Refreshment required? Give this Old Cuban recipe a go

As far as drinks go in terms of refreshment, the Mojito is hard to beat. But this Old Cuban recipe might just have the answer.

The Old Cuban was created by Audrey Saunders in the early 2000s, so it’s more modern classic than ancient relic, but it’s gained popularity across the drinking world because it’s a damn fine variation on the Mojito.

It switches out the soda for champagne and serves it up, which lends it an aura that would see it as at home in the grand hotels and bars of Prohibition-era Cuba as it would in the indulgent pre-global financial crisis times of the early mid-‘aughts.

Saunders opened the Pegu Club in 2004, having been an early protégé of Dale DeGroff from the late 1990’s and relaunching the historic Bemelmans Bar at the Carlisle Hotel. It’s her grounding in classic cocktails a la DeGroff — and the fortunate timing of being at the vanguard of the bartending renaissance — that has contributed to this drink’s renown.

Oh, and it’s also damn delicious — get the specs below.


Old Cuban

• 45ml Bacardi Ocho
• 30ml fresh lime juice
• 15ml sugar syrup
• 3 dashes of bitters
• Mint
• Sparkling wine to top

Shake all ingredients — except the wine — and strain into a chilled coupe. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a mint leaf.

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