Most people are familiar with the Cuban born Mojito; the Santero is its much lesser known but even more delicious sibling. The Mojito was born out of humble beginnings in the slave farmed sugar cane fields of Cuba. During the mid 19th century slaves were mixing Guarapo (the forefather to rum,) sugar cane, lime and mint. When slavery was abolished the drink slowly began to be mainstreamed but was most commonly consumed by the working poor of the island. Circa 1940 a bartender at Havana’s Hotel Sevilla was tasked to make a Mojito like drink with more “appropriate lineage” for the socialites that were the hotel’s clientele. He named it the Santero, a priest of Santoria the most common religion among Caribbean slaves, as homage to that less appropriate lineage. He replaced the sugar with honey, nixed the mint that sticks in your teeth, and topped it with Champagne rather than soda water.
2 tablespoons of honey
1 lime (medium to large) quartered
5 ounces of dark rum
2 ounces champagne (any dry sparkling wine will due)
Place the room temperature limes in a large cocktail shaker. Add the honey and muddle thoroughly (the lime juice and honey need to be completely blended or the honey will coagulate when mixed with ice.) Add the rum – do not add the ice yet – and give the shaker a thorough shake. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until a bit of foam appears at the top. Pour into two rocks glasses and top each with one ounce of champagne. Garnish with a lime twist.