Cuban Cocktail Recipe – La Canchánchara

As someone that travels a lot, I typically don’t buy many souvenirs. There is not enough space in my humble writing abode or backpack for much. So my best souvenirs over the years have been recipes. In my book, With New Eyes, I included recipes for tortilla española from my years in Spain as well as a cocktail recipe for a pisco sour from my travels to Peru and Chile. This summer, I’m writing my third book, Cubicle to Cuba, which follows me on many of my years of travel to Cuba.

As a special summer treat for you, I would like to highlight one of my favorite souvenirs from my adventures in Cuba, in particular a colonial town called Trinidad. Located in South Central Cuba, Trinidad is a spectacular town with cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings. It’s no surprise that Trinidad’s nickname is “The Sleeping Beauty” of Cuba as if someone pressed pause for centuries.

Its specialty drink, la canchánchara, uses local ingredients: honey, lime, rum, and sparkling water. To take it a step further, it is even served in a specialized ceramic cup made from local clay. I owe mil gracias to Chichi Santander, featured in the final image, who taught me how to make the perfect canchánchara in his ceramic workshop.

La Canchánchara


  • 2 oz. Cuban rum (ron cubano) or aguardiente
  • 1 tbsp honey (miel)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (limón)
  • 1 1/2 oz. soda water (agua gaseaada)
  • Ice (hielo)
  • Ceramic cup or lowball glass
  • Straw or stirring stick


  1. Pour honey and rum into your desired cup or glass.
  2. Stir with straw or stirring stick until most of the honey is dissolved.
  3. Add lime juice, sparkling water, and ice.
  4. Serve with a toast. Salud!

Now, you may think that a canchánchara is easy to make, but difficult to pronounce. I can attest it is rather easy to make AND after one canchánchara pronouncing it gets easier. Don’t believe me? Try it!

Heidi Siefkas,

July 9, 2016

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