While Cuba offers an outstanding combination of privileged climate and soil to produce some of the best sugar cane in the world, Havana Club selects only the best fresh molasses or "mieles" (literally called "honey" in Cuba). A blend of this molasses, yeast and the purest of water is left to ferment for several days. The "baticion", as this fermented mixture is called, is distilled in columns to produce the clear and fiery “aguardientes” carrying the promise of rum to be.
After distillation, these "aguardientes" – the true soul of Havana Club rum – go through the stages of ageing, blending and selection to become "madre" ("mother", the rum base). This base is then blended with a fresh sugar cane distillate to create "ron fresco", which is then successively aged and blended again until the Maestro Ronero decides it is perfect for a chosen class of rum. This last act of blending is called the "toque", the final touch. Throughout the ageing phases, the choice of barrels is crucial, as the wood gives colour, aroma and complexity to the liquid. The Maestro Ronero chooses old white oak barrels to allow the rum to breathe, and younger barrels for their tannic properties.
The art of Añejamiento ("ageing"), based on successive ageing and blending, is the essence of Havana Club rum, proceeding with the greatest respect for Cuban tradition. All rums in the Havana Club range are aged, hence their name Añejo ("aged"), from young pale rums to aged and extra-aged rums: Añejo Blanco, Añejo3 Años, Añejo Especial, Añejo Reserva, Añejo 7 Años, Cuban Barrel Proof and Máximo Extra Añejo. Their recipes are closely guarded secrets, known only to the senior Maestros Roneros, but all of them have the same fundamental characteristics that make Havana Club stand apart from other rums.