Welcome to my Blog at The Lair Of The Camrose
It’s my bespoke stomping ground in the Intermatrix . You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by…
This time, some Cuban reflections.
We were in Cuba in February 2020, a lifetime ago. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the cocktails flowed like, er, wine. Like Freddie, we were Havana good time, Havana ball… Far away from where we are right now after these dangerous months.
When I think of Cuba, I think of cars, cocktails and – slightly strangely – cats. At times, they blend together: when we first arrived in Cuba, a 1958 Plymouth ride back in time to La Guarida restaurant in the heart of Havana, its feline guardian in the entrance hall large enough to hold a dance floor, a rooftop terrace housing the open-air Mirador Bar dispensing life-giving Negroni Habanero cocktails – a mixture that includes aged Campari, red vermouth and the perfume of orange rinds. Plenty of ice.
I thought I would share a few memories like that of our trip to bring a little salsa (and, as you will see, heavy metal) back into life for a few minutes as we mingled with the cool cats of Cuba.
More cool cats at the Buena Vista Social Club.
Music is an enduring part of the place. Take a look at a few moments of this street sweeper practising asome moves to the beat of a nearby bar.
And in Varadero, a table band in a restaurant playing the final notes of some AC-DC…It’s a matter of great regret that I didn’t hit record sooner; too busy head-banging with the rest of the restaurant-goers…
In addition to hearing some heavy rock on a violin in Cuba, I have also been lucky enough – quite a few years ago – to hear Jingle Bells on a sitar in an Indian restaurant in Sri Lanka to get us in the festive spirit.
But it’s best to leave the last words to the cats and cocktails of Cuba:
The cocktail below is an El Presidente (there are numerous variations, but this one works a treat):
- 25 ml Bacardi
- 25 ml White Vermouth
- 5 ml Grand Marnier
- Dash of Grenadine
- Beautifully cut Orange Peel, preferably sliced very thin and in one piece – the one below was from the maestro who served us at El Floridita in Havana
Shake with ice. Pour into a Martini glass.
Harking back to AC-DC, this cocktail is perhaps a Highway to El…
Alan Camrose writes books and a blog: