"It is a fact that Havana is a place where practically everyone likes his little drink or two, but where nobody ever seems to get drunk. Slightly woozy, perhaps, and it may be that now and again a visitor may even find himself a wee bit foozy, not to say joozy, but it doesn't happen often and anything beyond the joozy stage is practically unknown.
The earnest drinkers of Havana have certain preferences in the way of refreshments. The most popular and most healthful drink is called daïquiri and is merely bacardi with lime-juice, shaken up until the shaker is covered with frost.
The original cane-planters of Cuba and Louisiana had a drink which they made out of rum and squeezed limes, ice, a dash of grenadine, and siphonwater. It was drunk out of tall frosted glasses and was called "Planter's Punch."
Planter's punch was the usual drink of the Cuban Americans, but down in Santiago [de Cuba] where a group used to meet in the Venus bar every morning at eight o'clock it was modified to exclude the grenadine and siphon-water, and was made in a shaker. Instead of Jamaica rum the pure Cuban bacardi, distilled in Santiago from molasses, was used. The boys used to have three or four every morning.
Most of them worked in the Daiquiri mines, the superintendent of which was a gentleman named Cox -Jennings Cox. One morning in the Venus, Cox said: "Boys, we've been drinking this delicious little drink for some time, but we've never named it. Let's christen it now!"
The boys milled around a bit and finally Cox said: "I'll tell you what, lads- we all work at Daiquiri and we all drank this drink first there. Let's call it a daïquiri!"
The daïquiri is now the best-known drink in Cuba. This recipe for the real daïquiri was given me by Facundo Bacardi and confirmed by one of the men who was present at the christening: half one lime, squeezed onto one teaspoonful of sugar; pour in one whiskey-glassful of bacardi; plenty of ice; shake until shaker is thoroughly frosted outside. Meanwhile, chill a tall wine-glass of the kind known as flute, fill it with shaven ice, and pour in the mixture. Must be drunk frozen or is not good. The "bacardi cocktail" and pronounced "bacARdi," common in New York and Europe, is unknown in Cuba. The proper pronunciation of the name "Bacardi" stresses the last syllable. Later on, in Santiago, we shall see how the rum is made.
The two other cocktails mostly in demand in Havana are the presidente and the Mary Pickford. The presidente is made with half bacardi and half French vermouth, with a dash of either curaçoa or grenadine. It is the aristocrat of cocktails and is the one preferred by the better class of Cuban. The Mary Pickford, invented during a visit to Havana of the screen favorite by Fred Kaufman, is two-thirds pineapple-juice and one-third bacardi, with a dash of grenadine. Both cocktails are sweetish and should be well shaken. The pineapple juice must be freshsqueezed." ("When it's cocktail time in Cuba", by Basil Woon. Año 1928)