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 and it is the national drink of Cuba.
The Mojito, The Daiquiri, and The Cuba Libre all come from Cuba and bring a lot of history with the creation of these cocktail recipes. Hotels and bars have become famous for mixing popular drinks for thirsty tourists. The bartenders are highly skilled professionals, and I have some of their secrets to share 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. With the addition of fresh lime juice, it is simple yet sublime...
⬆ Cuba Libre Video ⬆
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 highball glass with ice, then squeeze the lime in.
- Add rum 1-2 shots of good rum, and top with Coca-Cola.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Cuba Libre Cocktail Recipe
Lime Juice adds a tangy zing and balance to the sweetness of the cola.
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 aged rum work well in this coke cocktail. Havana Club rum is easy to find and buy everywhere in Cuba. In the United States, Bacardi rum is a good brand.
Lime Garnish ~ By the way, in Cuba, they do not use mint as a garnish on a Cuba Libre. This drink is often has a piece of mint for online photos in the United States, but that is not authentic. 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 Cuban Rum
Rum is a liquor created by fermenting then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels.
While in Cuba, I took a tour on a farm that grows and processes sugar cane. And we each took a sip of the sugar cane juice.
Rum is a distilled liquor made from sugarcane products. It is produced as a by-product of sugar manufacturing, one of Cubas leading industries
The Cuban sugar economy is the principal agricultural economy in Cuba. Throughout history, the Cuban economy heavily relied on sugar exports, however sugar production has declined over the decades.
Cuba and Puerto Rico are known for their light-body rums. The fuller-flavored higher proof rums are widely produced in Jamaica and the Caribbean islands.
My Travel Photos
Memories Of Cuba
Cuba Libre cocktails in this photo collage are from my trip to Cuba when I first arrived in Havana. It is culinary "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. "Fast service" is not part of the Cuban way, there is no rush. 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 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. Homes and buildings do occasionally collapse, so they clear the land and new parks are ready for the neighborhood to gather and socialize. 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.
Cuba Libre FAQ
The Treaty of Paris was the end of the Spanish-American War and was signed on December 10, 1898. In it, Spain renounced all claims to Cuba formerly under Spanish rule.
The origin of the Cuba Libre dates back to the Ten Years 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 helped name the drink and celebrates Cuban independence to this day.
My Other Cuban Cocktail
A Cuban Mojito recipe I also learned to make just for you... from my adventure trip in Cuba. Enjoy, I share all my cocktail tips and photos from my trip.
More Cocktails and Drinks
Cuba Libre Cocktails (Cuban Rum and Coke)
- 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.