Think Bloody Mary, only made with rum!

Cubanita cocktail

A deliciously different spin on the classic tomato juice-based cocktail.

By Bill Lau

Posted August 31, 2015

I’m pretty convinced that in the world of cocktails and mixology, it’s nearly impossible to come up with a truly original idea. (At least one that’s good!) And this drink is no exception, as you’ll see.

I recently found myself rooting through the liquor cabinet (really a built-in shelving unit, but hey, it works) for cocktail ideas, and noticed we had some tomato juice. Great, I thought, I can mix up a Bloody Mary or Maria…except, I wasn’t so much in the mood for vodka or tequila that evening. Then my eyes swept past the rums – hmmm…what if I make one using light Jamaican rum instead? I wasn’t sure about tomato juice and rum, but why not give it a try?

I got the requisite ingredients together; deciding to make a slight variation on my previous recipes, I did some quick research in several of our bar books. Horseradish showed up in some recipes. I’m a big fan. Love a spicy mustard with horseradish in it, and homemade cocktail sauce for fried shrimp with a serious dose of the stuff. So yes, horseradish was invited to the party this time. Now, looking at the other ingredients, I thought they should reflect the Jamaican spirit (pun intended) of the drink I was making, so instead of Worcestershire sauce, I opted for Pickapeppa. And since we had a wonderful homemade habañero/ghost pepper-based hot sauce, it had to come along for the ride!

And lo, it was really damn good! But of course, it turns out the basic concept has been done long before and already has a name, the Cubanita. So this is my own little twist on the Cubanita. I hope you like it!

Cubanita cocktail


2 oz Myers’ Jamaican Platinum Rum
4 oz tomato juice
2-4 dashes Jamaican/habañero hot sauce
2 tsp prepared horseradish
2 dashes Pickapeppa sauce
1 pinch celery seed
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch smoked paprika
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx 1/2 lemon)


Fill a glass of your preference with ice (it should hold about 10 oz total).

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients and shake well.

Strain into serving glass.

Garnish with desired fixings. I went with a pickled cocktail onion and pickled hot chili pepper (Mezzetta sells some tasty ones).

Hope you enjoy! Cheers!

Cubanita cocktail

Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All brand mentions/suggestions are those of the author alone.



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