Top 10 revolutionary drinks

Cuba Libre!

Contrary to popular perception, the famous Cuba Libre cocktail was not invented in the wake of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s pop art friendly revolution.

In fact it was said to have been invented either during or after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when US troops – including future president Teddy Roosevelt – threw out the Spanish and, in time-honoured tradition, introduced Coca-Cola to the freed masses.

As might be expected, the major rum distillers all have alternative stories about how the drink was created with their own brand but as this line-up is about revolutionaries let’s fast-forward again to the 1950s.

Not to be outdone by the capitalists and their popular drink, Castro in fact has a rum-based cocktail named after him as well.

Very similar to a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, the Fidel is 4cl of dark rum, the juice of half a lime and topped up with ginger ale.

An alcohol-based petrol was also developed in the wake of the revolution due to a fuel crisis.

However, the new communist government also set about expropriating private properties which led to Bacardi – which had initially supported the revolutionaries – moving its operations to Puerto Rico.

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Top 10 revolutionary drinks”

  1. Caryl Panman says:

    A footnote to Anarchists and Bolsheviks: According to Sebag Montefiori, when the Revolutionaries took over the Winter Palace, they were protected by a battalion of their own army – who promptly got drunk on the wonderful wine they found in its well-stocked cellars. Another battalion was brought in, and by the next day they were all drunk too. Lenin decided he couldn’t trust his army any more, and called in the Fire Brigade. Who also got drunk. So he decided the only solution was to smash all the bottles, and rivers of the best wine in the world flowed through the streets of St Petersburg, to the huge enjoyment of its populace.

  2. Margaret Rand says:

    Water, too: the Jacobite toast to the king was (supposedly) made holding the glass over a bowl of water – and was thus to ‘the king over the water’, rather than to King George.

  3. Loosely related to revolution, Napoleon’s army supposedly celebrated their Prussian victory in 1806 with a Berliner Weisse. A Berliner Weisse is a delicious tart wheat beer that was popular in the region at the time and often considered beers equivalent to Champagne.

  4. ken gargett says:

    One from Down Under, the Rum Rebellion of 1808 saw Governor Bligh (of Bounty fame), Governor of NSW, deposed by the NSW Corps, which were seen to be closely associated with wealthy landowner, John Macarthur. The Corps ruled NSW till the arrival of Lachlan Macquarie in 1810, at which time the Corps was sent home and replaced by the 73th Regiment of the Foot. Bligh had been the fourth Governor of NSW. It might well be apocryphal but I remember as a schoolkid how we were all told that Bligh was found cowering under his bed when the Corps came looking.
    Bligh had earnt the displeasure of the Corps shortly after arriving when he used the Colony’s stores as relief for farmers who had been affected by flooding. The Corps had been earning a nice profit by trading said stores prior to this.
    He was also determined to prevent spirits being used for barter (hence how the name, ‘Rum Rebellion’ came to be associated with this event in Australian history, though it was not so labelled until many years later). There were numerous other reasons also why he and the Corps fell out. Bligh prevented Macarthur from providing the Corps with extensive amounts of rum cheaply. And prevented the importation of illegal stills.
    Rum actually played only a small role in the Rebellion but the tag stuck.
    KBG

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