The Story Behind The Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre’s history is rich in irony. Legend has it that, during the Spanish-American war, a U.S. army captain stationed in Havana mixed up the concoction as a toast to Cuba’s freedom. The cocktail is now caught in a tangled political web that prevents one of its key ingredients, Coca-Cola, from being sold on the island where it originated.

A beachy twist on the Rum and Coke, it’s fresh lime juice that gives the Cuba Libre its signature punch. The citrus also helps mellow the sweetness of cola and gives depth to the smoky caramel and vanilla goodness of fine rum.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 4 ounces Coca-Cola
  • 2 lime wedges

Directions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Add the rum followed by the Coca-Cola.
  3. Squeeze in the juice of one lime wedge and add it to the glass.
  4. Stir gently and garnish with the other lime wedge.

Rate This Recipe:

(69 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 207
Updated: 2022-08-01

The Cuba Libre Recipe

Cuba Libre FAQ

Is a Cuba Libre the same as a Rum and Coke?

While made with both rum and Coca-Cola, a Cuba Libre adds freshly squeezed lime juice to the mixture.

Why is it called a Cuba Libre?

As the story goes, during the Spanish-American war, a U.S. army captain stationed in Havana poured Coca-Cola and lime juice into his glass of rum before shouting in a toast, “¡Por Cuba Libre!,” which translates to, “For a free Cuba!”

How much alcohol does a Cuba Libre have?

A Cuba Libre contains two ounces of rum and comes in at around 11 percent ABV.