Cuba Libre – The Classic Rum Cocktail You Need to Try

A Cuba Libre cocktail offers a refreshing mix of rum, Coke, and lime, a combination that has delighted drinkers for over a century. This simple yet flavorful drink carries a rich history dating back to the Spanish-American War, symbolizing a toast to Cuba’s freedom.

With its easy preparation and historical significance, a Cuba Libre fits any occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or a casual drinker, this classic cocktail is worth exploring.


To prepare a Cuba Libre, you need minimal equipment. Gather a highball glass, a citrus juicer, a bar spoon, and a jigger for measuring. These tools ensure precision and help in achieving the classic taste of this cocktail.


A Cuba Libre requires just three ingredients:

  • Rum: 2 ounces, preferably a light or white rum
  • Coca-Cola: 4 ounces
  • Lime: Juice from 1/4 of a lime, plus an extra wedge for garnish

The light rum and Coca-Cola provide the base, while the lime adds a refreshing twist.


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Add the rum using a jigger.
  3. Squeeze in the juice from a quarter lime.
  4. Pour the Coca-Cola to top up the glass.
  5. Stir gently with a bar spoon.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge by placing it on the rim or dropping it into the drink.

Enjoy your perfectly balanced Cuba Libre.

Tasting Notes

The Cuba Libre offers a harmonious blend. You’ll notice the sweetness of Coca-Cola paired with the smooth warmth of rum. The fresh lime juice brings a zesty, citrusy edge. This combination produces a refreshing and slightly tangy beverage that is both simple and complex.

Similar Cocktails

Other similar cocktails include:

  • Rum and Coke: Similar but usually without the lime.
  • Daiquiri: Includes rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  • Caipirinha: Made with cachaça, sugar, and lime.

Each of these cocktails provides a unique twist on the rum and lime combination.


The Cuba Libre has historical significance. It originated around the early 1900s, during the Cuban War of Independence. The name means “Free Cuba,” celebrating Cuba’s independence from Spain. This cocktail’s popularity spread quickly, making it a symbol of freedom and celebration.

Quick Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best taste.
  • Chill the Coca-Cola beforehand to maintain a cold drink.
  • Experiment with different types of rum to vary the flavor profile.
  • Consider using crushed ice for a different texture.

When to Serve

The Cuba Libre is extremely versatile. Serve it at:

  • Parties: Its simplicity makes it easy to prepare in large quantities.
  • Barbecues: Refreshing on a hot day.
  • Casual gatherings: Its universal appeal makes it suitable for most occasions.
  • Evenings out: Enjoy as a starter to a night out or a relaxing evening at home.

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