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- Dish type
- Rum cocktails
Good rum and a decent amount of lime juice make the cocktail. The name is a reference to Cuba's quest for independence from the Spanish back at the turn of the 20th century.
4 people made this
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 measures white rum
MethodPrep:3min ›Ready in:3min
- Add lime juice and ice to a cocktail glass. Pour in rum and top off with Coca-Cola®. Stir and garnish with a slice of lime.
Cuba libre cocktail
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Easy Cuba Libre Cocktail Recipe
LAST UPDATED: November 2, 2019 PUBLISHED: October 28, 2019 By Pam Greer 4 Comments As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
It's amazing the difference that lime adds to a rum and coke! This Cuba Libre Cocktail use lime to balance the sweetness of the coke. It is so refreshing and so delicious!
This is a nod to the real Daiquiri, a drink that dates back to the 1800s and highlights Reserve Blend’s smooth versatility. Just so we’re clear – a Daiquiri is not a fluoro coloured slushy shot through with sweet and sour pre-mix and plastic rum. And it doesn’t get churned out of a machine like cement. A real Daiquiri is a three ingredient cocktail of great elegance and wonderful flavour. It’s odd to say anyone invented this drink. Its home, Cuba, is loaded down with rum, limes and sugar. They must have magnetised together very early on. Still, history tells us that the Daiquiri was invented around 1900 by Jennings Cox, an American mine manager working near the Cuban town of Daiquiri. he Daiquiri quickly swept across Cuba becoming part of the dynamic cocktail culture that later attracted so many Americans during Prohibition.
- 1 ½ parts Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
- 1 part fresh lime juice
- 1/6 part simple syrup
- Garnish: Orange peel or lime
Serve: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled Coupette or martini glass.
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Cuba Libre, two words that resonate like a cry for all Cubans. This cocktail is more than a century old, it symbolizes the loss of the island of Cuba by the Spanish Empire, which starts the last years of its undisputed reign on the world and on the seas, which began 4 centuries earlier in 1492 thanks to the discovery of the region by Christopher Columbus.
It also marks the end of the Cuban War of Independence that raged on the island between 1895 and 1898. This war opposed the Cuban liberation army (Ejército Libertador Cubano) led by the famous Simón Bolívar and assisted by the army of United States of America to the troops of the Spanish colonial empire of King Alfonso XIII. This war was the last Cuban uprising against the Spaniards.
The American soldiers then stationed in the capital of Havana used to consume local rum with lime and Coca-Cola, a relatively recent drink as it was invented in Bay City, Michigan a few years earlier in 1886 by the pharmacist John Pemberton.
What is the origin of Coca-Cola?
It was indeed at the end of the Civil War that veteran John Pemberton began to seek a solution to his addiction to morphine contracted after many pains and wounds of war. He then looked for a drink that could help him to gradually overcome his addiction.
This is how he discovered the invention of a Corsican pharmacist Angelo Mariani installed in Atlanta, the French Wine Coca, a mixture of Bordeaux wine and coca leaf.
After the Atlanta Mayor’s referendum of November 25, 1885, on the banning of alcohol, John Pemberton developed a version of the alcohol-free French Wine Coca that marked the beginning of a business empire now known and appreciated all around the world.
What is the history of Cuba Libre?
With a dazzling success, Coca-Cola quickly became essential on all American tables and more particularly among soldiers, who used to drink it with their ration of whiskey. They adapted this mixed drink to Cuba by replacing the whiskey with rum produced on the island.
The drink was prepared directly in a whiskey glass and legend has it that the phrase comes from an American soldier who ordered the cocktail and would have made a toast “Por Cuba Libre!” This sentence was known as a leitmotif among US troops.
However, the name of Cuba Libre would be older since a water and brown sugar based drink bearing the same name had already been known on the island for a few years.
Fausto Rodriguez, advertising manager for the Bacardi company, however, claimed to be present on the day of the creation of the cocktail. He was 14 years old at the time and worked for the signal corps of the US Army in Havana.
However, it was not until the American prohibition era in the 1920s that this cocktail became a real success. Cuba, then the backbone of the American mafia’s smuggling, became the main importer of illegal alcohol to the United States, and Cuba Libre became one of the most popular cocktails.
In 1945, the famous group The Andrews Sisters had huge success with their cover of the calypso song “Rum and Coca-Cola” written by Lord Invader. Later, with the Americans landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the Cuba Libre started to become popular in Europe.
With the Cuban revolution of 1959 and the embargo imposed on Cuba by the Americans, making Cuba Libre became impossible as you could not find the two main ingredients in both countries at the same time. The importation of Bacardi was prohibited on one side and the Coca-Cola on the other.
Today, the recipe is precisely codified as are most cocktails. It uses rum, usually Havana Club or Bacardi Gold, Coca-Cola, squeezed lime and ice cubes. According to Anthony Dias Blue, author of The Complete Book of Spirits (2004), Cuba Libre once contained a dose of gin, but this is no longer the case today.
