Bottoms up! Here’s how to make Ball & Chain’s best cocktails

We’re spending March celebrating Little Havana as a part of our monthly neighborhood guide series, powered by Lyft. Where should we eat, drink, and explore? What do you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments below.

The Ball & Chain is a Little Havana institution. It’s known for its amazing performers, but its drinks should be as famous as its stage.

We spent an afternoon with Humberto Ramirez, who has been tending the bar there since it reopened in 2014. Ramirez trained in Cuba at El Comodoro, a popular hotel in Havana, but now he’s in Miami to show us how to make a real mojito. He walked us through what he says are the best drinks on offer. (The Calle Ocho Old Fashioned is his personal favorite.)

Calle Ocho Old Fashioned

  • 1 tsp Demerara brown sugar syrup
  • 2 oz Bacardi 8 rum
  • 3 dashes of tobacco bitters (homemade)

Combine all the ingredients in an empty pint glass. Add the tobacco bitters. Stir gently with a spoon and strain into a rocks glass over three ice cubes.

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  • 1 cube brown sugar
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Bacardi rum
  • 5 mint leaves

In a highball glass, muddle mint and lime juice. Add the simple syrup, then the rum. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir it with a stirring spoon to distribute the flavors throughout the drink. Slap the mint leaves to expel the fragrances and flavors and use it as garnish.

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Bananita Daiquiri

  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice
  • ½  oz simple syrup
  • 4 ½ oz banana puree
  • 2 coffee beans
  • 1 ½ oz Bacardi Light rum

In an empty blender, combine all the ingredients with a scoop (about 10 oz) of crushed ice. Blend until the texture is smooth. Pour the drink into a hurricane glass and add a sliced banana with the skin in tact for garnish.

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Passion Fontaine

  • 1 slice jalepeño pepper
  • 1 basil leaf
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 ½ oz  Avion Tequila

Combine all ingredients in an empty mixing tin. Add ice cubes, shake vigorously, and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with one basil leaf and one jalapeño slice.

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