Why wait for Friday when it comes to a fiesta? On Wednesday, my party-animal friend Vesna and I found ourselves Havana-good-time at the press night for the newly refurbished Las Iguanas. As if we needed an excuse to party!
Turns out we’d come to exactly the right place…forget happy hour with 2-4-1 cocktails, at Las Iguanas it’s a non-stop party with 2-4-1 cocktails all day every day!
On this occasion, we got the chance to create a cocktail concoction of our own, with bartender Alex on hand to show us how to make the perfect Caipirinha.
Cachaca is the main ingredient in a Caipirinha cocktail, which is coincidentally the national cocktail for Brazil.
Brazilian speciality cachaca has similarities to rum, though, is made slightly different, taken from freshly fermented and distilled sugarcane juices.
Now onto the important part..how to make the Caipirinha!
First, you take a handful of lime cubes (8 approx), add two teaspoons of sugar…
Then it’s time for the vital wrist action to blend the sugar into the lime. Obviously, I was filming (cue Ves rolling her eyes) so Ves had the pleasure of helping me with mine too…
Topped up with some ice and a lavish pouring of alcohol…
Already forgotten the vital ingredient?
Here’s Ves to remind you…
Cachaca can be easily remembered as (cash-ass-a). There you have it and if you don’t have it you can purchase your very own bottle behind the bar at Las Iguanas!
After sinking our Caipirinha it was time for a boogie and we found the perfect partners to show us how it’s done…
One of the most eye-catching elements of the new makeover at Las Iguanas is the spacious new bar area, enabling opportunities to pop in and enjoy the variety of cocktails even if you don’t want to sit in for a meal. As we found, it gave us space to really get into the fiesta vibe!
Restaurant Manager, Perry talked us through the new look and decor which takes customers on a journey to South America, giving a relaxing holiday vibe. With string lights, brightly coloured crates and corrugated metal walls, you can easily picture yourself enjoying a drink or two in a South American street.
Following the cactus trend this summer, it’s only fitting Las Iguanas serve their margaritas in their very own cactus cocktail glasses.
Though, instead of storing water, these cute little cactuses are holding tequila, Cointreau, salt and lime.
The menu is sectioned off with a variety of popular specialities from South American countries, enabling diners to gain insight into the origins of some of their favourite meals.
It’s rare that I go out for a meal without ordering seafood for at least one course (you’ve read my Dining in Dubrovnik post haven’t you?), so it goes without saying that I was easily swayed to order the new menu choice of Ipanema mussels. As to be expected in a South American restaurant, these rope-grown mussels have a slight kick, cooked in coconut sauce with lime and coriander. A great recommendation from our waiter Tommy!
Ves ordered the Gambas to start, which has its own kick, cooked in garlic, lemon and chilli sauce. Very tasty, I might have to order those next time!
Before our mains, we tucked into another cocktail. This time we opted for the Pear Drop Caipirinha; well, we may as well start the night the night as we mean to carry on…
The Pear Drop Caipirinha is dubbed Brazil’s favourite with a fruity twist, containing Xante pear liqueur and apple juice. A very refreshing cocktail to accompany our meal.
Onto mains, after sampling South American faves like enchiladas and fajitas on previous trips, it was time to check out another item on the new menu. When Autumn arrives I’m all about the warm hearty meals and as the Gaucho Steak had already sold out (🙁maybe next time), it could only be the Seco De Cordero for me (Peruvian-style slow-cooked lamb shank.) The lamb shank was beautifully cooked, so tender the lamb fell off the bone and perfectly accompanied by sweet potato mash, crispy chilli & onions in a golden ale, red wine and Amarillo chilli sauce.
Ves opted for the Cuban Sandwich, roasted pork belly, pulled pork, Emmental cheese & ham with sweet mustard and green pickle.
I devoured mine, well the meat had fallen right off the bone…
Our waiter Tommy got Ves a fetching Las Iguanas doggy bag so she could finish her Cuban Sandwich at home.
Instead of managing a dessert (next time for sure), we ended the night by enjoying a sweet cocktail. A work of art and makeshift dessert, check out our watermelon margaritas…
Thanks very much to Perry, Alex, Tommy, Pablo, Connor & Alice for our warm welcome and great service! We look forward to coming back again soon!
If this post has got you in the mood for a fiesta, make sure you check out the Las Iguanas Havana Lounge every Friday & Saturday to enjoy 241 cocktails and a live DJ playing tunes until 1am.
*Our meal & drinks were kindly provided by Las Iguanas, though all thoughts and photos are my own.*