Nowadays, every tourist who visits Cuba drinks Cuba Libre and if for them, this drink no longer represents the victory of Cubans over the Spanish, it nonetheless symbolizes festivities and pleasure.
Cuba Libre is believed to be the second most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, its popularity is probably due to the low cost of the main ingredients and the simplicity of its preparation.
- Serving Size: 1 (67 g)
- Calories 20.1
- Total Fat - 0.1 g
- Saturated Fat - 0 g
- Cholesterol - 0 mg
- Sodium - 1.3 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 7.1 g
- Dietary Fiber - 1.9 g
- Sugars - 1.1 g
- Protein - 0.5 g
- Calcium - 22.1 mg
- Iron - 0.4 mg
- Vitamin C - 19.5 mg
- Thiamin - 0 mg
Squeeze a lime into a Collins or highball glass.
Drop half the spent lime shell into the glass and muddle the oils into the lime juice.
Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke)
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Distinguished cocktail writer Dale DeGroff says Coca-Cola followed American soldiers to Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898, and—soldiers being soldiers—fortifying Coke with ubiquitous Cuban rum was only natural. “Cuba libre! (Free Cuba!)” was the rallying cry of Cubans (and probably some hammered U.S. soldiers) keen on overthrowing Spanish colonial rule. Technically, it’s the spritz of lime that distinguishes a Cuba Libre from a regular old Rum and Coke.
What to buy: Look for a Cuban-style rum, such as Lost Spirits Distillery’s 151 Proof Cuban Style Rum. Mexican Coke in the traditional bottle is believed to be sweetened with cane sugar, rather than the high-fructose corn syrup of American Coke. If nothing else, it just looks cooler on the bar.
Nutritional data has not been calculated yet.
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Cuba Libre Cocktail Recipe
The official recipe uses a highball or tom collins glass.
I prefer a shorter glass using the same amount of lime to make the cocktail less sweet from the Coca-Cola.
Also this recipe really needs fresh lime as you want the aroma and bitterness from the peel.
This is not the time to use the juice from the plastic lime or lime syrup.
History of the Cuba Libre
The term “Free Cuba” originated in the late-19th century as the Cuban people increasingly clamored for their independence from Spain. The Ten Years War (1868-1878) ensued during which independence fighters coined a drink called the “Cuba Libre,” a mixture of honey or molasses and water. A generic version of the native spirit rum was purportedly first used in combination.
The Cuban people eventually won their independence in 1898.
Towards the beginning of the 20th century the cocktail became increasingly popular in the United States. When Coca-Cola began sending its syrup to Cuba in the beginning of the 20th century the cocktail took on a life of its own. Shortly thereafter cola’s sweetness became a mainstay. In combination with the molasses-derived spirit rum and a splash of lime, the modern Cuba Libre was born.
Since U.S. and Cuban relations have soured, the Cuban brand tuKola has replaced Coca-Cola in Cuba.
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Serves 1
Ingredients US Metric
- 1 cup Ice cubes
- 1 1/2 ounces excellent quality light, gold, or dark rum
- Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
- 5 ounces Coca-Cola
- Lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the rum and lime juice, top off with Coca-Cola, and garnish with the wedge of lime. Sit back, sigh, and partake.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This Cuba Libre takes me back to our trip to Cuba. So good! I tried this recipe with the two different rums that I had on-hand: Havana Club 3-year and Havana Club 7-year. Both were delicious but the 7-year added a fuller, more robust flavor that we preferred. The lime was a large, juicy lime and it produced quite a bit of juice for half a lime. We used the whole amount but found the lime flavor to be a bit overpowering so to balance out the flavor we added a bit more rum and Coke and it was better balanced and perfect. A very refreshing cocktail.
Altering one ingredient transforms a rum and cola into a proper drink—the magic lime changes the sip into a refreshing one with the right balance. It takes 5 minutes to assemble your barware and serve. No advance fancy syrup to make and decant, just wash your lime and go! Having recently had rum and cola with just a wedge of lime, I was really surprised how the actual juicing of lime made the cola into something more pleasing and also less sweet. I like a long drink with substance and rum can provide that. You could play with darker rums in your Cuba Libre, but this is actually a really nice use of a lighter rum. I used Flor de Caña rum and a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola I had tucked away for just such a drink. You could make this an even longer drink with a taller highball glass. Mine was a 12-ounce glass, so filled with ice, the rum and lime, took 5 oz. to top off and seemed perfect. The extra garnish of lime wedge is a nice visual reminder.
This Cuba Libre is a refreshing cocktail that's a fresh take on a rum and Coke! It's easy to adjust to the taster's preference, which meant I made sure I got a full tablespoon of lime juice to 1/2 cup Coke and 1 1/2 ounces light rum. My husband preferred less lime and more Coke so I made his with a scant tablespoon of lime, 1 cup Coke, and 1 1/2 ounces light rum. I think mine was better!
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