The Cuba Libre is a simple yet refreshing and elegant cocktail. It’s basically a rum and coke but with just a little something more to give it that extra balance and hint of something exotic… lime juice. For the secret touch of The Tiki Bar Is Open that will make your Cuba Libre better than anyone else’s… add some Angastora Bitters.

Not to be outdone by other great cocktails, the Cuba Libre’s past has some mystery to it and accounts of it’s inception vary. What all stories seem to have in common is that the drink dates back to around 1900. As the name implies, it’s a Cuban cocktail but probably has some American influence (that would be the cola). 1900 is when Coca-Cola became available in Cuba. However, “Cuba Libre!” was the battle cry of the Cuba Liberation Army during the war of independence that ended in 1878. So, before cola it is likely the drink was originally made with cola nuts and coca before it was popularized (and much easier to make) with cola.
As Tiki Pop Culture grew in the US, so did the drink’s popularity. In 1945 The Andrews Sisters recorded a song named after the drink’s ingredients, “Rum and Coca-Cola.” Cola and rum were both cheap at the time too so this probably also contributed to the concoction’s popularity. It remains one of the most popular American drinks today.

Juice of 1/4 lemon wedge
3oz light rum (as always… I recommend Havana Club light rum but have found Seven Tiki Spiced rum makes a nice drink as well. Pick your poison!)
6oz Cola (regular Coke or Coke Zero recommended)
5 drops Angastora Bitters

Place two or three ice cubes in a tall glass.
Add rum
Add cola (important to add second so carbonation helps mix drink)
Squeeze in juice from lemon wedge
Add 5 drops of bitter
Stir lightly and garnish with a slice or two of lime.