La Playa Cubana

Patrick Gartner, Donna | Brooklyn, NY

At Donna in Brooklyn, poblano pepper offsets earthy rum, bittersweet Italian amaro, and Scandinavian fernet in this rich, herbaceous drink. “It’s meant to evoke a Cuba Libre in stirred form,” says bartender Patrick Gartner. “We recreated the sharp bite of a carbonated soda and squeeze of lime, which adds so much to the classic,” he notes.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce aged Barbados rum, preferably Real McCoy 5 Year
  • 3/4 ounce Amaro Montenegro
  • 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile liqueur 
  • 1/2 ounce unaged overproof rum, preferably Rum Fire
  • 1/2 ounce rich cane sugar syrup (2:1, cane sugar:water))
  • 1 teaspoon fernet, preferably Salmiakki Dala
  • 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash key lime citric solution (see Editor's Note)

Garnish: lime twist, mint sprig

  1. Combine all ingredients in a double rocks glass over KD ice.
  2. Stir to integrate.
  3. Garnish with lime twist and mint sprig.
Editor's Note

Key Lime Citric Acid:
600 grams citric acid
600 grams water
120 milliliters key lime extract
Combine all three ingredients. Stir until all citric acid is dissolved. Store in a quart container.