The Coast Lines & Tan Lines blog inspired today’s video. The Cuba Libre was the original name for today’s popular Rum and Cola. The cocktail was invented in Cuba around 1900 when American’s brought Coca Cola to Cuba. Cuba Libre, meaning “free Cuba”, was a popular saying in Cuba around that time because the country has just gained its independence.
In 1945 the Andrews Sisters helped the Rum and Coke gain popularity with their number two hit song, Rum and Coca Cola. Check it out on Youtube. It’s a fun little song to listen to while drinking your Cuba Libre.
A Rum and Coke make not seem very Tiki. However, this cocktail did seem exotic at the time it was invented. Most Rum and Cokes served today don’t come with a fresh lime wedge, but that is a key ingredient to the Cuba Libre. I picked up some Key Limes for my Cuba Libre, but regular Persian limes work great too.
A key component to the original Cuba Libre was Coca Cola made with real sugar. Here in the U.S. our Coke is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup. So to get closer to the original Coke look for Mexican Coke at the grocery store. The real sugar makes a difference. The other key component is to use a rum like the one used around 1900 in Cuba. Since Cuban Rum isn’t available in the U.S. Havana Club is out. As I understand it Bacardi Gold is the next closest thing.
To Make a Cuba Libre you will need:
- 2 oz Havana Club or Bacardi Gold Rum
- 1 Key lime or 2 lime wedges
- 4 oz Mexican Coke (or Coke made with Sugar)
Cut the Key Lime in half and place it in the glass. Muddle the key lime gently to squeeze some of the juice and also release the oils from the skin of the lime. Next, add about 1 cup of ice to the glass. Add the rum, and then top with the Cola. Stir and enjoy!
The Cuba Libre has a nice lime flavor to it and the Mexican Coke makes it a little sweeter. The Mexican Coke tastes spicier than American coke, and it has a bit of an herbal flavor. This is a refreshing little cocktail.