Ingredients: Santa Teresa 1796, Ancho Reyes, lime, pineapple, Hellfire bitters
Background: “I love anything hot,” says Publico and Backyard Betty’s Teodora Bakardzhieva, who debuted Casa Caña in August with the Lyons Group. “So I wanted to make a cocktail that is not tequila and is spicy.” A Venezuelan blend of rums aged between eight and 25 years meets the heat from the chile liqueur—and you can request that the bartender kick it up a notch.
Get ready to rumble: “During Prohibition, Americans went to Cuba to bartend and they created some amazing classics,” Bakardzhieva says of the inspiration behind the rum-stacked cocktail list. Sip on everything from not-too-sugary mojitos to a Cuba Libre served with a bottle of Mexican Coca Cola. She steers rum virgins toward the easy-to-drink Old Cuban made with Havana Club Classico, lime, mint and topped with cava.
Elsewhere: Find Latin beers—“and we’re not talking Corona,” jokes Bakardzhieva—like Presidente, Cusqueña and a few local options to round out the South American lagers, including a housemade brew. As for the wine, the majority of the two dozen options are from small South American producers, such as a pinot noir cava and a torrontés that Bakardzhieva can’t get enough of.
Havana good time: The 74-seat space is decked out with wicker light pendants, mismatched tiles and cigar-toned leather banquettes, while outside there’s a large courtyard outfitted with a second bar, couches, fire pits and room for Latin bands and—fingers crossed—salsa dancing. The public can cool off with frozen Hemingway daiquiris at the boutique hotel Studio Allston space starting at 3 pm daily, but keep an eye out for weekend brunches.
Casa Caña 1234 Soldiers Field Road, Boston (617-415-5402) casacanaboston.com