Cuba Libre

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lime wedge

  • 10 cl Cola
  • 5 cl White rum

The Cuba Libre (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkuβa ˈliβɾe], English: /ˈkjuːbə ˈliːbreɪ/, "Free Cuba") is a highball made of Cola, lime, and white rum. This highball is often referred to as a Rum and Coke or a Coke and Sugar in the United States and Canada, where the lime juice is optional.

Contents

History

Accounts of the invention of the Cuba Libre vary. One account claims that the drink (Spanish for Free Cuba) was invented in Havana, Cuba around 1901/1902. Patriots aiding Cuba during the Spanish-American War[citation needed] — and, later, expatriates avoiding Prohibition regularly mixed rum and Cola as a highball and a toast to this West Indies island.

The world's second most popular drink was born in a collision between the United States and Spain. It happened during the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century when Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and Americans in large numbers arrived in Cuba. One afternoon, a group of off-duty soldiers from the U.S. Signal Corps were gathered in a bar in Old Havana. Fausto Rodriguez, a young messenger, later recalled that Captain Russell came in and ordered Bacardi (Gold) rum and Coca-Cola on ice with a wedge of lime. The captain drank the concoction with such pleasure that it sparked the interest of the soldiers around him. They had the bartender prepare a round of the captain's drink for them. The Bacardi rum and Coke was an instant hit. As it does to this day, the drink united the crowd in a spirit of fun and good fellowship. When they ordered another round, one soldier suggested that they toast ¡Por Cuba Libre! in celebration of the newly freed Cuba. The captain raised his glass and sang out the battle cry that had inspired Cuba's victorious soldiers in the War of Independence.[1]

However, there are some problems with Bacardi's account, as the Spanish-American war was fought in 1898, Cuba's liberation was in 1898, and the Rough Riders left Cuba in September 1898,[2] but Coca-Cola was not available in Cuba until 1900.[3] According to a 1965 deposition by Fausto Rodriguez, the Cuba Libre was first mixed at a Cuban bar in August 1900 by a member of the U.S. Signal Corps, referred to as "John Doe".[4]

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