Bar La Florida, Havana, Cuba Cocktail Guide, Original 1935 Edition

Regular price $75.00

I found this1935 Bar La Florida souvenir cocktail guide at the estate sale of an actress and philanthropist, whose credits included performing as a Copacabana girl in New York with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Jimmy Durante. 

Known as “the cradle of the Daiquiri cocktail, La Florida, in Havana, Cuba, was famed for its legendary bartender Constantino Ribalaigua  (who came to be known as “el rey de los coteleros,” or the cocktail king of Cuba) and for its expat clientele including very frequent visitor Ernest Hemingway.

This is the original 1935 edition of the guide (similar, highly collectible, booklets were published in 1934, 1936, and 1937.) It is pretty fabulous, with recipes for cocktails from the Absinthe Drop to the Ramos Gin Fizz interspersed with ads for El Encanto Department Store, Genuine Alligator and Snakeskin products, La Estrella candies, and the Munson Steamship line with service from New York to Havana. Plus an introduction that tells the history of La Florida—located on a “glorious corner of Havana” previously occupied by “The Silver Pine” and now transformed into “a refuge of Art and Poetry”; and argues for the vital importance of the well crafted cocktail: “The cocktail is spiritualism!”; “It is like the slender perfume of a rose,” “the sweet symbol of a high and elaborate civilization.” Well, there you have it! 

The booklet is 67 pages and measures 5 1/8” x 4 1/2” x 1/4”. The pages have been cut at a bit of an angle, and a few front pages have small folds in the corners, but it is in overall very good condition. (Note, I've used little brass ducks to hold down the corners of the pages for photographing!)