My goal for 2015 was to post at least twice a month to this blog.
A quick scroll will reveal that I missed my shot by such a wide margin that I might as well have simply stayed inside the locker room. It was a dismal failure.
As a measure of consolation, I decided to make a run at a decent end of the year post as a means to provide my annual year-end playlist for the remaining few friends still wishing to give it a listen.
My plan was to draw inspiration for this post from events of the past year that were undisputed highlights: the enriching travel experiences I shared with wonderful friends. Following the pattern I established last year, I wanted to pair a year-end cocktail with the aforementioned year-end playlist. As a result, it was simply inescapable that such a cocktail would contain the elusive Cuban rum that I brought back from a dreamlike week in that surreal Caribbean nation.
I can't adequately describe the experience of visiting Cuba. It's simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking. The bucolic countryside evokes a feeling of stepping into a postcard; the crumbling neoclassical architecture in Havana conjures images resembling war zones.
But the constant for the tourist, in the mythologized tradition of Hemingway and pre-revolution hedonism, is rum—Havana Club in particular. Every meal and social event presents opportunities for daiquiris or mojitos or Cuba Libres. Who was I to say no to this important cultural touchstone?
With that in mind, I searched for a tropical-themed recipe that could showcase the bottle of Añejo that I brought home. I wanted something that would fit the Caribbean theme, but possibly also suit the winter season, and I thought I'd found it with the Coquito, a Puerto Rican cocktail that is essentially a Caribbean eggnog traditional imbibed in the holiday season.
Unfortunately, mirroring my abject failure at creating blog posts in 2015, this recipe was a bust. Texturally, it's a bit too gritty. Flavor-wise, it somehow lacks sweetness and significant coconut flavor (in spite of an absurd amount of coconut products).
It's just not that great.
But here we are, multiple weeks into 2016, and my playlist still hasn't been offered up. Time's a wasting, so enjoy the tunes below—but instead of this terrible drink, for your convenience, I've offered an alternative option in the recipe box. Best wishes for the coming year.
Buy a lovely aged rum that you like and you will be a happy person.
- Pour as much or as little into an old-fashioned glass as you'd like.
- Add an ice cube. Or Don't.
- 1 bottle of Havana Club 7-year Añejo