A Cuban theme dinner party can be elaborate or informal. Whatever style you choose, you are sure to please with bright decorations and authentic Cuban fare. Spice up the night with Cuban music and dance the night away.
Cuba and Miami are tropical regions. If you live in a tropical area, invite your guests to an outdoor Cuban-themed dinner party. Tropical lushness or the impression of it lends an authentic atmosphere to your event. If you live in a cooler climate, visit a local hobby shop for tropical greenery. Do not confuse Mexican theme decorations with Cuban. No sombreros or serapes! Find maracas, bongo drums and Cuban straw hats. Try to find a poster of Ricky Ricardo, a sure hit. Spread a Cuban flag on your table.
Offer cool and refreshing Cuban drinks. Serve mojitos, Cuba libres and Havana Specials. Include nonalcoholic fresh tropical fruit juices. Consider a tropical fruit punch made with pineapple, guava and papaya juices. Add sparkling water, sliced limes and fresh mint or yerbabuena (a Hispanic true mint). If you cannot find yerbabuena, use fresh spearmint in mojitos. (See Additional Resources 2). Have plenty of rum and fresh limes on hand.
Visit a Latin market or a whole food grocer for Cuban foods and drink mixers. Serve native Cuban foods buffet-style so you can enjoy the festivities and food. Enjoy churros and a simple garbanzo salad. (See Additional Resources 2.) Provide trays of fresh pineapple, mango, papaya and citrus fruits. If possible, buy fresh Cuban bread for toasted Cuban sandwiches. Stuff the bread with sliced ham, roast pork, cheese and pickles. If you do not have a sandwich press, use a waffle iron to grill the sandwiches. Finish with a Three Milks Cake (See Additional Resources 2.)
Fill the night air with Elena Burke's "A Solas Contigo" and Gloria Estefan's "Greatest Hits." Let bongos stir your guests to dance the cha-cha and the mambo. A Cuban dinner party can be sultry and sexy if you create the right atmosphere.