Havana history unearthed

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Imbibe was treated to some cocktail archaeology at a recent Havana Club masterclass hosted by Tony Conigliaro and HC brand ambassador Meimi Sanchez at 69 Colebrook Row.

They took us back to 1817, when a little open-air stall started selling juice, then gin, vermouth and rum. Called La Pina de Plata (the Silver Pineapple), this bar eventually acquired a roof and some walls, and became the legendary Floridita in 1910. Spanish bartender Constantino Ribalaaigua Vert took the helm in 1918 and placed the bar at the heart of the decadent Prohibition drinking scene.

In a twist on some Cuban classics, we then sampled a Nacional cocktail made with cardamom-infused Havana 3yo, an El Presidente cocktail which Conigliaro had aged in barrel for 6 months, and a Mary Pickford garnished with Maraschino-spiked pineapple slices.

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