No trip to Cuba would be complete without letting go a little and indulging in some Cuban rum and Havana cigars, which are the best in the world and were always flaunted by famous political figures of the Cuban Revolution, such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara himself.
Rum is the Cuban spirit par excellence, a distinctive product of their land, which is blessed with a humid tropical climate and long hours of sunlight. Its roots go back to 1850, when Don Fernando de Artiola, pioneer of the pot still, developed the practice of distillation. From sugarcane, rum was eventually developed, but it existed in an earlier form as a harsh, sharp and strong alcoholic drink known as la Tafia. This was a drink endured only by pirates, slaves and sailors at the time.
However, the Spanish Crown launched a contest to produce a more delicate and refined drink with which to supply the motherland, and thus, in the middle of the nineteenth century, Cuban rum was born. Rum production is based on the distillation of fermented sugarcane juice or top quality honey, resulting in distinctive liquors and fine alcohols.
The design of the alcoholic content, the matured notes, and the balance of sweet and sour flavors combine to create a taste sensation. A sensory experience involving sight, smell and taste.
And, like rum, the Havana cigar also has its roots in the earth and in agriculture. The tobacco is cultivated in the best soils of eastern Cuba. Its different types of leaf are grown, harvested, cured and fermented several times before being ready for the magical craftsmanship of the torcedor (Cuban cigar roller), who completes the production process. The Havana cigar is without doubt one of the best known and most sought-after of all forms of tobacco, as attested to by the 120 countries that import them and the nearly 90 points of sale, which disseminate the fruits of nearly 500 years of tradition.
It would be unthinkable to travel to Havana and not have a few puffs on these famous cigars! To enjoy their flavor and even bring some back for our friends and family so that they too can discover their unique quality.
Rum and cigars are linked by fire: one in its production and the other in its consumption. Both are fruits of the earth, and both have carved out a path of prestige and excellence for our enjoyment over the centuries. But let’s enjoy them in moderation – especially the rum, or we’ll be stumbling back to our hotels!
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has many hotels spread across different regions of the island of Cuba, from the best known, such as Varadero, to less tourist-frequented though equally attractive, such as Trinidad or the majestic capital city Havana. The hotel surroundings are spectacular, with fine golden sand beaches, nature spots and historically significant buildings.”