It may be the end of summer in London but last weekend saw a blast of sunshine with the arrival of ‘Global Roots in Cuba presented by Havana Club’; a two day festival which dug deep into Cuban culture.
Over the course of 2 days guests were invited to a Cuban inspired journey into music, film and even food at Shoreditch’s Rich Mix.
We decided to double-head this bad boy and sample the best of both worlds, which meant drawing mojito straws. Luke lucked out with tickets to Friday night, while Eray settled for Saturday daytime Mojitos.
On arrival we were welcomed in with open arms and ushered straight to the Mojito Embassy where we learnt how to make a proper Cuban Mojito by Cantineros using Havana Club Añejo 3 Años rum.
Having previously visited La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana (which is like being trained by ‘Obi Wan Mojito’ himself) we knew what to expect, but still enjoyed bushing up on our skills as you’ll be surprised by the level of detail that goes into making the perfect Cuban mojito.
There was no messing around with different flavours here. We were talking straight up Cuban authentic Mojitos.
The two day long exhibition, offered everything from music, film and dance to spoken word and all of the profits are invested into local community enterprises. The event was curated by Global Roots front man Thris Tian (NTS/Boiler Room) and featured an exciting line-up of special guests including LV, Charlie Dark (Attica Blues) and Tic (Young Turks) all brought together to present their own take of Cuba to an East London audience.
Friday night kicked off the weekend’s proceedings with a showing of Suite Habana, accompanied with a live DJ score by Vince Vella and LV, who re-worked the film’s soundtrack; creating a dual narrative to the evening.
On the Saturday, a Cuba inspired street market touched down in the foyer providing Londoners with a sight and taste of Cuba. The Chorizo was to die for and paired with a Cuban mojito and music from the island, we could close our eyes and imagine we were in Havana. Stalls set up sold music, films, t shirts, photography etc all related to Cuba.
This festival was not a Havana Club event but a festival for fans of Cuba. It offered a compelling and inspired insight into the country’s Afro Cuban cultural heritage. Unfortunately the event was inside so there was no chance of lighting up a Montecristo that had been burning a hole in our pockets (not literally), but the Cuban vibe was enough to make us want to book another trip to Cuba.
And before you ask, there was no Havana Club Maximo on offer. That dream will happen one day…. We hope!