' I used to be the general manager at a popular grand café in Utrecht
(The Netherlands). These three years were extremely interesting mainly because Utrecht's hospitality industry was going through a big change.
Utrecht was moving from a student-oriented style to a more 'grown up' style. This meant that new hip bars and restaurants were opening up left and right, liqour inventories were being extended with more cultured varieties and menus changed from your standard student fodder to gastronomic delights from Thailand, Uzbekistan and other exotic countries.
One of the things we did to keep up with the times was to offer more exclusive whiskeys, cognacs and cocktails. Heck, we even upgraded our coffee and trained the staff in how to work with all these new, fancy drinks.
Most of our guests at the time were amused by all our efforts and many tried our newfound skills but mostly they stuck to their beers and rum-and-cokes. That is, until we changed our rum....
The Dutch are stolid in many things. They may not know why they like something but they'll drink it nonetheless and don't you dare change anything about their favorite drinks! In our -apparent- arrogance we committed the ultimate sin; we changed our rum brand from the standard rum you'll find in any Dutch bar to Havana Club 3 Años.
On the first Friday night (on Fridays and Saturdays the bar was packed to the brim) I had the pleasure of working behind the bar myself and it didn't take long for the first complaint to come.
"Hey, I don't want that swill! Give me the usual!
" I must admit I was mildly surprised at the vehemence of this response. I started to explain that this new rum was better and he wouldn't have to pay more but he was adamant in his refusal to drink it.
It wasn't until I told him that if he didn't like it he could bring it back and he could choose something else free of charge that he grudgingly relented and joined his friends on the dance floor. His frugality won out over his indignation.
Over the next few weeks we had similar conversations with our guests and as far as I know it happened only a few times that people actually brought their drink back. And even these few people relented after a while and acquired a taste for their new favorite.
Eventually it turned out to become one of the reasons for some people to come to our bar for mojitos and Cuba Libres (which also taste better with Havana Club).
is the official Cuban rum (it even comes with a seal to prove it). Cuba has become known as the "Isle of Rum" due to the great sugar cane, the fertile soil, a favorable Caribbean climate and the Cuban "Maestro Roneros" (master rum-makers). In the 19th century the Spanish Crown even instructed a Cuban Maestro Ronero, Pedro Diago, to develop a more delicate rum that could "satisfy the court and the elite of the Empire".
The essence of Havana Club rum is the art of Añejamiento ("ageing") based on successive ageing and blending. All Havana CLub rums are aged and heir recipes are closely guarded secrets, known only to the senior Maestros Roneros, but all of them have the same fundamental characteristics that make Havana Club stand apart from other rums.
Havana Club has a whole range of rums but the ones you most commonly see are the Añejo Blanco, the 3 Años and the Añejo 7 Años.
The Añejo Blanco
(clear) is light and aromatic with mellow, sun-coloured tones and the fruity flavor of freshly pressed sugarcane. It is perfect to mix with and great for refreshing cocktails like the mojito (I personally prefer my mojitos with the 3 Años though).
The 3 Años
(yellow/"straw" color) is slightly drier than the Añejo Blanco and has stronger smoky, vanilla and chocolate notes. It is great for daiquiris and can also be enjoyed neat or over ice by rum connoisseurs.
The Añejo 7 Años
(mahogany color) has won several gold medals and is a stylish and exceptionally rich rum with a complex palate of vibrant and refined warm cocoa, vanilla, sugarcane, chestnut and caramelized tropical fruit flavors braced by firm, smooth oak and rich brown spice. It is usually served neat or with an ice cube to bring out its complexity. It also adds a touch of indulgence to a Cuba Libre.
Do you also want to enjoy a touch of the Havana Club experience? Then join My Fashion Lifestyle at the "Let's Celebrate Karnaval in Style
" stand at the Curacao carnival
Gran Marcha and Farewell Parade. We will be serving Havana Club rum to our guests there, thanks to Queens Distributors
Written by Joost Schrier for My Fashion Lifestyle