Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Singing Cuba Libre

Apparently in 1937 the singing cocktail was all the rage, or perhaps they were just served with all those musical notes hanging in the air over the glass.  Either way it's rather annoying to me, I like my cocktails quiet because once they start singing to me I know I've had one too many.  At least in 1937 Bacardi was still made in Cuba and had yet to become the shadow of it's former self that is the Puerto Rican incarnation available today.  Tropical was all the rage at this time and tropical drinks pairing pineapple juice and rum were just coming into their own.  Cuba itself was a popular destination for travelers as it was just a short plane or boat ride from Miami and Key West.  Of course politically speaking, Cuba was a mess.  Controlled by a dictator propped up by the Mafia and American businesses it reduced Cuba into little more than a colony of the US 90 miles south of Miami.  So it should come as no surprise when Castro came to power.

When Castro took over and nationalized the businesses the companies all fled.  Bacardi went to Puerto Rico and except for a short time when they were in the Dominican Republic, have been there ever since.  Bacardi has bought itself a huge market share, so much so that it is "the" rum found in bars throughout the USA.  Even here in Jacksonville there's a Bacardi factory where they make the Barcardi coolers.  As with most things mass produced for profit, something has been lost over the years.  Quality, Flavor, whatever it is it has now disappeared and sent me in search of other products to fill the void.  Now I'm more likely to buy Cruzan from the US Virgin Islands than Bacardi.  Maybe someday the communist regime in Cuba will fall and the old Cuban brands can take their rightful place back on the island south of miami, until then one can dream.


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