Old Cuban

0 Posted by - January 28, 2013 - Food & Drink

I’m not sure what story I should lead with today. I’m making a drink called an Old Cuban, so I could tell you a story about an old Cuban… but I think I’m going to tell you a Creme de Menthe story instead, actually, because the old Cuban story involves an ex-boyfriend, and ain’t nobody got time for the shitstorm that I’d have to deal with subsequently, so…

Here’s what I’m making. It’s an Old Cuban.

Image from Gourmet.com

Image from Gourmet.com

A kind of important part of this recipe is mint.

But I don’t have any mint in my house because I looked at it at the grocery store and it was like $6 for a tiny bunch and it’s a fucking weed that I actively try to kill in my yard for the 90 percent of the year that it’s not January. So I refused to buy it.

But I did have Creme de Menthe and it has a picture of mint right on the freaking bottle.


I am fully aware that when I substitute like this, some of you explode with indignant rage. If you are that person, please scrape yourself off the ceiling and move along. Nothing to see here.

I actually almost couldn’t bring myself to make this substitution either. In my adult life, I have learned only a few important lessons. (1) Don’t fart in the tub if you want any action later. (2) Don’t bother wearing make-up for men. Only women notice that shit. (3) No good ever comes of using Creme de Menthe.

A few years ago, my husband and I and another couple we regularly hang out with (read: get shit-faced with) had come to the end of our proper beverages and were in that wacky stage a few drinks in where we decided to be creative with our bartending. It was way before the age of Pintester, but think pin test, only way more drunk and obnoxious. (Hard to imagine, I know.) Anyway, someone concocted a drink involving Creme de Menthe and passed it around. Almost everyone was sober enough to decide that it was patently not good.

I was not.

“Itsshsh not tha’ baaaaad,” I kept insisting, even when we all decided that the apt name for this made up drink was Drain-o.

Suffice it to say that no drink I’ve had since then has been that bad, but every drink with Creme de Menthe in it I’ve had since then has been pretty disgusting anyway.

But desperate times, children, call for Creme de Menthe.


(I like shaken drinks because I feel like I’m burning off the calories before I drink them.)


The results of the shake were worrying…


And adding the Champagne didn’t help much…


But, you know, I can’t call this a total fail because it didn’t taste that bad. Aside from it making my mouth a little numb, it was actually pretty decent. Well, drinkable at least. Also, it looks completely ridiculous, like the kind of thing you’d get at a cheap kitschy bar on St. Patrick’s Day. So I think I’ll rename this one an Irish Old Cuban… which is the punchline of the Old Cuban story that I’m not going to tell you, so it’s way funny in my head, but probably not that amusing to you. Um. Sorry.

And, if all else fails, I can pour it down the drain and look forward to squeaky clean pipes.


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  • Anna

    You know, I usually find your substitutions wonderful (as I once tried to make pudding with yogurt mixed with water because I didn’t have milk) but the color of that shit scares me. It’s not right. Did it glow?

    • Emily


  • http://www.facebook.com/rita.reagan.9 Rita Reagan

    Between your numb mouth and the fact that the drink looks like leprechaun spunk…..there just isn’t enough brain bleach to get that image out of my head….

    • libraryofbird

      Leprechaun spunk! Now I need to work that in to a conversation somehow.

  • Becky

    I read blogs via the app flipboard. Sometimes it’s just a picture as was yours with the shaky thing this evening. And yet, before I opened it to read further and discover which blog it might be, I knew it was yours. Thanks for cracking me up and also I am a huge fan of the sustitutions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patty.hicks Patty Hicks

    Did you notice that your drink is Pantone emerald green too?! I mean how cool is that…you designed a drink that is the Pantone color of the year! Pintester is now a drink designer too. =D You should do one annually. That would be a hoot I’m sure. It is you after all.

  • scotpjmacdonald

    If he was a stereotypical Irish man…that ex story is not only hilarious, but pretty short ;)

  • Lynette

    I don’t know who’s giving you shit about substitutions, but give me their names, I’ll brake their kneecaps. I don’t care what you do or on what topic you’re posting… you make me giggle every single day… and for that, you deserve a fucking award. Screw the whiny internet assholes.

    • Lynette


      Damn it! Got me so worked up, I can’t even spell!

      • Stephanie

        You just lost all your credibility as a “knee Braker” when you went back and corrected your spelling :)

  • Jaybes

    Your Creme de Menthe story reminds me of my Cinnamon Schnapps story…again I was the only one drunk enough to drink it straight…

    • ChickieD

      Yeah, I once had a friend who brought a bottle of peppermint schnapps with her to a football game, and that is all we drank all night – straight, mouthwashy, peppermint schnapps, and that did not end well. I got kind of hurty reading her post as it brought some kind of bad sense memory for me.

      • Catherine

        One of my first experiences was with peppermint schnapps. That should have been enough to turn me off alcohol for the rest of my life, but it wasn’t. I’m one of those try, try again people.

        • ChickieD

          My first experience of getting drunk was even worse. I was working at a fast food joint next to a liquor store that would sell to teens. I wasn’t a bad kid, but after a particularly hard day I bought a pint of real crap vodka. The only thing I had in my house to mix it with was diet chocolate soda. It was so foul. So foul. *shudder*

          • Catherine

            That just sounds vile. Then again, I think chocolate soda is pretty fucking disgusting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.r.webb Jess Webb

      I was living with my cousin and grandparents when my Papa decided to let us have drinks with him. He wouldn’t let us in the kitchen with him while he mixed our drinks, but he did keep snickering. Old, crotchety bastard that he is ( I love him very much) made us Rum and Prune Juice. He still has the pictures somewhere, and still threatens to show our parents.

      • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.horejsi.1 Katherine Horejsi

        Erm…should we be calling child protective services?

  • tkwestlie

    Wow. It looks radioactive.

    • Catherine

      Radioactive is a great song by Imagine Dragons, but probably not a good quality in a drink.

  • Amanda England

    Oh Lord, it looks like the soap I’m waiting on to cool, so I can pour it!

  • Kayla Rose

    Creme de Menthe is only good in a drink I concocted that I like to call the Miseltoe:
    30ml vanilla vodka
    30ml creme de Menthe
    30ml white creme de cacao
    Shake and strain into a martini glass.
    Now shake together:
    30ml cream
    30ml Baileys
    And strain on top of the base layer.
    Garnish with a candy cane, drink many, and wait til everyone realises how much they love you.


  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.horejsi.1 Katherine Horejsi

    Aaaaah this was a stroll (or a Riverdance) down memory lane to life pre-kids when all the best stories started with “so we were in a pub…..” and ended in a drink just like this. So Cheers to Fidel O’Castroaghan and obnoxious, drunken old Irish Cubans everywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/kward3 Katie!

    Reaching far here, but this drink looks like that shit that the evil Queen drank in Snow White (Disney version) to be all sexified before looking in the mirror. Or was it to disguise herself as a crotchety old lady? Either way, that part scared me for life and I don’t trust that drink you have. Please let us know if your appearance has changed?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fake.neon.love Brittany Lynne Borden

    It looks like a leprechaun jizzed in your cup. No wonder your mouth was numb.

  • Tabi-Ann Wallstreet Dunlap

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE you phucking things up!! It lets me know I’m not the ONLY ONE!!!
    Creme de Menthe tho, *ilk*

  • sluggo

    Creme de menthe plus creme de cacao, shaken over ice = Andes Candies

    Best shot ever! Even if it does look a little like chlamydia-infested leprechaun spunk.

  • Truffles8761

    Now THAT shiznit is scary looking. I think your first impression was probably correct: “No good can come of this”. In fact, I know it was correct because all of the Pintestes have been mentioning Leprechauns and bodily fluids and now it’s indelibly printed on my brain. Thanks a lot, people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rita.reagan.9 Rita Reagan

      You are welcome! If I have to suffer from that thought process, so does everyone else.

  • Kari Hayes

    There’s something darkly fascinating about your version of the drink. I need to blink, but I can’t stop staring.

  • Missy

    I can’ imagine you being any more annoying than you currenty are.

    • LNunz

      I can’t imagine you being able to find the “t” key. Try proof reading if you are going to be a jerk. At least you wouldn’t look like a dumb jerk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jackie.mccullough Jackie McCullough

        I want a currenty bun

    • LindyCha

      Missy, nob

  • Rhettpet

    Creme de menthe seems like a far more appropriate substitution than Rumple minze which was the substitution a bar used in a mint julep on Derby Day. What kind of bar doesn’t mint for mint julep when the Kentucky Derby is on?! Needless to say it was AWFUL! Thankfully it wasn’t purchased with my money but it might be the only time in the history of my life I didn’t finish a drink containing alcohol.

    • Havana James

      they deserve to have their license revoked

  • Ethne @ www.wom-mom.com

    Even though I am normally one of those rangers when u don’t follow directions, but totally enjoy the results, I would say nothing could save it. those other ingredients looked horrible together anyway. No harm, no foul today my lovely!

    • Ethne @ www.wom-mom.com

      *ragers. Tho we could have tons of fun with Ranger Pintestes. Think of the jobs you could give us.

  • Havana James

    i feel like this is the PINnacle (see what i did there, hehe) pintest. when i try to explain to people what your blog is like it’s hard for them to understand. but now when i tell people about the site and i use this test as an example they’ll get it. i told a coworker today and as she realized the consequences of substituting creme de menthe for a sprig of mint, a horrified look of terror crossed her face and then i said “yes now you get it!” keep em coming!

    • Catherine

      I was telling my husband about this blog and I told him, “She tries pins she finds on Pinterest and then usually fucks them up hilariously then blogs about it.” He got it.

  • tess

    It kind of looks like one of those ‘Good for You’ kale, spinach, dandelion weed, grass clipping smoothies that might knock you on your ass.

  • http://twitter.com/CAB9602 Corien Bier

    Your drink would also fit in a test for drinks for St. patricks day. Not that I even knew that day existet before I got addicted to Pinterest. But were I live we try to make everything orange when the Queens has her birthday, so I have interest in strong coloured stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/shmcmullin Sarah McMullin

    A little holly leaf on the corner and its an obnoxious Christmas cocktail! I still choose egg nog.

  • sissi gansberger-wunder

    hi :)

    you can always use creme de menthe, creme de cacao and vodka to mix a grasshopper
    but i am guessing if you like drinks like Old Cuban a Grasshopper might be too sweet for your taste

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  • Maria

    has anyone else noticed that the seal on the champagne seal in the picture of all the bottles looks JUST LIKE A FACE?

  • IAmWhoIAm

    I love you, don’t let em judge :] you’re friggin awesome and I like it when you substitute and mess up, because that’d be me, so you’re being relatable on some note!! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/katelynn.brooks.77 Katelynn Brooks

    ok I’m a bit of a drinking novice, but my mouth always goes numb, when I can’t feel my teeth is when I know I’m going to make a lot of bad decisions, is this not normal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.f.sears Katherine Fye Sears

    I have been working my way back through the posts. In this case, I had to take a screenshot because the ad that showed up above this post made me laugh as hard as the post itself (I have now decided I will never ever ever own creme de menthe FYI).

    • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.f.sears Katherine Fye Sears

      Annnnd why the image posted twice, I have no idea. I am inept like that ;)

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