Planning a trip to Cuba? To get the full cultural experience in Cuba, you will want to eat and drink like the locals. Food in Cuba is much different than Cuban food found in the USA. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite, but their cocktails were fabulous!
However, you will be surprised to find drinks in Cuba that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Coca-Cola is non-existent, you are able to find cola drinks, just not the brand Coca-Cola. So if you are planning a trip to Cuba, here is a list of popular drinks you will find there.
What To Drink In Cuba
Are you looking for the best and most popular drinks in Cuba? Cuba has more to offer than just great cocktails, they also have award-winning coffee. Here is a list of all the best drinks in Cuba:
Cuba’s coffee is some of the best around. They all drink cubanitos. It is a very strong coffee, very similar to Italian espresso, but stronger and sweeter. It has a certain kick to it that will wake you up in the morning and keep you going all day. Stop by one of Cuba’s local coffee restaurants where locals stand around all day drinking these delights. All the coffee beans are grown and harvested locally, so you can ensure you are getting the freshest coffee around.
When you are in Cuba, you have to try their Cuban Beer. Most likely you will find Crystal and Buchanero. Crystal is a lighter beer, and if you have had any beer for the Caribbean, it is very similar to Presidente. Or if you have been to Costa Rica it is very similar to Pilsen. Buchanero is a slightly darker beer with a little more flavor to it. Try both to see which one you prefer.
Cubans love their beer and it is very much a part of their culture. Draft beer is not popular in Cuba, all their beer comes in bottles. You will see crates and crates of beer bottles pilled up outside the bars. The beer company normally comes around weekly to pick up the bottles to wash and reuse them.
Cuban cocktails were probably the highlight of my trip to Cuba. They were cheap and they were good, unlike the food. If you like rum, you will like the cocktails in Cuba. To be honest, even if you don’t like rum you will like the cocktails in Cuba.
- Daiquiri- Cuba is known for its daiquiris, they were invented and perfected there. If you are in Havana, you have to go to La Florita, the birthplace of the daiquiri. Ernest Hemingway was known to only drink his daiquiris there.
- Mojito- Probably the most popular drink to come out of Cuba is the mojito. It is such a popular drink you can almost find it anywhere in the world. Light, refreshing, and easy to drink. You cannot come to Cuba without having a mojito. If you are in Havana, you have to drink one at La Bodeguita del Mundo, the birthplace of the mojito and another favorite spot with the tourists and Ernest Hemingway.
- Piña Colada- Another popular drink that originated in Cuba. Nothing tastes like a vacation more than a piña colada. Be sure not to leave without having one.
- Cuba Libre- The name says it all. It is a rum and cola served with a wedge of lime. Easy to drink and served everywhere in Cuba. Buy one on the street and they will normally throw in a Cuban cigar to compliment it. The true Cuban experience.
- Havana Loco – Similar to a screwdriver, but made with Havana rum instead of Vodka. It is fresh orange juice and Havana rum, what the locals drink after they have had their morning coffee.
Nothing beats sitting on the beach and drinking a fresh coconut. Cuba doesn’t fail to deliver on this vacation activity. Camp out on the beach for the day and have fresh cold coconuts cut open right in front of you. They will happily add some Havana rum to it as well to give it an extra kick.
Locals will pretty much offer to add Havana rum to any drink you order while you are in Cuba. They add it to everything, and for only $1 more it’s hard to say no.
Fanta was created because it was the anti-coca-cola. When coca-cola was banned in 1962, Cuba needed another sugary carbonated drink to replace it. In came Fanta, it was orange, and it was orange for a reason.
It was known as the anti-American soft drink. Cubans didn’t want coca-cola in their country. To this day there are only two countries where coca-cola is not sold in, one is Cuba and the other is North Korea. Cuba has its own cola soft drink that is owned and operated by its government. Which might be the reason they still continue to keep coca-cola out.
What Not To Drink In Cuba
When you are in Cuba you are not going to want to drink the tap water. It is different from what you are used to and the last thing you want to do while you are in Cuba is to get sick.
Stick to bottled water. It is easy to find and all the tourists drink it. As long as you stay clear from the tap water in Cuba, you should be fine. Enjoy all the good drinks that Cuba has to offer, it is a unique place and you will feel like you traveled back in time to get there. They enjoy the simple old school life and simple old school cocktails.
If you are looking for somewhere to go after Cuba you might enjoy Costa Rica. Check out my blog post on the Best Beach Towns in Costa Rica