Havana Cocktail Recipe

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Havana Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Havana cocktail is a classic Cuban drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It was created during the golden age of cocktails, when American bartenders flocked to Havana to escape Prohibition. The Havana cocktail is a favorite among rum lovers and those who appreciate the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean.

  • The Havana cocktail is said to have been created by legendary bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert at the famous El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba.
  • The drink gained popularity among American tourists visiting Cuba during Prohibition.
  • The Havana cocktail is a celebration of Cuban culture and its love for rum, fresh fruit, and lively flavors.

How Havana Tastes?

The Havana cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. The rum adds a rich, smooth base while the pineapple juice and lime juice provide a refreshing tanginess. The grenadine adds a touch of sweetness to balance the tartness of the citrus.

Interesting facts about Havana

  • The Havana cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Cuban Daiquiri' due to its similarities with the classic Daiquiri, which also originated in Cuba.
  • The Havana cocktail is often served in a chilled cocktail glass, but can also be enjoyed over ice in a rocks glass.
  • The drink is traditionally garnished with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry, adding a touch of tropical flair.


White Rum

Rum is the backbone of many tropical drinks, providing a smooth yet punchy base. The 2 oz measurement gives the cocktail an assertive rum flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients. Without it, you'd lose the spirit of Havana - literally!

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

For that tropical tang and sweetness, 1 oz pineapple juice is just right. It's the sidekick to rum, brightening the drink. More could make it too sweet, less and you'd miss the vacation vibes.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

That 0.5 oz of lime juice is all about balance - it cuts through sweetness with a fresh zesty kick, giving the drink some edge. Forget the lime, and your cocktail might slip into overly sweet territory.

Mary Mitkina


A small dash, just 0.25 oz, of grenadine adds color and a whisper of pomegranate sweetness. It's a subtle touch that dresses the drink in sunset hues. Leave it out, and you'll miss that kiss of sugar and the rosy glow.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Wedge

The garnish isn't just for show! It's a nod to the flavors inside the glass and a snack for when you hit the bottom.

Alex Green

Maraschino Cherry

One cherry to rule them all - it's the final, playful touch. This garnish adds a pop of color and a hint of cherry flavor, reminding you that cocktails are meant to be fun!

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Havana Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the white rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juices whenever possible for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to fully combine the ingredients and chill the drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Ceviche: The citrus notes of the lime juice in the Havana cocktail complement the fresh, zesty flavors of ceviche exceptionally well.
  • Fried Plantains: The sweetness of the fried plantains pairs nicely with the tropical flavors of the pineapple juice.


  • Grilled Chicken or Fish: The light, refreshing nature of the Havana cocktail makes it a great match for simple grilled dishes.
  • Pork Tacos: Pair the Havana with pork tacos for a delightful combination of sweet and savory.


  • Coconut Flan: The rich, creamy texture of the flan is balanced by the sharpness of the lime and the sweetness of the grenadine.
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: A slice of this cake alongside a Havana cocktail enhances the pineapple flavor present in both.

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What you could change in Havana

  • White rum can be replaced with dark rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Pineapple juice can be substituted with orange juice for a different tropical twist.
  • Grenadine can be replaced with a simple syrup if desired.

Explore all drinks starting with H here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Havana

Replace white rum with a spicy rum, add a thin slice of jalapeño to the shaker, and follow the original recipe. Expect a bold kick of heat that'll turn the tropical tranquility into a fiery fiesta!

Havana Night

Add a splash of coconut cream and replace the white rum with dark rum. This version brings a creamy texture and a deeper flavor, making it feel like a sultry summer night in the tropics.

Havana Sunrise

Squeeze in the juice of half an orange and replace grenadine with a float of blackberry liqueur on top. This twist paints your cocktail with broader strokes of fruitiness and a sophisticated berry finish.

In case you forgot basics how to make Havana

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Havana

What type of rum is best for the Havana cocktail?

While the choice is up to personal preference, a light, white rum is typically used for the Havana cocktail, although dark rum can also be used for a deeper flavor.

Can I make the Havana cocktail non-alcoholic?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the rum with coconut water or a mixture of soda water and a few drops of almond extract. Please note that the taste will be different from the original.

Is there a specific brand of grenadine that works best in the Havana cocktail?

No specific brand of grenadine is required, but it's generally advisable to use one that isn't overly sweet to balance with the other flavors in the cocktail.

Are there any pairing suggestions for the Havana cocktail?

The Havana cocktail can be paired with various Caribbean dishes such as grilled shrimp, jerk chicken, or even a bright tropical salad. The cocktail's sweet and sour flavor profile complements spicy and savory dishes well.

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