This week, we had the pleasure of attending a ‘sobremesa’ in central London. Those of you who have explored Cuba will know what that untranslatable phrase means; it’s those lazy post-dinner moments when the drink and the talk flows easily, chairs are pulled up, cigars lit, tall tales spun and sometimes the whole thing goes on longer than the dinner itself. And as there’s no more Cuban brand than Havana Club it’s fitting that they were our hosts.
We started with a ‘Cuban Garden’ of baby veg in an olive soil that was almost too pretty to eat… almost.
While Meimi from Havana Club showed us how the Cuban master distillers checked the rum. Apparently, to save themselves from getting totally wasted taking sips all day long, they instead rub it on their hands like hand-wash. Cue ten dinner guests going home reeking of alcohol.
Then it was three types of Cuban ceviche - a dish they rival the Peruvians in their passion for….
And the piece de resistance some sticky ribs that seemed as close to Texas as Havana, not that we were complaining mind…
So after filling full of Cuban-inspired desserts (chocolate cigars with coconut marshmellows anyone?) and 50-year-old rum, what did we discuss at our Sobremesa? We learnt that in Havana private cars are mandated by law to pick up hitchhikers. And that the lack of wifi and social media in Cuba has made it the best place for a digital detox outside of North Korea. And we made a mental note to check out Giles Peterson’s masterful compilations of new Cuban music (no Buena Vista Social Club here…) for Havana Cultura.
And with all of that we drank a lot of rum… and I’m not going to lie to you, the £145-a-bottle Tributo is pretty sweet but there are ton of authentic and pocket-friendly alternatives here…