New Book: Spirit of the Cane, by Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller
Did you know all Cuban rum is made in Covfefe Stills?
Donald Trump’s current crazy man-baby attempt to deflect attention away from all things collusion-y appears to be a live action remake of Team America: World Police. Back in June it was Cuba, and an announcement that America would not be “…silenced in the face of Communist oppression”, which when translated means: “I hate and feel inferior to Barak Obama, so I’m going to reverse his steps to thaw relations with Cuba”. I had intended this intro to now segue into a comment about Cuba’s perpetually turbulent political situation, but thinking about Trump has made me angry. America, how did you let this happen? It’s like a bad X-Files episode. The day Putin gets bored with pulling the puppet strings and releases the pee tape can’t come soon enough. Although, Trump survived the ‘grab her by the pussy’ tape, so I suppose a video of him urinating on prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room doesn’t guarantee we’ll be rid of him. Hurry the fuck up, Robert Mueller.
Anyway. Sorry. Jared and Anistatia have written a new book, and it’s called Spirit of the Cane: The Story of Cuban Rum (Spirit).
As you might expect, Spirit starts with the day in 1492 that Christopher Columbus began making life difficult for Cuba’s indigenous inhabitants, then goes on to examine the influential Prohibition-instigated ‘American invasion’ period, the rise of Tiki, and current-day Cuba. Influential bars and bartenders are described, as is the inception and various iterations of the classic Cuban cocktails.
Spirit of the Cane comes nine years after their first book on the subject, Cuba: The Legend of Rum (Legend). I haven’t read Legend, and so can’t compare the two books, however I can say that Spirit is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the category, especially bartenders prepping for a Cuban-rum cocktail competition (or indeed any rum comp, a lot of the cocktail and production-method information will be transferable), as they will find everything needed for the historical part of their presentation within its pages.
As well as being a valuable resource for bartenders, Spirit of the Cane functions as something of a travel guide – coming in at 200 pages, Spirit is the perfect length for a flight to Cuba and first day on the beach. Once finished, the reader will be equipped with an itinerary of places to visit, rums to taste and cocktails to drink.
And for American readers who did not find this article’s opening paragraph offensive – Viva la revolución.