When I think of Cuban drinks the first offering that comes to mind is definitely the genuine Havana Club Mojito. A trip to Cuba isn't complete without knocking back a few of these in the style of a Mr Ernest Hemingway.
Rum Daquiris are also very popular in Havana - make sure to visit the world-famous Floridita Club to enjoy an authetic Daquiri experience.
If you want to spend some time learning how to make them properly Havana Club have a brilliant competition to win a gap year running at the moment. The first month will be spent in Havana and the rest taking in another 11 big cities around the world. You can find out more information on their site at havana-club-365.com. Enter by March 1st and good luck!
Party people will love the world-famous Tropicana Nightclub. If you like cabaret, you’ll love it here. If you can time your trip to coincide with May Day you’ll find a huge celebration. Parades fill the streets and more than a million workers turn out to at the foot of the giant statue of Cuba’s godfather of the revolution – Jose Marti.
The local beer in Cuba is also very good and you can sit around all day supping the stuff under the sun, thanks to its low alcohol content.
The legal drinking age in Cuba is 18 years.
As for food, expect a unique fusion of Afro-Caribbean and Spanish influences. Think along the lines of rice, beans, chicken, beef, pork, root vegetables, tomatoes, avocados and bananas. Spices like cumin, garlic, oregano and bay leaves are staples too. The food is generally either slow-cooked or sauted making it hearty, yet healthy too.
Breakfast is typically toasted bread (tostada) and a super strong espresso coffee with milk (cafe con leche). Empanadas or ham and cheese sandwiches make for a popular lunch dish, while dinner usually combines meat, fish or chicken with rice, beans and fried plaintains. One of the most popular desserts in Cuba is the caramel custard flan. If it's a special occasion and your host is out to impress expect the signature dish of marinated, roasted pig accompanied by white rice, beans, potatoes in a garlic dressing and banana (maduros).
Food quality in Cuba is well-known to be on the up. Small family run restaurants known as Paladares have started to attract attention thanks to the surrounding competition and more relaxed laws governing them.
Delicious snack carts and street vendors have started to set up delicious shops all over Havana too. Making it even easier to get some great value, tasty food to line your stomach before you hit the Mojitos.