The Rum fun continues, and this time with another famous cocktail originating from Cuba!
This is one of those drinks that I’ve come across a hundred times, but have never actually seen on a menu or made myself. So when I happened upon the recipe again while reading Dale DeGroff’s “The New Craft of the Cocktail.”
This Rum-based tipple is a Prohibition Era drink created in the early 1920s at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba by either Eddie Woelke or Fred Kaufmann – the debate continues as to who deserves credit! There’s also great debate surrounding how the drink came to be, but the most popular story is that it was named in honor of famous hotel guest Mary Pickford, one of the most popular and powerful actresses and producers of the time, who was visiting Cuba with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. The drink is often described as “sweet, but with a kick – not unlike its namesake.”
There are so many different recipe variations of this cocktail that despite lots of research, I honestly don’t know which one is the true original! So I decided to try out DeGroff’s version and work from there to figure out ratios that work for my own palate.
But I have to admit something: I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Maraschino Liqueur. I know, I know – you cocktail aficionados may scorn me for saying so, but the flavor of it often overwhelms me. I love it as a layer in a drink for the nuance it adds, but I don’t enjoy it as much when it’s a primary flavor, so I dialed it way back. This recipe is essentially my own version of this well-known drink, which makes the Rum the primary star!
I’m curious, though: For those of you who drink cocktails, do you have any strong opinions on Maraschino Liqueur?
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A writer and photographer, Allie Albanese is the founder and curator of Parched Around the World. Here she seeks to tell stories about the intersection of food, drinks, cultures, and traditions in places near and far.
As the Beverage Director and Head Bartender of a high-volume cocktail bar, Allie spent years honing her mixology skills and learning about the fascinating world of drinks. In the time since, she's worked as a wine and cocktail consultant for both private and corporate clients, as well as a freelance journalist writing about cocktails, wine, food, and travel for various publications across the United States and abroad.
When mixing a drink for herself, you’ll likely find Allie with a fresh Gin Gimlet or a spicy Old Fashioned in hand!