Are we in Cuba? Cause this classic Recipe for Cuba Libre will make you feel like you are! Refreshing, light and delicious, this cocktail is a classic for a reason!
Pinch me. Or don’t! Because this Recipe for Cuba Libre makes me feel like I’m sitting in a pool somewhere in Cuba sipping on the country’s most loved cocktail. In reality, it’s *just* a Rum and Coke, some might argue. But me? I say the Cuban Rum reeeally sets this one apart from just *any* Rum and Coke. So, once you get your hands on some Cuban Rum, join me in making this refreshing cocktail. It’s perfect for those hot Summer days, whether you happen to be lucky enough to be in Cuba, or not.
I’ve been to Cuba many a-times and I feel like I’d almost be committing a crime if I said I didn’t have my fair share of Cuba Libres all of those times. It’s the classic cocktail of Cuba and IMHO, you can’t be sitting by the beach or the pool or listening to the live Salsa band while having dinner without one in hand. But, I mean, sometimes we can’t just up and go to Cuba whenever we want, now can we? Well, that’s where this Recipe for Cuba Libre comes in. Better known as a Rum and Coke. Or a Rum and Coke, with Lime. Specifically, a nice Cuban Rum and Coke, with Lime.
No matter what you want to call it, this is the Cocktail of the Summer. Or the Winter, if that’s when you happen to be reading this. Either way, prepare your tastebuds for a travel experience they didn’t know they signed up for!
WHY IS IT CALLED CUBA LIBRE?
For those of y’all that know a bit of Spanish, you might know that the literal translation for “Cuba Libre” is “Free Cuba”. Although it’s a known fact that this worldwide famous cocktail was indeed invented in Cuba dating as far back as the 1900s (after the Spanish-American war), it’s a little unclear how exactly it came to be. One well known story I think is worth a mention: A group of off duty U.S. soldiers went out for some drinks in Old Havana one day. When the captain added a squeeze of lime and some coke to his Bacardi, he toasted to the bar “Por Cuba Libre!” (for the freedom of Cuba). And just like that and all these decades later, almost everyone automatically knows what you’re referring to when you order a Cuba Libre at any bar around the world.
However, it is said that Coca Cola wasn’t readily available in Cuba until 1900. Since the Spanish-American war ended in 1898 and that’s when the captain would have added the coke and lime to his Bacardi, it remains a mystery if that’s actually how this well known drink got its name afterall. Either way, I’m cheersing to whoever and however it came to be! Bottoms up!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE AN AUTHENTIC CUBA LIBRE
It takes virtually no time, effort or ingredients to whip up this simple yet refreshing cocktail. Let’s talk about the ingredients in a little bit more detail down below:
- The Rum: The most important part of this simple cocktail IMHO and what sets it apart from your regular Rum and Coke. There are several varieties of Cuban Rum to choose from. The good news is that many of those don’t require a plane ticket to Cuba to get. You can use dark rum or light rum, depending on your preference. One ounce for a lighter version or two ounces for a well balanced *proper* cocktail 😉
- The Coke: Good old regular Coke works best in this recipe. You can try using diet, sugar free or natural versions, if that’s what gets your flag up the flagpole.
- The Lime: Many people argue that the freshly squeezed Lime Juice is what actually sets a Cuba Libre apart from a regular old Rum and Coke. Fresh lime juice squeezed from a wedge of lime works best. The acid from the squeeze of lime pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the coke and the boldness of the rum, giving this cocktail the most perfect refreshing balance.
- Ice: Keeps the drink cold, refreshing and delicious. I love filling my glass all the way up to the brim before adding any of the other ingredients. It’s the bartender in me. Use however much ice you prefer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Cuba Libre is a classic simple cocktail invented in Cuba after the Spanish-American war. It’s literal translation is u0022Free Cuba.u0022 You might better know it as a good old Rum and Coke. But Cuba Libre more specifically refers to a (cuban) Rum and Coke with freshly squeezed lime juice.
To many people, it’s the addition of that freshly squeezed lime juice that really sets a Cuba Libre apart from the very similar rum and coke. To me, it’s the Cuban Rum that makes a Cuba Libre distinctively different from a rum and coke made with a different kind of rum.
There’s no real right answer here! The rum you use is highly based on preference. Try it with gold, white, dark, amber, black…whatever you have in the liquor cabinet at home. To keep things authentic, any kind of Cuban Rum is the way to go!
- 2 oz. Cuban Rum of Choice
- 4-6 oz. Coke, to taste
- Squeeze of Fresh Lime
- Extra Lime Wedge, for garnish
- Fill a tall or highball glass with ice.
- Add the Rum.
- Top with desired amount of coke.
- Add a squeeze some fresh lime juice.
- Stir and garnish with another wedge of lime. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 4gSugar: 77gProtein: 9g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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