Cuba Libre

How to Make the
Cuba Libre cocktail

Which rum is best for a Cuba Libre drink?

As its name easily decodes for folks, a Cuba Libre is most often associated with Rum from Cuba. Naturally, for many Americans who were unable to source best rum for cuba libre for decades following the 1959 Embargo, many have moved on from this preference and enjoy whatever rum is handy in the spectrum of lighter to medium in body.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple.

dos-maderas-5-3-bottle-cocktail-mobile

About Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum blends the lighter Baja Rum with the richer Guyana style and ages for 5 years in the Caribbean followed by 3 years in Jerez, Spain in Palo Cortado casks. The smooth character of the 5+3 is awash with pleasant vanilla, hazelnut, coconut and subtle maple. 

Cuba libre cocktail ingredients - coke and rum recipe

2 oz. Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum

1 fresh lime wedge

4-5 oz. Cola

Cuba Libre drink Recipe - Step by step how to prepare a Cuba Libre

1.

Chill a Double-Rocks or Highball glass

2.

Cut a lime wedge with a slit in the middle

3.

Add Rum to your chilled glass

4.

Fill with cracked ice

5.

Slowly pour in your Cola

6.

Garnish with your lime wedge

History of the Cuba Libre cocktail

The Cuba Libre Rum cocktail is perhaps arguably one of the most political of all drink names to come out of modern cocktail culture. It remains a stalwart reminder of colonialism and revolution and perhaps the drink of choice for many college students to this day. So dubbed during the Ten Years War from 1868-1878 when Cubans were struggling to gain independence from Spain, and slogans of “Free Cuba!” were shouted all along the streets. It wasn’t until 1898 when the drink found itself making its appearance in an American U.S. Army base in Jacksonville, Florida. Following a successful American invasion and break from Spanish claim, Cuba was consequently flooded by Americans and American businesses such as the brand new Coca-Cola Company who pressed hard to take over as the soda of choice for the popularly trending highball starting in 1902. With almost a century and a half of history, it’s pretty unique to have this deceptively simple delicious highball continue its dominance in bars around the world.

Dos-Maderas-rum-cocktail-Cuba-Libre-making-of-1
Dos-Maderas-rum-cocktail-Cuba-Libre-making-of-2

Tips for the Cuba Libre Cocktail

Tip 1: In the States, many colas including Coca-Cola have high-fructose corn syrup so most bartenders prefer to source Mexican Coke bottles which are made with less processed cane sugar. Other cane based colas also sub in well. In Cuba the cola of choice is TuKola. For a less sweet and more herbal flavor, try Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola.

Tip 2: For strict identity purposes, always include the lime wedge or a squeeze of lime in your drink or you risk just being deemed another ubiquitous Rum and Coke.

Tip 3: Pour your cola slowly in the edge of the glass to best retain the effervescence as long as possible. The colder your cola, the better this works.

Tips for the
Cuba Libre Cocktail

Tip 1: In the States, many colas including Coca-Cola have high-fructose corn syrup so most bartenders prefer to source Mexican Coke bottles which are made with less processed cane sugar. Other cane based colas also sub in well. In Cuba the cola of choice is TuKola. For a less sweet and more herbal flavor, try Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola.

Tip 2: For strict identity purposes, always include the lime wedge or a squeeze of lime in your drink or you risk just being deemed another ubiquitous Rum and Coke.

Tip 3: Pour your cola slowly in the edge of the glass to best retain the effervescence as long as possible. The colder your cola, the better this works.

Cuba Libre Variations and types

The most common riffs on a Rum Old Fashioned involve subbing in a different type of Bitters like Chocolate, Black Walnut or Habañero or a combination of multiple options. Other typical variations involve adjusting the sugar to a Demerara syrup or making an equal parts syrup rather than the more potent Rich (2:1) version or using alternative sweeteners like Maple or Honey. And of course, the most well loved of riffs involves smoking your Rocks glass for that heavenly savory aroma.

The San Francisco Cocktail Bar, The Interval, creates a proprietary recipe and serves their version on tap using Haitian Rum, Falernum, cola syrup and serves the drink over ice with a spent fresh lime shell.

Dubbed as an Improved Cuba Libre, this version gets the addition of both gin, Angostura bitters and extra lime to its mix as documented by writer Dave Stolte.

This variant of the simple highball originates in Louisiana, uses a split base of light and dark rums, subs the lime for lemon and includes the addition of grenadine and Absinthe for a more cherry/herbal cola vibe.

FAQ

The very fine line that separates the former from the latter is the addition of fresh lime whether as a wedge garnish or squeezed directly in the glass or both. While the difference may not account for a whole lot for most patrons, the historic significance of the name and its origins retain their weight over the decades.

The best glassware is a Double Rocks or Highball or Collins.

Like all Highball cocktails, ice is of utmost importance.

We can only conjecture the original mixer to be a Cuban sometime in the mid to late 1800’s.

Cocktails with Dos Maderas 5+3

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.