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Canchanchara Cocktail Recipe – Refreshing Rum Highball

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Canchanchara is an old Cuban cocktail that’s meant to cool you off in the summer, and it’s also a very simple but surprisingly flavorful cocktail. 

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What is Canchanchara?

Canchanchara is a Cuban rum highball with a very blurry history, at best. Some say it’s the Mojito’s ancestor, some say it’s the Daiquiri’s ancestor, some say it was originally a medicinal drink, while others don’t remember ever hearing about Canchanchara in the first place. Regardless of when and how it originated, Canchanchara is a great drink to try if you’re in the mood for a rum cooler and don’t know which to pick. 

This drink can be as tall or as short as you want it to be, though in most cases I’ve seen it, it’s a highball. Here’s how to make one. 

canchanchara 2

Canchanchara Cocktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru
A lesser known Cuban rum highball but very refreshing.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1.5 oz white rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz honey syrup
  • club soda to top


  • In a shaker combine rum, lime, honey syrup, and ice. Shake very well.
  • Strain into ice-filled glass.
  • Top with club soda.


The amount of club soda is entirely up to you. This isn't the longest of highballs but it is quite watered down. I've seen anything from 1 oz to 4 oz of club soda.

When is this drink best ?

Canchanchara works very well as a summer cocktail, or as a drink to cool you down on the beach. Since it’s a highball it will work in pretty much any setting – casual or formal – and it’s also great as a lunch and dinner drink. 

My thoughts on Canchanchara

I found Canchanchara to be very pleasant, with a bit of sweetness from the honey syrup that pairs surprisingly well with rum. Lime juice cuts through that sweetness and gives you a nice acidity, and the club soda helps tie everything together and also keeps the flavors light. I think the flavors would be stronger if you add less club soda (I made mine a highball). 

Overall a very refreshing cocktail, and it does resemble a Mojito, minus the mint.

canchanchara making

If you like Canchanchara, you might also like…

Caribeno – a coconut water highball

Mojito – a white rum and mint refresher

Notes, substitutes, and tips

I’ve usually seen white rum used in Canchanchara, but if you want a stronger flavor you can use dark rum instead. 

When making honey syrup be sure to mix the water and honey (1:1) very well. Otherwise when you add the ice the honey will stick to the glass or to the shaker. 

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