Havana Club is made in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. The brand was established by José Arechabala in 1878 and flourished until the Cuban Revolution of 1959 which resulted in the nationalization of the sugar and rum industries. Having lost their business in Cuba, the Arechabala family emigrated to Spain and then to the United States.

Though the Havana Club brand remained popular in Cuba during the 70s and 80s, a joint venture with Pernod Ricard in 1993 has led to a significant increase in production and worldwide distribution.

Havana Club is one of those rums i`ll always like, one reason is pure nostalgia, it is together with El Dorado 15 my first rums to enjoy. And then because its a versatile rum and it tastes good. The ones i use the most, the 3 year and 7 year are also moderately priced which adds to their versatility and allows for more mixing. The 3 year old is light straw colored and has a bit of a vegetal-wood nose and a unique taste and it makes good Mojitos and Daiquiris!


* Blanco (White or Dry Silver) said to be discontinued for foreign markets?

* Añejo Blanco (White)

* Añejo 3 Años (3 Years)

* Añejo Especial (Special)

* Añejo Reserva (Reserve)

* Añejo 7 Años (7 Years)

* Añejo 15 Años (15 Years)

* Máximo Extra Añejo

The 15 Años Gran Reserva variety is not generally available; it is relatively difficult to obtain outside of Cuba. It is the result of a fifteen years of a complex aging process. Añejo 15 Años has an alcohol content of 40% ABV.

Cuban Barrel Proof

Cuban Barrel Proof is bottled straight from the barrel. The alcohol content is slightly higher than Añejo 15 Años at 45% ABV. Don José Navarro blends selected aged rums that will compose the base for Cuban Barrel Proof. It is then ‘finished’ in younger oak casks in order to recreate its oak aroma and bouquet. The casks are then opened and the batch of rum is sent for bottling.

Máximo Extra Añejo

This Rum came 2006 and is a complex blend of many years of fine rum, blended with fresh sugarcane distillate and then further aged. This rum is very hard to find and its retail value is set to a whopping $1200 per bottle

Bacardi`s version of Havana Club

Bacardi purchased the rights and original recipe from the originators (the Arechabala family, who fled Cuba with the recipe) of Havana Club Rum, and started to distribute it in the U.S in 2006. This new Bacardi version utilizes the original (Pre-1960) recipe, and is a different version than what the Cuban Government currently produces, and these are two entirely different products just being marketed under the same name.

The result seems to be a clear, smooth spirit that is equivalent to the platinum version of Bacardi Silver.(I have never tired it) Without going into the struggle over the Havana Club name which dates back more than a decade, for the time being, there are two Havana Clubs—one distilled in Puerto Rico by Bacardi and sold in the United States and another made in Cuba and distributed around the world.

Now sold in India

Havana Club Añejo Blanco is being launched by Havana Club International.The rum will be made in Cuba, imported in barrels and then bottled in India.

Finally i have these 3 cocktail recipes all using Havana Club rum, but it can of course be subbed by another white rum of choice.

OUR MAN IN HAVANA (name courtesy of Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

2 oz Havana Club 3 year old
Float of Havana Club 7 year.
1 oz tangerine juice 0.5 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz simple syrup
1 drop banana-tobacco “bitters”

Add all ingredients in a shaker and shake, strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a vanilla bean.


Made with White Rum, a steamed cigar, Cascarilla bark, Bitter Orange, Peppercorns, Clove, 1drop Pimento dram, Orange peel, Cardamom seeds, Star Anise.

These are not real bitters in that sense, its a short cut-quick recipe i got from a friend in London, they were used in a cocktail comp. There wasn`t any exact measurments in this recipe.

Take a handful dried banana chips, white rum, a few pieces from a steamed cigar ,a drop of pimento dram, lemon zest,  a little Cascarilla bark, bitter orange, a few black peppercorns, some lime juice, a star anise and the black seeds inside the green cardamom and warm up in a pan and then leave to cool. It becomes very tobacco flavored and only a little is needed, one drop that is. I steamed my cigar in a bamboo steam cooker.


