Cuba Libre

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The Cuba Libre is a Cocktail which consists of Rum, Coca Cola and lime juice. To make an authentic Cuba Libre, it would seem necessary to use Cuban rum. However, since it is illegal in the United States to import Cuban rum, most bartenders use Puerto Rican rum instead.


Historical Quotes


  • by Eleanor Early
  • Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company

Pg. 289 (HAVANA): "There is a bar at the airport, and the customs doctor bought me my first _Cuba Libre_, which is a drink that Cubans love, though I cannot tell you why. It is made of Bacardi and Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola kills the Bacardi, which makes it silly if you happen to like Bacardi."

12 July 1938, CATERING INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE, "Cocktails for Two by James E. Hickey," pg. 33, col. 2

"The Cuba Libre is zooming up to new popularity heights already this summer...It is rum and Coca-Cola, and the prim Coca-Cola people don't like the idea so much."

==="Vintage Cocktails" by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel (1999)=== is this a historical document? should we not be looking for the Charles Baker quote here rather than a report of it? "According to court documents filed many years after the fact, the first Cuba Libre was mixed in Cuba in August 1900.... While some experts assert that it didn't become popular until after World War II, our favorite intrepid imbiber Charles Baker reports that by the late 1920s it was ubiquitous from Palm Beach to Seattle."

Common Recipes

Trader Vic's Recipe #1

From "Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide" (1972)

  • 1 oz Philippine or light Puerto Rican rum
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime
  • Coca Cola

Squeeze lime jice into 12 oz chimney glass 3/4 full with ice cubes; save shell. Add rum. Add Coca Cola to fill 3/4 full. Stir lightly. Add spent shell.

Trader Vic's Recipe #2

From "Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide" (1972)

  • 1 Lime
  • 2 oz Light Puerto Rican rum
  • Coca Cola

Cut lime and squeeze juice into highball glass, dropping in shells. Muddle lime shells. Add ice cubes to nearly full and rum. Fill with Coca Cola.

  • Build
  • 1 1/2 oz light rum
  • Fill with ice, Cola
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Serve in a tall glass

Recipe: Dale DeGroff

  • 2 oz. Cuban Rum
  • Coca Cola
  • Lime wedge

Pour the rum over ice in the highball glass and fill with Coca Cola. Squeeze in a lime wedge.

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