Event Highlights from Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights was the perfect event to end the summer season! In celebration of this wonderful event, we have put together a few highlights of what made it so special for our guests.

Salsa dancing was one of the most anticipated parts of Hot Havana Nights! SitaraSon, a top-rated local salsa band, played live music throughout the event that encouraged everyone to get moving on the dance floor. Two dancers from Sway Ballroom attended to demonstrate salsa dancing and provide a time of instruction for any new dancers in the crowd.

Once the crowd had a chance to watch the dancers perform the steps, they were prepared to test their skill! Dozens of couples headed to the dance floor to take advantage of the lively music. Salsa dancing under the stars was greatly enjoyed by all throughout the warm evening.

In case you missed the event and want to brush up on your salsa dancing knowledge, be sure to check out this salsa dancing demonstration video created by the Sway dancers for Hot Havana Nights!

There was a special salsa dancing competition that guests could enter to show off their talent and win prizes! Thank you to everyone who participated, but a special thanks and congratulations to our top three winners!

If you would like to learn more about salsa dancing or improve your skills, visit Sway Ballroom for dance lesson opportunities!

At the Hot Havana Nights event, we were joined by Rancho Santa Margarita’s very own Laguna Beach Beer Company for craft beer tasting, and a master roller from Cuba attended to hand-roll cigars on site! The event featured El Canito Cigar Company which uses only Cuban seed tobacco to ensure the quality and aromatic, flavorful smoke of each cigar! Attendees had a chance to learn about this Cuban tradition as well as sample various cigars by smell and touch. Smoking of cigars was not permitted at the event. In fact, we know of one attendee who enjoyed their cigar on a balcony in Hawaii!

If you are a cigar or beer aficionado, enjoy some helpful tips about choosing cigars and pairing craft beers with the proper cigars for an authentic and relaxing experience.

There are several different components to look for when purchasing a cigar:

  • First, find the right shape that you like and will feel comfortable smoking.

  • Make sure that the wrapper is applied properly to ensure that the quality is top-notch.

  • Take note of the color; cigars should have one consistent color throughout, and colors or splotches could mean it is poor quality.

  • Be sure that the cigar is well-filled and does not have any weak areas.

  • If the cigar seller will allow it, take the chance to unwrap the cigar and smell the flavor before purchasing to make sure that you enjoy it prior to smoking.

Cigar and beer pairings are somewhat subjective based on taste and interest. What may taste enjoyable to one palette may be strange to another. Experimenting with different flavors will enhance your ability to know which cigars and beers pair best for you! A generally good rule of thumb is to pair more full-bodied cigars with dark beers so the flavors do not overwhelm one another. Likewise, milder cigars often pair well with lighter beers for a pleasant tasting experience.

Another option for pairings is to bring cigars and beers together with common flavors. A dark stout with notes of chocolate and espresso would pair nicely with a cigar that has similar tasting notes.

As a special favor for all attendees, SAMLARC presented them with chocolate “cigars” to take home and enjoy. To view photos and relive the memories from this event, visit the photo album on our website.

Thank you to all who attended this special event celebrating the end of summer! We love to help SAMLARC members create special memories at our event.


22342A Avenida Empresa, Suite 102A, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

(949) 709-0010

© 2018 Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation