Back in college, we knew Cuba Libre by its American name, rum and Coke, or rum Coke. No lime wedge; just rum and Coca-cola mixed together with no particular rule as to proportion. It was cheaper than beer and, in those days when good-time budget was low, rum Coke made sense.
Story has it that the drink we know as Cuba libre was born in Havana and its name coined by resistance fighters during the Spanish-American War. While it is true that a drink called Cuba libre was already around in 1898, it was not a cocktail drink but a mixture of water and brown sugar.
1900 is generally accepted to be the year when Coca-cola was introduced to Cuba by American soldiers, and the birth of the cocktail drink made by mixing Coca-cola and light rum. Who exactly came up with the idea of mixing the two together is a subject of debate.
As for the drink itself, while light rum and Coca-cola were the original ingredients, know that any kind of rum can be substituted. And the cola can be some other soda drink. Even the addition of lime juice appears to be optional.
Full recipe below
- juice from half a lime
- ice cubes
- lime wedges
- 2 oz. rum
- 4 oz. Coca-cola
- Squeeze the juice from half a lime directly into a glass.
- Drop the ice cubes into the glass along with the lime wedges.
- Pour in rum and Coca-cola.
- Serve and enjoy.