This is a very traditional and aristocratic
neighbourhood in Havana, You can see the influence of Spanish
architecture in the buildings. High entrances, beams in the ceiling, wide windows and doors. This neighborhood is more than 150 years old and these old houses require a lot of work to be mantained. Barber! Good afternoon, how are things? – We’re making a documentary about Cuban culture…
– No, no, I’m not interested… He’s the guy who cuts my hair in this little place. Ok compadre, no worries, we’ll keep going.
Let’s go. There’s a Spanish centre in this neighbourhood,
where they get together with their dances, their songs and their rhythms. Spain gave a lot of support to their culture here,
and so you still see it nowadays You see it in the traditional dances. I like to see it, it’s beautiful.
and the dresses are spectacular. It’s got a Spanish or Gallego flavour.
It’s beautiful to watch.And just like life says….I know you are filming me, here in Havana’s Malecón.“You are taking a take”.Check it out, Miguelito is here to sing,
this great “sonero” has arrived…and even standing against the wall,
I won´t get depressed.The great ones emerged from here,
and I´m not kidding you.Even Mr. Benny Moré sung here.He walked along Havana´s Malecón.And this is what I tell you.Look, now it´s time to feel happy.Dreaming, with you….Industrial owners here in Cuba
were doing very well economically. But they had a problem:
what to do with the byproducts from the sugar factory? The slaves, the peasants and the people with low income made a product, which here in the Caribbean,
went by the name of “Tafia”. Historically speaking, this is the ancestor
of what we call Cuban rum. In 1862, there’s a great cultural leap in Santiago de Cuba
and out of Tafia a new distillate is born. This was how light rum arrived in the world. The Spanish were the ones who founded
all the cigar factories in Cuba. – They became millionaires!
– This was a big money-maker! They all became rich. It was the Spanish that managed Cuba’s economy. The financial, economic and commercial relations
were in their hands. It wasn’t just a few years.
They dominated here for centuries. We lived here, but we couldn’t make financial
or labour decisions about our own country. It’s a “mambí” cocktail.
Possibly created in 1878, maybe a little after. When we took up arms in the countryside
and started our fight for independence and all of the different regions of the country joined the fight and Canchanchara was invented. An excellent cocktail.
Refreshing, medicinal and an aphrodisiac. It’s made with: 15ml of lime juice. 15ml of honey. 45ml of rum. We shake it energetically We present it in an Old Fashion glass,
which can be garnished with a slice of lime and turn this Mambis cocktail into a more modern bar drink. Enjoy it! For me, it’s an excellent cocktail. The North American soldiers arrived
and discovered the quality of our rum and at the same time Coca Cola arrived in Cuba. When the cocktail was made,
someone in a bar shouted, “Cuba Libre, Cuba Libre!” and this is how this great cocktail was created. They call me Popoy
and I teach all these boys how to play.– Who’s the best student?
– Whoever brings the beer! This man right here!
He’s the worst player! Being Cuban is the best. Aren’t you proud to be Cuban?
What, you wanna be English now? Being Cuban, I feel independent. A bit of work and sacrifice.
But we don’t depend on anyone. We Cubans just fight and work with what we have. We fight and we work a lot. Cubans have a fighting spirit. We fight against wrong. We stand up to what is wrong without fear. We feel very honoured to have a film crew with us today.
Let’s show them how we do “Culture Thursdays” here. Let’s have fun! First up… …is Randy and he’s all set. Cubans just need work, something decent to wear,
something to eat and a party. Then you’ll have a happy Cuban. Have a drink, a smoke, a dance, some rumba or some son music. That’s what makes us Cuban. I’ll share a bottle of rum with you. You listen to Vicentico Valdés
and I’ll listen to Benny Moré.It’s the story of our Cuban rum.It’s the story that you like
as my brothers play itIt’s the story of our Cuban rum.I’ll even drink a planchao (cheap rum)
and smoke a cigar.It’s the story of our Cuban rum.I feel Cuban, with Galician blood,
but most of all, I feel Cuban. Rum is important in Cuba,
because it goes back to the time of the Mambises. Sometimes they drank before the battles with just machetes in their hands
against the Spanish guns. It dates back to those days. There are so many beautiful stories
and rum is always present and playing a part. We are the result of a mixture between Spanish and Africans. And our rum today is also the result
of different mixtures and ageing. I believe that without rum, we wouldn’t be who we are.
We’d lose the essence of our Cuban-ness. Our blood, white, black, chinese, red, we are all Cubans!Our country, Cuba!In a bottle.A captured ray of sunshineMany centurieshave been distilled.This is the story of our Cuban rum.This is the story of our Cuban rum.