Rum is by far the most popular alcoholic beverage in Cuba. It is cheap to buy and
abundant in all state stores. It is so common, in fact, that it is even sold in small
tetra-pak containers, similar to juice boxes. These single serving sizes can be pur-
chased for less than 1 CUC. Cheaper options are available in most state stores
and bodegas, where a whole bottle (700ml) can cost less than 50 pesos (MN).
Cubans usually consume rum plain, but it is also the main component in almost all
A few of the most popular mixed drinks are listed below.
Mojito: Light rum, lime juice, fresh mint, sugar, and club soda.
Daiquiri: Rum, lime juice, sugar.
Cuba Libre: Rum and cola, with lime.
Ron Collins: Rum, lime juice and sugar, soda water.
Interesting Fact: In Cuba, the cheapest rum sometimes costs less than bottled wa-
ter. There are dozens of different varieties and brands.
Beer is extremely popular in Cuba. In general, the beer in Cuba is of the pale lager
variety, similar in color and taste to the average American lager. Below I have listed
the major beer brands and a description of their cost and significant attributes.
The beers listed below are generally referred to as the “National Brands” as they
are sold in stores throughout the island.
Cristal and Bucanero : These are the two largest “National” beer brands. Almost all
bars, discos, hotels and restaurants offer these labels. At state stores they will al-
ways cost 1CUC. In dining or drinking establishments they will cost the same or
just fractionally more. Cristal comes in a green can or bottle and has an alcohol
content of 4.9%. Bucanero comes in a red and black can and has a stronger taste
and an alcohol content of 5.4%.
Mayabe and Cacique : These beers are commonly sold in state cafeterias and res-
taurants which price their fares in Moneda Nacional, rather than CUC. Mayabe has
an alcohol content of 4% and costs 18 pesos (MN). Cacique has an alcohol con-
tent of 4.5% and is sold for 20 pesos (MN). Since these beers are always priced in
Moneda Nacional rather than in CUC, they are a very popular choice for locals and
are the most common beers consumed in Cuban households.
It is sometimes possible to find beer sold by the glass ( cerveza dispensada ) at
bars in low income neighborhoods. This beer will usually only cost 5 pesos (MN)