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Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre is a classic for a reason, with its refreshing blend of rum, cola, and lime juice. Legend has it that the Cuba Libre was invented during the Spanish-American War, when American soldiers stationed in Cuba mixed Coca-Cola with Bacardi rum and lime juice to toast to a free Cuba. 

Cuba Libre

Today, the Cuba Libre is enjoyed all over the world, with variations that range from simple to complex. Whether you prefer yours with a splash of grenadine or a dash of bitters, the Cuba Libre is a versatile cocktail that can be customized to suit your taste. Whether you’re sipping one on a hot summer day or enjoying one with friends at a party, the Cuba Libre is a timeless drink that’s sure to please.


The Cuba Libre cocktail has a fascinating history dating back to the early 20th century, stemming from its creation in Havana, Cuba, after the Spanish-American War in 1898. American soldiers stationed in Cuba combined Bacardí rum with Coca-Cola and a touch of lime, coining it the “Cuba Libre,” meaning “Free Cuba” in Spanish, to celebrate the country’s newfound independence. This refreshing concoction swiftly gained popularity in both Cuba and the United States and eventually found its way to international bars. Today, it ranks among the world’s most beloved alcoholic beverages.

two glasses of cuba libre with lime slices

Bacardí, the rum of choice in the original Cuba Libre recipe, played a significant role in the drink’s history. Founded in Santiago de Cuba in 1862, Bacardí became a globally renowned rum producer. The company also supported the Free Cuba movement, with its rum often used in toasts to the nation’s independence. Despite facing challenges, such as the Cold War-era embargo on Cuba, hindering ingredient imports, the Cuba Libre endures as a symbol of unity and a call for change, cherished by people worldwide.

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How to Make It

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

As mentioned earlier on, this cocktail is one of the easiest to make.

You won’t need to be an expert mixer or seasoned barman to put together a quality Rum and Coke, but you will still need to get the measurements right in order to enjoy the drink as it should be.

The recipe below should fill a standard highball glass.


  • 4 oz (120ml) of cola
  • 1.5 oz (50ml) of white rum
  • A lime wedge


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour the rum and cola into the glass.
  3. Squeeze the fresh lime juice into the glass and stir well.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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The Cuba Libre is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for over a century. While the original recipe calls for rum, Coca-Cola, and lime, there are many variations to this beloved drink that you can try. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular Cuba Libre variations.

Gold Rum

One simple variation of the Cuba Libre is to use gold rum instead of white rum. Gold rum is aged in barrels, which gives it a more complex flavor profile than white rum. The result is a Cuba Libre that has a richer and more robust taste. If you want to try a Cuba Libre with gold rum, we recommend using Bacardi Gold.

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RUM , coctail cuba libra, rum and cola cuba libre with lime and Ice into the glass beaker closeup

Amber Rum

Another popular variation of the Cuba Libre is to use amber rum. Amber rum is also aged in barrels, but for a longer period of time than gold rum. This gives it a more intense flavor and a darker color. If you want to try a Cuba Libre with amber rum, we recommend using Havana Club Añejo 7 Años.

Other Variations

There are many other variations of the Cuba Libre that you can try. Some people like to add a splash of bitters to their Cuba Libre for a more complex flavor. Others like to add a dash of grenadine for a touch of sweetness. You can also experiment with different types of cola to see which one you like best. Some popular options include Pepsi, RC Cola, and Fentimans Curiosity Cola.

rum and coke with lime

What is the origin of the Cuba Libre cocktail?

According to Distiller, the Cuba Libre cocktail was born during a golden time in Cuba-United States relations in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. It is said that American soldiers stationed in Cuba would mix their Coca-Cola with local rum as a way to enjoy a refreshing and potent beverage.
The name “Cuba Libre” means “Free Cuba” in Spanish, which was a popular slogan during the Cuban War of Independence.

What is the difference between a Cuba Libre and a Rum and Coke?

A Cuba Libre and a Rum and Coke are essentially the same drink, with one key difference: lime juice.
A Cuba Libre includes lime juice, while a Rum and Coke does not. The lime juice adds a refreshing citrus flavor and balances out the sweetness of the Coca-Cola.

See also  Rum Negroni

What is the recipe for a Virgin Cuba Libre?

A Virgin Cuba Libre, also known as a “mocktail,” is a non-alcoholic version of the classic cocktail.
To make a Virgin Cuba Libre, simply omit the rum and replace it with an equal amount of cola. Add lime juice to taste and garnish with a lime wedge.

What is the pronunciation of Cuba Libre?

The correct pronunciation of Cuba Libre is “KOO-buh LEE-bray.”

What is the meaning of Cuba Libre in slang?

In slang, “Cuba Libre” can be used as a phrase to express freedom or independence. It can also refer to the cocktail itself.

What type of alcohol is used in a Cuba Libre?

Traditionally, a Cuba Libre is made with light or dark rum. However, some variations of the cocktail may use spiced rum or even aged rum for a more complex flavor.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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