Havana November 2018 – Champagne, Davidoffs, Fake Rum – Javi And Friends

7 Dec

Yes, incredible as it is : there is fake Rum in Cuba.

Well, there are a lot of fake things in Havana, but to expressly buy Santiago Rum in Santiago de Cuba and then find out that 2 out of 3 bottles were fake, just burned sugar in cheap alcohol, was extremely painful for my good Cuban friend to whom it happened.

Fortunately we had one good bottle and a bottle of very rare Weller Antique 107 Bourbon gifted to me by Gene. Gracias Eugenio !

The party continued. All my US friends except Cory had left but my buddy Javier had arrived from Spain bringing his good friend S. from Sweden along. Good company was assured.

And good food & beverages as well, as Javier managed to bring in the finest Iberico ham, chorizo, vintage champagne and other delicacies.

We would live like kings and smoke like royals, as the selection of rare and vintage cigars they brought was incredible.

I had to share the mid-80’s Davidoff Cht. Margaux with my Cuban cigar friends, one of whom remembered  the Cuban Davidoff line from when he started rolling in the early ’80s. Fantastic cigar !

We had a very good Tapas lunch at Marea, the new Paladar out in Jaimanitas across the Hemingway Marina – I had heard negative opinions about the place since my last visit there in April, but the food was superb and the service perfect. Disregard the critics I thought.

But when we returned a few days later for lunch the place was jam-packed with 70 tourists eating a set lunch and we decided to eat next door at El Laurel.

Another Hole In The Wall discovery we made was a little room-sized eatery in old Havana, Sushi Sayu. I will do a post on that place. It is a hidden gem.

Other than that it was the usual : long breakfast mornings, Mojatas at Hotel Raquel, good meals at both Tocamadera and Santy’s, haircut in Barber’s Alley for Javier, a private visit to a cigar factory ( nice to see the LGC 170 Anniv. Humidor being packed and the new SP ER ) and Espacios for evenings.

One highlight was the half day we spent at my friend’s beach house in Guanabo to celebrate the 21st birthday of a good friend’s son. The kid has been rolling in a factory now for almost a year and his Marevas are brilliantly rolled.

I was extremely happy to have the two guys plus Cory with me this second week of my trip. The atmosphere in the Casa was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with them.

If things work out we will all meet in La Rioja/Spain next spring.

Hasta pronto !

Nino

 

 

 

 

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