Comic Shots #18 with Ali Colluccio: Daiquiri and ‘Cuba: My Revolution’

Each week the iFanStaff passes along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail (or beer, or wine, or booze) and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.


We’ve been talking about beer quite a bit on Comic Shots. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a beer fan. But I thought it was about time we brought things back to cocktails.

The Daiquiri

Before I get started, there will be no little umbrellas getting near this drink. This is not a frozen concoction. Put away your blender and coconut bar glasses. Today we’ll be talking about a classic Daiquiri.

According to legend, the Daiquiri was invented at a bar called the Venus in Santiago, Cuba around the turn of the century. It famously (or infamously) became one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite cocktails. There are a lot of different way to make a Daiquiri, and almost infinite variations, especially when we get into the frozen variety. At it’s core, the Daiquiri consists of rum, lime, and sugar. Here’s my preferred take on the classic cocktail:

• 3 ounces(ish) of light or white rum
• The juice of one lime
• 2 tablespoons of sugar

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. And strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

I typically use Bacardi because it’s the easiest to pick up and I usually have a bottle of it on hand, but obviously feel free to use your preferred brand of light rum. Do not use dark or spiced rum for this drink. I find that simple syrup will make this drink sweeter than just plain sugar; you may want to go that route if you prefer sweet to sour.

A well-made Daiquiri is one of my favorite drinks and I’ve been looking forward to sharing the recipe. So I picked up the highly recommended Cuba: My Revolution to go along with the Cuban cocktail.


Cuba: My Revolution

Written by Inverna Lockpez
Art by Dean Haspiel
Colors by Jose Villarrubia
Letters by Pat Brosseau
Published by DC Comics/Vertigo

Based on Inverna Lockpez’s own experiences during the Cuban revolution, the narrative follows young Sonya and her struggle to find herself in a country slowly being stripped of freedom. We’re introduced to 17-year old Sonya on New Year’s Eve 1958. She’s a strong-willed young woman, fiercely loyal to the ideals of Fidel Castro and his impending revolution.

Having dreamed of becoming an artist, Sonya decides she can best serve her country by volunteering for the militia and becoming a surgeon. She is one of the very few volunteer medics during the Bay of Pigs Invasion.  As the wounded come in, the simple act of giving necessary medial attention to a soldier from the opposing side lands Sonya in prison. She is tortured for the name of her non-existent CIA contact and left to rot in a filthy cell. Her father is able to use his connections and dwindling wealth to have Sonya released. Broken, but still supportive of Castro’s regime, Sonya pursues her dream of becoming an artist and starts to heal.

Throughout the book, Sonya is full of seemingly unshakable hope for what her beloved Cuba can be under Castro. She endures so much for so long, but she always believes in her country. It is very easy to admire this woman. There’s a brief but pivotal scene in which Sonya meets and gets to speak with Celia Sanchez. A vital part of the revolution and a woman of great power, Sonya has a great admiration for Sanchez. Sonya is brimming with questions about women’s rights and equality, freedom of expression, and democracy. Sanchez gives nothing but short, dismissive answers. In that moment you can feel Sonya’s hope die, and your heart just breaks for her. It’s the scene that makes the book for me.

The narrative is very much the driving force of the book.  So much so, that you need to make an effort to stop and enjoy the art. Dean Haspiel’s work is beautifully simple and evocative and supports the weight of the story. Art and expression are central themes to the book; I think Haspiel handled the interpretations of real life pieces of art wonderfully. But what really stands out is the coloring.  The art is primarily black and white, but Jose Villarrubia uses shades of red to highlight elements on the page. It’s done in a way that compliments the narrative without visually competing with the art.

I don’t want to call Cuba: My Revolution a coming of age tale, it feels too trite. While it very much is the story of Sonya’s personal growth, Cuba is its own character in the book. While the two experience the revolution together, ideologically they’ve become so very different from each other. It’s a story of letting go of what you love to find new freedom.

Bonus Cocktail

Having now read Cuba: My Revolution, I’m a bit torn on my drink choice. Which means you guys get a bonus cocktail!

Cuba Libre
• 2 ounces of dark rum
• 1 lime
• Cola
Squeeze the lime juice into a Collins glass with ice. Add rum and fill glass with cola. Stir and serve.

In the book, Sonya orders a Cuba Libre more than once. Ideologically, the drink (or at least its name) represents what she strives for the most, a free Cuba. While it may not be my favorite drink, I think it best encapsulates the spirit of the book.


Ali Colluccio enjoys comics, cocktails, and curling. You can contact her at (or bug her on Twitter) and suggest a cocktail or comic of your own, because good drinks and good comics should be shared.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy and share them with your friends. 


  1. Bacardi is also a good choice because the Bacardi family is originally from Cuba. Great pairing, Ali!

  2. Cuba Libre! Now we’re talking 🙂

    Really good book, and some great cocktails!

  3. Great matchmaking on this one.
    I LOOOOVED Cuba: My Revolution. I think it was my top OGN of 2010. Just amazing work on all fronts.

    Nice work on the photo as well! Raising the game with the pictures around here…

  4. I’m off to Cuba next week. Out of the snow and on a beach with comics and rum. Can’t wait!

  5. Love this column. Please do my book sometime 🙂