Legend has it this is a war drink! It’s first creation dates back to the late 19th/early 20th century during the Spanish-American War. The legend goes like this: the American soldiers were celebrating Cuba liberation in one of the local bars and their captain ordered a drink including the popular Coke, rum, a bit of lime and of course ice. The captain liked the drink so much he encouraged the others to try it as well. Not before long everyone was drinking this newly-discovered drink, shouting “Por Cuba Libre!” (To free Cuba!) And this is how the so-popular Cuba Libre cocktail was born.
I have tried many varieties for you featuring different rums (I had to work had on this one :-D). I have tested Bacardi 8 Y.O., Doorly’s 3 Y.O. White, Diplomático Mantuano, Myers’s Rum Original Dark, Havana Club Anejo 3 Anos and Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva. It is true this cocktail usually features a white rum (especially Havana or Bacardi), but I preferred the Venezuelan Diplomático Mantuano. I have to say I tried it multiple times and it does lift this quite basic drink to a whole new level.
To make this cocktail, you do not need countless ingredients or sophisticated methods. You can find numerous recipes with different ratios. This is what I like best:
- 5 cl Diplomático Mantuano
- 12 cl Coca-Cola (I tried Zero as well and it is not half bad)
- 1pc lime and a slice of lemon
Highball Glass is an ideal for this drink (a taller, tube-like glass of approx. 250 ml, heavy bottom). I also like Lynchburg Lemonade glassware with a handle, it is the right size and fits nicely in your hand. Put ice-cubes in the glass, alternating ice and slices/bits of 1/2 a lime and a slice of lemon (do not hold back on the ice). Squeeze the other half of the lime into the glass, add rum, stir with a long spoon and top with Coke. Ideally a tiny bit under the top of the glass. Decorate with a slice of lime and serve. Coke is a bit too sweet for me, so I add more lime and a bit of lemon to make the drink more refreshing :-).
This is one of the easiest cocktails to make that I know of. Everyone can make it, the ingredients are available for reasonable prices. If you like Coke with rum, you probably like this cocktail too. If you prefer a less sweet version, add more lime juice, lemon and Coke Zero. Try mixing different rums and let me know which you liked the most.