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The Mojito Grows Up

The Old Cuban by Audrey Saunders

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The Old Cuban is a modern classic cocktail, one that hasn’t been around for 100 years yet has become known to top bartenders around the world. I think I’ve had it on three continents now, and it was delicious on every one. 

The drink was created by Audrey Saunders, owner of New York’s great bar Pegu Club. It has a lot in common with a Mojito – rum, lime, and sparkling – but it’s a lot more sophisticated. Saunders uses aged rum in place of white rum, champagne in place of sparkling water, and a dash of bitters for added depth. She then serves the drink in a cocktail glass rather than over ice.

It gives the refreshment of the Mojito in the guise of a classy, classic cocktail.  

The Old Cuban
Adapted from Audrey Saunders of New York’s Pegu Club 

1.5 fl. oz. Aged Rum, Preferably Bacardi 8 
1 fl. oz.  Simple Syrup
.75 fl. oz.  Lime Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 fl. oz. Quality Champagne
6 Mint Leaves Plus 1 Mint Sprig for Garnish 

In a cocktail shaker add lime juice, simple syrup, and six mint leaves, and gently press mint (do not pulverize) with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add rum and bitters, ice, and shake well. Strain drink (to remove mint and ice) into a large  chilled cocktail glass, and top with champagne. Garnish with remaining mint sprig.


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