Can someone tell me where the Sidra is, it’s time to Celebrate!
Growing up in a Cuban family based in Miami was probably no different than if one would’ve been raised on the island itself. At least in our family, it was Cuban living in every aspect you could imagine. No need to get out of the main purpose and focus for this post today, but in the future we will explore other unique idiosyncrasies in the life of a first generation Cuban-American like: the Chaperon tradition, the end of year rituals, the expectations of a Cuban family and so forth.
Today though I am writing about my encounters with Sidra-yes you heard it correctly Sidra “El Gaitero”. Oh that 25.4 Fl Oz of Sparkling Apple Drink, well recognized in all Cuban homes. (Known as Cider in American Homes!) This slightly alcoholic liquid that supposedly is meant only for celebratory occasions is more of a ubiquitous bubbly concoction that when found in the cupboard or the fridge elicits great memories for any family member.
Our elders share with us that in the 40’s and 50’s in Cuba, this drink was loved and cherished, even overtaking Champagne in many instances. Of course, not all families then would have been able to buy Champagne due to cost and availability so Sidra became the common favorite. The bubbly delicacy was used for every occasion that came with toasting and always elicited shouts of Salud! when opened amongst loved ones. I can only imagine those Cuban birthday parties or quinces (15th birthday celebration), with everyone in beautiful attire dancing to the rhythms of salsa in old Havana-how grand.
Today we continue to enjoy Sidra in our home in the USA and during my Cuban travels with our groups we often find ourselves searching for this nostalgic and tasty apple beverage. Not a common commodity in Cuba today, we have toasted many wonderful journeys to the beautiful island with other national cocktails in the hope that soon we will spot a Sidra bottle here or there.
In the meantime, come share our little treasures of Cuba with us as we explore the traditions like the Sidra culture of the past. The good thing is that once we return to our Cuban homes we have a taste of the past among our family and friends as often as we desire.
This post is dedicated to Sidra El Gaitero's #1 fan, our beloved Tia Aida. We miss you so much.
Aida blessed this world with a graceful 95 years; few have lived more admirably and honest than she, nor with as much class. 7-5-21 to 5-13-17