Learn how to make a delicious Cuba Libre in mere minutes … it’s like a classic Rum and Coke, but so much better!
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Are you a Rum and Coke fan?
Although I’ve had one or two over the years, the drink has never been a favorite of mine. It’s always seemed a little too basic and boring, if you know what I mean. Not to mention, super sweet.
When I was in Puerto Rico recently, I finally came to appreciate this simple cocktail. My husband and I took a mixology class at Casa Bacardí, and it was sooo fun! While there, we learned to make three classic rum drinks (Mojito, anyone?) … one of which was a Cuba Libre.
A Cuba Libre is basically a Rum and Coke, but better! It’s just as quick and easy to make as the classic though, and I’m going to show you how.
Cuba Libre Drink
As you can probably guess from the name, this drink has its origins in Cuba (though the history is a bit tangled). And it’s a favorite for a reason: it easy to make, affordable, tastes delicious, and goes down easy!
Although the names Cuba Libre and Rum and Coke are often used interchangeably, there is a slight, but very important, difference between the two.
A Cuba Libre is not just rum and coke. It’s made with fresh lime juice, and that simple addition makes a world of difference. The lime cuts down on the sticky sweetness of the drink and adds flavor, too.
Using a darker, aged rum also reduces sweetness, and elevates this simple drink into something a little more special … the perfect cocktail for hot summer afternoons, if you ask me!
Cuba Libre Ingredients
The ingredients for this cocktail couldn’t be more basic. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh Lime Juice
Simple right? But to really elevate this drink, you want to use a good rum. Although you can use clear rum, a darker aged rum is preferred. Avoid spiced rum. At the mixology class I took, we used Bacardí Gold. I used Ron del Barrilito, my fave Puerto Rican rum, at home though.
And although I usually drink Diet Coke, I actually prefer regular Coke here … it’s up to you though.
How to Make a Cuba Libre Cocktail
Let’s talk about how to make this Cuba Libre recipe. It really is so easy … once you make a drink or two, you won’t even need a recipe!
The first thing you’ll want to do is fill a tall highball (or Collins glass) with ice.
Next, cut a medium-sized, juicy lime into six wedges. Squeeze two of the wedges over the ice, getting out all the juice. Then, drop the wedges into your glass.
If you prefer, you can use more lime. Some recipes call for a whole lime, so it’s really up to you.
Next, you’re going to add 1 1/2 ounces of rum to your glass.
And again, make sure to avoid cheap, sweet rums.
After you’ve added the rum, fill your glass with Coke.
Looks good, but we’re not quite done!
For the finishing touch, grab another lime wedge and rub it over the rim of your glass.
Then, you can either drop the wedge into the glass, or use it to garnish your drink.
To use the lime as a garnish, cut a small slit in the middle of the wedge. Or do what I did, and slice in between the pith and the fruit.
I love a fun garnish, and that upright wedge looks so jaunty perched on the edge of my Cuba Libre, doesn’t it?
Okay, your Cuba Libre cocktail is ready to drink!
This simple drink takes five minutes max to make and couldn’t be more refreshing. It’s perfect for hot summer days, although certainly tasty year round, too.
I hope you enjoy this cocktail just as much as I do. Cheers!
- 1 medium lime, cut into 6 wedges
- 1 1/2 ounces rum
- Fill a highball or Collins glass with ice.
- Squeeze two lime wedges over ice, then drop limes into glass.
- Pour rum into glass, then fill with Coca-Cola.
- Rub a lime wedge over rim of glass, then use to garnish drink. (Reserve remaining wedges for another drink.)
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Love this elevated Rum and Coke?
If you enjoyed this Cuba Libre recipe, then you’ll want to try these cocktails, too:
- Strawberry Mojito
- Blueberry Mojito
- Rum Old Fashioned
- Easy Chelada Recipe
- Spicy Paloma Cocktail
- Cherry Smash Cocktail
- Easy Beergaritas
- Strawberry Mint Gin and Tonic
What is your favorite classic cocktail?