Old Cuban

Adapted from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson

Saunders was a master of taking old classics and giving them inventive new life—in this case a Mojito, which she tops with Champagne. She began work on the drink while working at Beacon and completed it when at Tonic. “The working title was El Cubano.” As with the Gin-Gin Mule, she was tinkering with the Mojito model. Instead of white rum, she put in aged rum. “So, OK, Old Cuban. There. Then, let’s make it festive and top it with Champagne.” Call it a Mojito Royale. The drink is probably seen on more menus worldwide than any other Audrey Saunders creation, particularly in London.

Reprinted with permission from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House.


Serving: 1

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 6 whole mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bacardi 8 rum
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces Champagne

Garnish: mint

  1. Muddle the lime juice, syrup and mint in a mixing glass.
  2. Add the rum, bitters and ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with the Champagne.
  4. Garnish with mint.