How you doin’? On the day before the 4th of July it’s important to remember a little bit about American history. Did you know that on July 1st, 1898, Theodore Roosevelt took San Juan Hill and helped to end the Spanish American War? The Teddy Roosevelt-led “Rough Riders,” a collection of Western cowboys and Eastern blue bloods officially known as the First U.S. Voluntary Cavalry, led the charge.
The U.S. Army Fifth Corps fought its way to Santiago’s outer defenses, and on July 1st, U.S. General William Shafter ordered an attack on the village of El Caney and San Juan Hill. Shafter hoped to capture El Caney before besieging the fortified heights of San Juan Hill, but the 500 Spanish defenders of the village put up a fierce fight and held off 10 times their numbers for most of the day. Although El Caney was not secure, some 8,000 Americans pressed forward toward San Juan Hill.
Hundreds fell under Spanish gunfire before reaching the base of the heights, where the force split up into two flanks to take San Juan Hill and Kettle Hill. The Rough Riders were the troops in the right flank attacking Kettle Hill. When the order was given by Lieutenant John Miley that “the heights must be taken at all costs,” the Rough Riders, who had been forced to leave their horses behind because of transportation difficulties, led the charge up the hills on foot. The Rough Riders and the black soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments were the first up Kettle Hill, and San Juan Hill was taken. From the crest, the Americans found themselves overlooking Santiago, and the next day they began a siege of the city. Please think about a little American history and our brave soldiers—past and present—when you get ready to fire-up your July 4th barbecue.
How you doin’? It’s the end of another week and if you are feeling all muddled up then it’s time for a cocktail—How ‘bout a Mojito?
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba (República de Cuba), our troublesome neighbor to the southeast, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. This is the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. Havana is the largest city and capital of Cuba.
The Havana Mojito cocktail is a Cuban highball traditionally, made with five ingredients—white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint—all ingredients are indigenous to Cuba—mixed over muddled mint. A Mojito is a wonderful blend sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavors intended to complement the rum and has made the Mojito a popular and refreshing summer cocktail.
6 mint leaves + a sprig of mint
2 teaspoons sugar
1-ounce fresh lime juice
1-1/2 ounces white rum
lime wedge or lime wheel garnish
Cuban cigars are optional… smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!
How does this stack up to what you and your friends are drinking tonight? Let me know, we want to hear your comments.
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