For nearly 90 years, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba has sat atop a hill in the center of the city, overlooking the sea—a symbol of glamour and opulence.
Once host to guests such as Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Jean-Paul Sartre, the hotel is now a national monument in Cuba and was inscribed in the Memory of the World Register of the United Nations.
The Hotel Nacional also has a long history of producing excellent bartenders. Even today, amongst the many hardships of communist Cuba, few things top the pleasure of a cold drink in the hotel’s gardens, overlooking the blue Caribbean sea.
The hotel’s namesake cocktail was created in the 1930s and became one of its signature drinks, soon gaining world acclaim. The cocktail, loosely modeled after a daiquiri, brings together pineapple juice, rum, and apricot brandy for a drink that is refreshing, sophisticated, and enduring.