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The History of the Cuba Libre "Rum & Coke"

Updated: Feb 22

The History of the Cuba Libre, also known as "rum and coke," is a popular cocktail that has been enjoyed for over a century. This iconic drink is believed to have originated in Cuba during the late 19th century, and it has since become a staple in bars and restaurants around the world. In this blog, we will explore the history of the Cuba Libre, its ingredients, and how it became the beloved cocktail that it is today.

The Origins of the Cuba Libre.

two guys in a tiki bar drinking rum The History of the Cuba Libre "Rum & Coke"

The Cuba Libre was first created during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Cuba was fighting for its independence from Spain, and American soldiers were sent to help in the conflict. It is said that one night, a group of American soldiers mixed Coca-Cola, a popular new soft drink at the time, with local rum and lime to celebrate their victory. They named the drink the "Cuba Libre," which means "Free Cuba" in Spanish, in honour of the country they were fighting for.

The Ingredients of the Cuba Libre:

The traditional recipe for a Cuba Libre calls for rum, Coca-Cola, and a squeeze of lime. The type of rum used can vary, but it is typically a light or gold rum. The Coca-Cola used in the drink should be made with real cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup, for a more authentic taste. A wedge of lime is squeezed into the drink before serving, giving it a refreshing citrus flavour.

The Popularity of the Cuba Libre:

The Cuba Libre quickly became a popular drink in Cuba and the United States. During Prohibition in the 1920s, Americans would travel to Cuba to drink and gamble, and the Cuba Libre became a favourite among these tourists. The drink was also popularised in American movies and television shows, cementing its place in popular culture.

In recent years, the Cuba Libre has seen a resurgence in popularity, with bartenders putting their own spin on the classic recipe. Some variations include using different types of rum, adding bitters or other liqueurs, and using different types of soda, such as ginger ale or tonic water.

The Cuba Libre is a timeless cocktail with a rich history. Its origins can be traced back to the Spanish-American War, and it has since become a beloved drink around the world. With its simple yet delicious ingredients, it's no wonder that the Cuba Libre has stood the test of time and continues to be a favourite among cocktail enthusiasts. So the next time you're at a bar or restaurant, consider ordering a Cuba Libre and raise a glass to its long and storied history.

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