1 teaspoon powdered sugar or simple syrup
2 oz fresh lime
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
1 oz Havana Club white Rum, 1 oz Havana Club 3 years
Top up with Club soda

Cut the lime in 2 halves and cut slices from one for the garnish and grill the cut side of one halve and both sides of the slices until you get nice grill marks.Let cool a little before squeezing it. Place the mint leaves into a tall glass and squeeze the juice from the grilled lime over it. Add the powdered sugar, (or simple syrup) then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler.

Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rums and stir well, drop the grilled slices except one into the glass and top off with the club soda (you can also stir the club soda in as per your taste).
Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime slice.


This is a recipe i got from my good friend Hank Koestner from the Ministry of Rum, its a Mojito with coconut water ice cubes and coconut water, very refreshing! If you can use fresh coconut water…mmm..

2 oz Havana Club 3 year
6-7 mint leaves and more mint to garnish
1 oz fresh coconut water
1 lime
Top with Soda

Simply fill the ice tray with pure coconut water and freeze.

Pound the mint leaves carefully to release the oil but not break the leaves together with the juice of i lime. Fill the glass to the top with ice and add the rum, then the coconut water and a splash of soda. Garnish with mint.

20 Replies to “HAVANA CLUB RUM”

  1. My apologies I don’t live Italy either would
    like to go some day! But wondering if there
    was an online site where i could order a bottle
    or two from Europe?

  2. Wilbert R Barker, I guess you can buy it in most stores? I don`t live in Italy but HC is sold everywhere in Europe.

  3. Havana Club is sold in Italy which is made
    from Cuba is there a place where an American
    can purchase a bottle from a store in Italy ?

  4. I am from vancouver,canada and i wanted to say that Havana Club Rum needs to be sold in the USA and other places.But there is one catch to it.In the USA Havana Club Rum is made illegally by Bacardi Co.So this rum is not from Cuba, It is made in Puerto Rico.So Bacardi is fooling the people in thinking that their Havana Club Rum is from Cuba.Its to bad that the american gov.is going along with this scam.Havana Club Rum made in Puerto Rico should be boycotted by everyone.

  5. Having spent several years in Italy, I was able to try a variety of wonderful wines, and yet the ability to buy Havana Club rum is still one of the highlights of my time spent there. LOVED having the original Mojito (with my own home-grown mint) and Cuba Libres (though limes were hard to come by!).

  6. Thanks Pete!

    Tony, i think it was about 2 tbsp. There were no measurements in the recipe i got so taste your way.


  7. Hey Tiare

    I Just now got to read this post tracking back from your comment at Rick´s blog.

    The banana & Tobacco bitters sound pretty interesting, I’ll give it a try sometime.

    I can pretty much tell how much of the solids you used in the pan, but have no idea about the rum. How much did you use there approximately? I know this post is not recent, but you remember or could give me an approximation?

  8. Just came across this post, very interesting read! i just hope this wonderful rum will be sold everywhere soon!

  9. Frederic, because it´s not bitters in the real sense, more like a playful take, i got it from a friend in London, it was used at a cocktail comp.

    Rick, its to unfold the tobacco leaves.



    Peppercorn Press – Thanks! i like the grilled lime mojito very much! and the coconut water is nice but preferably fresh if possible.

    I just discovered your blog!

  10. Thank you for sharing your mojito recipes. They both sound wonderful. I love the idea of the grilled lime for appearance and added layer of flavor. Perfect for an outdoor summer meal. Now that it is getting colder and snow has started encroaching I might have to plan a “bbq” style dinner and pretend it is still summer just so I can have one of these now! I am also very allured by the coconut water version… this will definitely add a tropical feel to the drink! I can even hear the waves crashing and feel the breeze!

  11. Intriguing bitters! Not sure why you don’t consider them true bitters though.

    I know that there’s a commercially available tobacco liqueur out there. I’m curious as to what tobacco bitters or liqueur taste like now…

  12. […] a bartender, therefore I like rum, which leads me to say all kinds of nice things about the roundup of the Havana Club range at A Mountain of Crushed Ice. Tiare’s post touches on Bacardi’s version of Havana Club, which is only available in […]

  13. Thanks Marshall!

    Frederic, its because i dont think they’re really bitters in a traditional sense, they are more “instant-bitters”.

    There’s no infusion time here.


  14. As with cigars, I wish Cuban rum was sold in the U.S. as well! You’re very lucky to have access to both. Color me jealous!

    Great photos as usual Tiare!


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