John F. Kennedy is famous for several things in his life and death as the 35th President of the United States of America. One particularly is his conflicted relationship with Cuba. He was an avid Habanos smoker and also the man, or at least the signature, behind the Cuban embargo which since 1962 has led to a near complete stop of all trade with Cuba, making importing Cuban products into the United States a crime.
JFK was as mentioned an avid lover of Cuban cigars and in particular the H Upmann ‘Petit Upmann’. Great choice, you may think. Today’s Petit Upmann is a 4.5″ x 36 hand made stick – it’s actually the same thing as the Coronas Junior – and it was discontinued in 2002. In JFK’s time though the Petit Upmann was actually a 3 3/4″ x 32 machine made stick that cost just 25 cents (compared to its 40 cent hand made counterpart).
He loved these so much in fact that on the night before signing the embargo order JFK asked his press secretary Pierre Salinger if he thought he could obtain 1000 of them by morning! After working late into the night, contacting every cigar store he could, Mr. Salinger managed to obtain 1200 sticks for the president. As he walked into the President’s office to announce the news, JFK pulled the papers out from his desk and signed the embargo orders.
The president’s favorite drink is also one that may raise an eyebrow. His drink of choice – the daiquiri. Ice, 2 ounces of white rum, a squeeze of fresh lime, and a squirt of simple syrup. A woman’s drink you say?! More like a womanizer’s drink. In an advert the speech bubble said beside JFK’s face “I’m like my favorite books’ hero, James Bond, except that I’m manlier. No girly martinis for me.” I was unable to verify the authenticity of this quote however.  Next time you think of getting a daiquiri, don’t embarrass yourself. Make sure it’s the way JFK would’ve ordered it.
So Happy Birthday, Mr. President. I’m off to smoke a small, inexpensive, machine made Cuban and the manliest woman’s drink around!