My husband and I love Cuban food. We also love game night so when it was our turn to host, we knew we wanted to throw a Cuban themed party like no other game night we’ve held before. There’s something about having a congruent theme running through a gathering that just makes it feel extra-special to me. We prepared a small tapas menu for snacking & invited our friends over to play “Double-Nines” Dominoes, a game often played throughout Cuba in parks and other public areas as a pastime. Here is our menu:
To set the mood, we played Latin-inspired Salsa music — it was so much fun and everyone had a blast. In addition to our tapas menu, our guests had the option of trying one of their flavors of Havana Honeys Cigars. No Cuban themed party would be complete without Havana Honeys cigars! I’d never had a cigar before but one of my co-workers highly recommended this brand for both flavor and affordability — and he was right. What’s fun about these Cuban cigars is that along with traditional (original) cigars, they also come in a variety of flavor notes. So it was fun to correlate our food, drink and cigar menu so that everything was complimentary to one another.
Here is a list of the flavors our guests had to choose from at our party:
- Original- an authentic and sophisticated pleasant smoke that allows the consumer to enjoy the true tobacco flavor.
- Sweet Honey- an authentic and sophisticated smoke with a hint of sweet honey that allows the consumer a sweet and smooth smoke.
- Spiced Rum- an authentic and sophisticated smoke with a subtle note of spiced rum that gives the consumer a masculine flavor.
- Classic Cognac- an authentic and sophisticated smoke with the richness of fine cognac that provides the consumer with a great premium cigarillo that has a deeper and mature flavor.
With these Havana Honeys cigars, we were able to experience great Cuban quality and flavors for an affordable price which played a big role in the ambiance of our themed party. I signed up for coupons on their website and if you want to try these cigars, you should too! To sign up for coupons and find a retailer near you go to: Havana Honeys website.
Then of course, in keeping with our Cuban theme, we served Mojitos. Mojitos are a classic Cuban mixed drink which has grown wildly in popularity here in the USA. Mojitos made with rum, lime, and spearmint are very vibrant and refreshing. We’ve even made a non-alcoholic version that is so thirst-quenching and satisfying on a hot day. The mint and lime are just amazing together. Check out our Classic Mojito.
Another classic Cuban drink we served is the Cuba Libre which are said to have first been made at the Havana Club in Cuba around the turn of the century (1902). This simple cocktail was considered to be “exotic” back then. See our Cuba Libre recipe.
Since real Cuban bread is difficult to find in our area, we prepared these Cuban Sliders which are traditionally served on sweet bread, this variation of the Cuban sandwich is called Medianoche. The Roast Pork is really what makes this sandwich sing, so you won’t want to leave it out. These were a real hit at the party so it’s a good thing I always make plenty! I started the pork to roast low and slow about midday so that it was hot and ready to shred later that afternoon just as I prepared the sandwiches for the party. Then all that’s left is a quick trip into the oven to melt the cheese and this recipe produces a hot sandwich perfect for our tapas menu. Check out our Medianoche Cuban Sandwich recipe.
We also made some homemade Beef Empanadas. Although the dough is pretty easy to make, it’s tedious to roll and cut each one. To speed things along, we used pre-cut empanada wrappers sold in our grocer’s freezer. These empanadas were savory and slightly spicy, and were absolutely delicious and really contributed to the overall feel of the party. Check out these quick and easy Beef Empanadas for your next party.
Homemade Green Plantain Chips (back of platter) are so easy to make and are reminiscent of the style of chips served in a Cuban cafe I’ve eaten at in Florida. They are delicious with the garlic-citrus (Mojo) vinaigrette. The fried Tostones (front of the platter)) also added to the authenticity of the party theme and, as a bonus, are available in my grocer’s freezer section to take the load off my overall preparation time for the party. Check out our Plantain Chips with Mojo Vinaigrette.
Between the Salsa music, food, drinks and Havana Honeys Cigars, our Cuban-inspired party was a raging success! But the overall theme was only reinforced by our terrific party guests (you know who you are) who, having never given in to a good challenge, came dressed in a Guayabera style shirt and even completed the look with a fedora hat! Our gal friend came dressed in a very tropical patterned dress complete with a flower in her hair! How amazing is that? We could not ask for a better bunch of people to spend the evening with. How will you throw your next Cuban Themed party?
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #havanahoneys http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
Please remember to always enjoy alcohol and tobacco responsibly.