Last Updated July 7th, 2021 at 10:28 pm by Lisa
Cuba Libre is a famous Cuban cocktail similar to Rum and Coke. During my trip to Cuba, I learned how they make them in a uniquely Cuban way!
The Mojito, The Daiquiri, and The Cuba Libre all were originally created in Cuba with a lot of history for these drinks. Hotels and bars are famous for serving particular cocktails and the bartenders are highly skilled professionals. I was lucky enough to learn some of their secrets, and will share them with you.
This drink is well over 100 years old. It has quenched the thirst of travelers and people around the world who enjoy this classic cocktail. It is simple yet sublime...
You Will Need
- 1-2 ounces light or dark rum (Puerto Rico Bacardi is closest to Cuban rum)
- Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico (as used in Cuba)
- Lime wedges
- Fill a tall glass with ice, then squeeze the lime in.
- Add rum 1-2 shots of good rum, and top with Coca-Cola.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
Lime Juice adds a tangy zing and balance to the sweetness of the Coke.
Coca-Cola ~ Look for Coca-Cola soda made in Mexico. It is sweeter, and not easy to find in stores, but you can order it on Amazon. In Cuba, they can't buy US bottles of Coke, so this is one of the authentic tips for this drink.
Rum ~ Both light and dark rums can be used. Havana Club rum is sold and everywhere in Cuba.
Lime Garnish ~ By the way, in Cuba they do not use mint as a garnish on a Cuba Libre, I have seen a lot of that online but that is not how it's done in Cuba. They do use colorful straws sometimes, but keep it simple with just the lime they squeeze in, or a zested round of lime.
A Word About Rum
Rum is a liquor made by fermenting then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels.
I toured where sugar cane was grown and processed, and we sampled the sugar cane juice. Rum, a distilled liquor made from sugarcane products, is produced as a by-product of sugar manufacturing. There are both light-bodied rums, typified by those of Cuba and Puerto Rico and the heavier and fuller-flavored rums of Jamaica.
My Travel Photos
Memories Of Cuba
The drinks in the collage above are the Cuba Libres I sipped in Cuba when I first arrived, it's called "research"! There are so many things to love about Cuba, it is an intoxicating country of contrasts. Of course, you know about the colorful classic cars and cigars. Some of my favorite memories are that Cubans love their families, and take their time doing things. They have extremely talented artists, and everyone works at something. There is no "fast service", nothing is rushed. You wait for food and drink, but it's worth the wait.
The food was surprisingly delicious, I tried many dishes in the 3 weeks of my travels, and there are strong Spanish and French influences in their cuisine. Some of my favorite dishes were; Croquettes, Paella, Cuban Sandwich, Malangas "fritters", Tapas, Ajicao (Cuba's national dish), Ropa Vieja-shredded beef, and Congri -mixed black beans and rice.
The internet was quite undependable, but we loved the disconnect. Everything is swept so clean, and the Cuban people are so kind and take pride in their homes with lovely gardens. The older buildings are sometimes crumbling, and I saw one literally held up by old trees that grew inside the structure. When they finally fall, a new park is usually created for the neighborhood to gather. It is common to see Cuban neighbors sharing a bottle of rum, no cups or ice just sipping it, listening to great music, and always dancing.
The Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War and was signed on December 10, 1898. In it, Spain renounced all claims to Cuba. The origin of the Cuba Libre dates back to the war, where, as the story goes, American soldiers were in a Cuban bar, a Captain in the US Army stationed in Havana ordered a rum and Coca-Cola, and toasted Cuban friends with the words por Cuba libre meaning “Free Cuba". The toast named the drink...
My Other Cuban Cocktail
A Cuban Mojito recipe I also learned to make just for you...
- 1 slice lime juice
- 1-2 shots dark or white rum good US or Puerto Rican brand, Cubans typically use Havana Club 3 year white rum
- Coca-Cola-Bottled in Mexico
- 2 slices lime wedge garnish
- In a glass, add ice and a squeeze of lime. Next, add 1-2 shots dark or white rum.
- Add a few more ice cubes, and top with chilled Coca Cola. In Cuba they don't add lots of ice.
- Garnish with a lime, you can zest it in strips, then slice into wedges.