By Mayté Solano Gómez
Cuba is famous for its people … but also for tobacco and Cuban rum. Every year there are activities associated with these flagship products. Recently, in February 2020, the International Havana Festival took place. With the participation of great personalities from all over the world, millions of dollars were raised in income.
The International Rum Festival in Cuba is celebrated year after year. In this 2020 the III edition of the meeting, scheduled for June, was postponed, according to a statement by the Cuba Ron S.A. Corporation. This organization is in charge of producing, marketing and exporting rums and other alcoholic beverages of different types with the highest quality standards. Established in November 1993, it owns the main and oldest distilleries in the country. It has also a team of highly qualified rum masters who have been able to perpetuate the legacy passed down from generation to generation.
What will we miss this year
In 2020 the International Rum Festival was supposed to take place in the province of Matanzas, at the Plaza América fairground in Varadero. With the co-sponsorship of the Cuban Ministry of Tourism, this event confirms the island as a destination not only for summer holidays, but also for events, culture and heritage.
With the brand of rum Perla del Norte as the focus of the event’s themes , other products were also going to be promoted and marketed. Master classes, conferences, commented tastings and pairings with the traditional products that characterize us are some of the activities that were included in the original program. The classic and flair cocktail bar, audiovisuals, concerts, as well as meetings with Masters of Cuban Rum and international experts were also planned.
“We will talk about trends, new products, there will be tours of production facilities and even the possibility of visiting factories such as Cárdenas, formerly Arrechabala, -where the Havana Club was born-, and where a diverse range of products is developed, is not ruled out ”Declared Mario Luís Ríos Vidal, Marketing Specialist of Cuba Ron SA
Cuban rum: a tradition in Cuba
Cuban rum is a product extracted from sugar cane, brought to Cuba by Spanish colonizers. More than to the aboriginal Indians of this island, the history of the beginnings of rum production is related to the black slaves brought from Africa, towards the 16th century. They extracted the juice from the sugar cane, which, once fermented, gave rise to a strong liquor.
Although rudimentary devices were initially used, over time more efficient mills were used to extract the juice from the sugarcane. In this way, distilleries were built in Cárdenas, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Havana. But it was not until the 19th century that Cuban rum became recognised for its quality. Now there are brands that became known throughout the world, such as the Matusalén, Jiquí, Bocoy, Campeón, Obispo, San Carlos, Albuerne, Castillo, Bacardí and Havana Club.
In the case of the Bacardi rum brand, its owners migrated when the Cuban Revolution triumphed in 1959. However, although they took the brand with them, they haven´t been able to reproduce the flavour of the original liquor, created in Cuba.
As for “Havana Club” rum, a brand founded in Cárdenas in 1878, this is currently one of the most recognized and marketed worldwide. Its emblem is La Giraldilla, a statuette that symbolizes Havana, “the Capital of all Cubans.”
Currently, other Cuban brands have managed to establish themselves throughout the world, including: Mulata, Caney, Arecha, Legendario, Varadero, Santero and Caney.
The Master of Cuban Rum makes the difference
The quality of Cuban rum is not due to a well-kept formula, but to “a culture inherited and handed down from generation to generation, from Cuban to Cuban, from heart to heart …”.
The Master of Cuban Rum, as Master Ronero is known in Cuba, has been, is and will be the devisive factor in the production of the precious liquid. Supported by the quality of the sugar cane and the molasses that is extracted from it, the highly technical knowledge and tradition in the men who work in this industry are the main factors in the excellent result.
Cuban rum: a good option if you have to stay home
Although the re-establishment of normal life has already begun in many countries, staying at home is still the ideal option. And what better way to do it than enjoying a delicious drink of Ron Cubay Carta Dorada or Ron Perla del Norte Añejo. These are the preferred drinks for a light flavor and a suitable base in the preparation of cocktails. Rums are also ideal for pairing with nuts or for tasting tobacco.
However, once the health crisis has passed due to the coronavirus, Casa Rosa BnB, in Varadero, is the ideal place to enjoy these refreshing drinks and more. Adorable and quiet, it is located just off the main street and a few steps from the beach. You will enjoy here the best of Cuba: sun, beach and delicious Cuban rum.