The Havana Mule: Recipe and Ingredients
By now everyone knows that the US and Cuba have had their differences over the years, including a little something called the Cuban Missile Crisis during which the world was nearly engulfed in thermonuclear war. But in recent years as the old guard in Cuba and the US have passed on travel restrictions have been eased and full diplomatic relations have been restored between the former cold war enemies. In this post we’re going to celebrate the value of getting along with your neighbors with a Moscow Mule variation we’re calling the Havana Mule.
Why Can’t we be Friends?
International relations in the wake of World War II were no less complicated than they are today. As a result countries that used to be fast friends wound up at each other’s throats, including the US and Cuba. The island nation just 90 miles south of Florida had long been a favorite travel destination of many American tourists and artistic types (see Ernest Hemingway). However that all changed in January 1961 when President Eisenhower severed relations. For decades the two governments played diplomatic chicken with one another while tourists and other travelers found other places to go or write their books.
There were several attempts over the years to melt the ice but nothing really bore any substantive fruit. Even the collapse of the Cuban government’s patron, the Soviet Union, in 1991 didn’t do much to ease tensions. As a result 1950s era cars continued to ply the streets of the island while in the US folks wondered how long the whole mess would continue to churn along without progress. Thankfully, as we turned the corner into the new century more reasonable voices began to be heard on both sides of the divide leading to the above mentioned restoration of diplomatic ties and easing (though not complete lifting) of travel and trade restrictions.
We’re here to celebrate the triumph of reason that has led to this thaw in the ice and what better way to do so than to raise your glass to the future and toast peace, love and understanding with our Havana Mule recipe.
Making the Havana Mule
This Mule variation is a tropical delight that will have you dreaming of lazy days kicking back with Papa Hemingway in one of his favorite haunts like the La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana’s Old Town. It’s a truly fun and flavorful Moscow Mule variation and it’s sure to be a massive hit at your late summer barbeque or deck party but it will require tweaking the standard Mule recipe fairly significantly. Here is the list of things our Havana Mule recipe calls for:
- 2 oz Cuban Rum*
- 4 oz Ginger Beer
- 1 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1 slice of Fresh Pineapple
- 1 Fresh Coconut Slice
- 1 Lime Wedge
- Chilled copper mug
*Though you cannot purchase it outright a recent relaxation in trade restrictions means that Cuban rum can now be brought into the country from any other country that currently sells it. While this is progress we also understand that the likelihood you’ll actually have any on hand or know anyone who does is slim. Therefore feel free to substitute your favorite brand of spicy Caribbean rum.
Putting it all Together
The process of creating the Havana Mule is pretty straightforward.
- Shave some pieces off of the coconut slice into the bottom of the chilled copper mug.
- Fill the mug with ice.
- Add the rum and ginger beer.
- Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge and then drop the rind in the mug.
- Add the Pineapple juice and stir lightly.
- Garnish with the pineapple slice and what’s left of the coconut slice.
Keep in mind that the copper mugs are really non-negotiable if you want yours to be a true “Mule” drink. We know there are some revisionist websites out there promoting the idea that you can make a mule in any old glass you have laying around but it’s just not so. The fact is, the copper mug is as important to the Mule as the wine glass is to wine, the snifter is to brandy and the martini glass is to the martini. (Can you imagine what 007 would do if someone tried to serve him his martini - shaken not stirred - in a paper cup or standard water glass? All we can say is that person better have good health insurance.) So don’t buy the baloney. Always make sure your Mule is saddled up properly with a copper mug.
Do Your Part for International Peace and Harmony
In uncertain times it’s important to recognize anything that resembles a step in the right direction and an easing of tensions between the US and our neighbor to the South can only be a good thing. If you can’t make the journey to La Bodeguita del Medio bar yourself this year there’s no reason you can’t join in the spirit of reconciliation between these two noble, resilient peoples and this tasty Mule is a great way to do so. If you’re having guests over for a late summer celebración make sure you serve a cocktail that best exemplifies the spirit of the times; the Havana Mule. Like the city whose name it bears there’s nothing else quite like it.
At Paykoc we offer a dizzying array of beautifully designed and crafted solid copper mugs that you can purchase individually or in packs of up to 2 dozen. They’re not only the proper vessel for your Mules they’re also a great way to serve ice cream floats, frappes, lemonade and even ice cold beer. If you really want to get tongues wagging and create a party or holiday get together that no one will forget we can engrave your copper mugs with the day and date and the name of each guest as well. The result will be party favors your friends and neighbors will be scrambling to top for years to come!