Food and Drink

Cuban Cocktail

Not to be confused with the Old Cuban cocktail, this is another hard one to google for properly. The Savoy has two recipes again, and the #1 is what has come down the line to modern times, with rum as the base liquor. The Savoy Cuban #2, and the other two books all have the Cuban with brandy as the base liquor though. I’d love to know more of the back story on cognac in a Cuban, since the rum seems more logical from the name. Perhaps more digging in the future will uncover more of its history. In the meantime I made two versions of the brandy-based Cuban, which are essentially the same except for the amount of sour used. I also went ahead and made the Savoy #1 since it’s the one that has come to be the modern interpretation of the cocktail named Cuban. (Also, I like rum, so why not.)

Cuban (Lommebogen)

The Recipes


  • 1.5 oz cognac
  • .75 oz apricot brandy
  • a little lemon juice

Cafe Royal

  • 1.5 oz brandy
  • .75 oz apricot brandy
  • .75 oz lime juice

Savoy Cuban #1

Savoy’s Cuban #2 is very similar to the Cafe Royal version, except that it specifies 1/2 lime or 1/4 lemon, putting it somewhere in between the two.

  • 1/4 lemon (1/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 2 oz rum

The Tasting

Lommebogen is, again, too sweet. Seems like tastes in Denmark were to cut back on the sour in recipes to make them sweeter on the whole. I doctored my drink after it was in the glass to add more lemon juice. On the flip side, the Cafe Royal version was a bit tart. I imagine the Savoy #2 would suit me best, finding a better balance of sour and sweet. Both versions I made were OK, but not a drink that I’d come back to.

The Savoy #1 is a different beast than the others obviously, using rum instead of cognac. This is kind like a rum-heavy lemon daiquiri, and I love me some classic daiquiri. I used white rum for this, and it was a fine drink, with the light lemon and sugar balancing out well, rounding out the rum nicely. I’d prefer more lemon juice and sugar in there to bring it closer to the proportions of a daiquiri. But, then again, I should probably just make a daiquiri. Mmm, daiquiri.

This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender’s notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen.