Have a Drink: Cuba Libre
Cuba Libre cocktail | Relampago’s Rating:
Cuba Libres are basically a Rum and Coke with some lime added. They’re a popular cocktail down here in the Caribbean. According to Bacardi, it has an interesting history:
The world’s second most popular drink was born in a collision between the United States and Spain. It happened during the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century when Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and Americans in large numbers arrived in Cuba. One afternoon, a group of off-duty soldiers from the U.S. Signal Corps were gathered in a bar in Old Havana. Fausto Rodriguez, a young messenger, later recalled that Captain Russell came in and ordered Bacardi (Gold) rum and Coca-Cola on ice with a wedge of lime. The captain drank the concoction with such pleasure that it sparked the interest of the soldiers around him. They had the bartender prepare a round of the captain’s drink for them. The Bacardi rum and Coke was an instant hit. As it does to this day, the drink united the crowd in a spirit of fun and good fellowship. When they ordered another round, one soldier suggested that they toast ¡Por Cuba Libre! in celebration of the newly freed Cuba. The captain raised his glass and sang out the battle cry that had inspired Cuba’s victorious soldiers in the War of Independence.
As we all know, Cuba was not always the authoritarian, socialist dictatorship it is today. Up through the 1959 victory of Fidel Castro, it was a prosperous, capitalistic paradise. Putting politics aside, the simple fusion of these three simple ingredients make for a tasty and refreshing weekend cocktail:
- Ice cubes
- 2 oz. rum
- 4 oz. cola
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice cubes. Pour the rum and cola beverage into the glass. Stir in the lime juice, and serve.
Of course, the Cuba Libre’s sister is the Santo Libre, which is a bit tastier, at least to me.
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