HAVANA magazine cocktails & food (1929-1930)

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Thu Jan 3 05:16:22 UTC 2002

    I'd like to put a nasty rumor to rest.  I did not room with boxer Mike Tyson in Cuba.  We did not both get Che Guevara tattoos.
    From HAVANA: THE MAGAZINE OF CUBA, 26 January 1929, pg. 45, col. 1:

   The exclusively Cuban cocktail, the "Daiquiri," may not be.  It was just coming into vogue in the States when Prohibition fell on the country.  It is nothing but the juice of fresh limes, Bacardi rum and sugar, shaken with much ice until frosted.  Nothing to beat it has ever been concocted.  It was named after the town where it was invented, a Cuban mining town that contributed much to Bethlehem Steel.  The "Presidente" is also strictly Cuban.  It is Bacardi and vermouth, with a dash of orange and a cherry.
   The "Alexander" is a cocktail of a fashionable beige shade, and is popular with the ladies; the joke is often on the ladies, however, for it is potent under its innocent white-of-egg face.  The "Zazerac" is a wicked one, blended with (Col. 2--ed.) absinthe and Bourbon whiskey; the "Ideal" is rather like a Bronx, with grapefruit juice instead of orange.  The "Douglas Fairbanks" is similar to the "Ideal," but the "Mary Pickford" is a swell pink ceremony in a slim glass, made of pineapple, Bacardi, orange juice and grenadine.
   Post-prandial cocktails include the "Stinger," always popular in the States, being made of brandy and mint.  "Stinger" is right.  The "Blue Moon" is another, but it is not the infrequent thing that a blue moon is generally supposed to be.  It combines white mint, gin, and that beautiful violet liquid.  Any liqueur in the world may be had, too, for the close of dinner.  The exclusively Cuban potion is the delicious Bacardi "Elixir."
   The old-fashioned cocktail is made of Bourbon or Rye in a distinctive, heavy-bottomed, small tumbler, combined with bitters, fruit, lump sugar, ice, mint, and a cherry.  Its local name is "Dulce Maria"--Sweet Marie!  Somewhat similar to it is the "Planter's Punch," in its nice, fat goblet, which is properly of Bacardi with a Jamaica rum float, and the fruits. (...)

   From HAVANA: THE MAGAZINE OF CUBA, 30 January 1930, pg. 64, col. 1:

   Havana has its tea hour, and two or more days a week its tea dansant.  But it also has its cocktail hour, when the patios are filled with gay little groups seated in the shade of huge umbrellas, drinking anything for _pina_, a delicious non-alcoholic drink made from the juice of fresh pineapple, to planters' punch, or _Daiquiri_, or _Presidente_ cocktails.
   (...)  There are numerous restaurants where one can enjoy the _cangrejo Moro_, _langosta_, or _arroz con calamares_, for which Havana is justly famous.  And there are other delicious dishes like red snapper cooked in bags, vegetable soup Spanish style, _ajiaco Criollo_, and a fish chowder comparable only with the bouillabaise of Marseilles.

   From HAVANA, 20 March 1930, pg. 13, col. 1:

   _Cangrejos Moros:_  Moorish Crabs
which, in Spanish, is pronounced, more or less, like this:
   "Canned-gray-hose morose."

   From HAVANA, 20 March 1930, pg. 9, col. 2:

   Another Daiquiri...and a Presidente and a Mahree Pickford for my old friend Dr. Ebra.

   From HAVANA, 19 February 1929, pg. 7, col. 1:

   I prefer the "Mary Pickfords" at the Florida bar to those brewed at any other establishment I know of.  (...)  I regard the patio of the Hotel Inglaterra as the most pleasing in town wherein to sip a frozen Daiquiri.  I am of the opinion that the filet of _pargo almondine_ and _crongrejo gratin_ at the Restaurant Paris are two of the most luscious dishes ever confected.  (...)(Col. 2--ed.)  I consider Bacardi the finest rum in all the world.

   From HAVANA, 28 February 1930, pg. 30, col. 1:

   "Marolo," I sex to the concoctioneer, "fix me up a Jai-Alai."  This is the kind of drink that you don't know what's in it and after four drinks you don't care what is in it.

   From HAVANA, 28 February 1930, pg. 10, col. 2:

   Good Lord!  It's half past five and I've a cocktail guzzling date with two other fellers.  Have you, by the way, ever tried a Cunard Special?  It's awfully potent, ah!  Did I say _potent_?  Yours till we regain consciousness.

   From HAVANA, 28 January 1929, pg. 18, col. 1, "MY BODEGA" by Marie Oberlander:

   BEFORE the days of my initiation into the mysteries of the "bodega" or Cuban bar, I was often puzzled by the phrase, "my bodega," which I heard on all sides.  How could anyone distinguish one bodega from another?  They all looked alike to me.

   From HAVANA, 28 February 1930, pg. 58, col. 1:

   Bacardi is the finest rum in the world--and I have drunk it in all combinations from Cuba Libres--with Coca Cola--to Presidente cocktails.

   From HAVANA, 10 January 1930, pg. 24, col. 1:

   The names of Brown, Flynn, Bruen, Milton, Baccioco and other pioneers, will ever linger in the memory of true lovers of the sport of kings in "The Island of Bacardi."

(See my Bacardi Building comments on an earlier post--ed.)

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