Looking to impress someone with your knowledge of history while also displaying a false proclivity towards drink culture? The next time you’re in the mood for the standard rum and coke, order its Cuban twin, the Cuba Libre, while trying to look sophisticated. You might also hope the other person hasn’t read this article.
The Cuba Libre differentiates itself by calling for fresh lime juice, giving the drink a more exotic flavor. Although the exact origin is disputed, the most widely accepted recount starts in a Cuban bar in the early 1900s. An American captain is said to have requested his favorite Bacardi rum be mixed with Coca-Cola, which had recently been introduced to the island. The drink was an instant hit, and has snowballed in popularity into what many today consider the world’s most popular cocktail.
Variations include the Cuba Pintada (one part rum, two parts club soda and just enough cola to tint coloring), Cuba Campechana (one part rum, equal parts club soda and cola) and the Witch Doctor (dark rum and Dr. Pepper instead). To spice up — or actually bitter down — the original, you can simply drop the lime shell over the ice cubes after squeezing.
2 ounces light rum
10 ounces Coca-Cola
1. Fill a glass with ice and squeeze the lime juice over the cubes. Drop the remaining wedge if you desire.
2. Add the light rum first, then fill the remainder of the glass with the cola.
3. Give the mixture a gentle stir and enjoy.