Hotel Nacional

Hotel Nacional cocktail

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a lime wheel on the surface of the drink.

The bar at Havana's Hotel Nacional de Cuba was a famous celebrity hangout in the 1930s. According to The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book this was one of their signature drinks.

It might appear that we are straying a little far from the definition of a Sour but really we've only replaced some of the simple syrup with apricot liqueur and swapped some of the lime for pineapple juice. Use high quality apricot liqueur. We use Marie Brizard Apry but you could also try Rothman & Winter.

We squeeze fresh pineapple for the pineapple juice. (Squeezing pineapple slices is a bit fiddly but leaving the skin on helps. We have an old-fashioned manual juice press that does a good job.) The pineapple shines clearly but it does not dominate—the tartness of the lime is also very much present and it blends surprisingly well.