Have you ever had a Cuba libre? Chances are you have, but you’re just not aware. I’ll rephrase that – Have you ever had a rum and coke? If the answer to that is ‘yes’, then you have had a Cuba libre! more...
Cuba libre is much more than a drink, and an international one at that, it is actually a symbol of free Cuba, and one with much history attached to it.
See, you never thought you were being all historical and educational when you last had that drink, did you?
For those who have never had a Cuba libre, basically this is a spirit-based drink, served in a tall glass, consisting of cola, lime and white rum. There are countless variations on this internationally, but if we’re talking traditionally, then this is how the drink should be, with a lime wedge as a garnish – fresh of course, and served on the rocks, or over ice.
Bacardi, Cuba’s famous rum brand, claim that Cuba libre is the second most popular drink in the world, and when you consider the broad range of variations that come from it, it’s not hard to believe. Most often, in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where the Cuba libre is most popular, the drink isn’t served with lime, which is where the rum and coke variation comes from.
The traditional measures are 12cL of cola, 5cL of good quality white rum, and 1cL of fresh lime juice, making it a citrusy treat for the palate, and a perfect refreshing drink for hot summer days or nights.
On a more historical note, Cuba libre actually translates as ‘free Cuba’ in Spanish, and it was invented in Havana, Cuba’s capital, back in the very early 1900s, as the drink of choice of those who were fighting on Cuba’s side in the Spanish-American war. Drunk as a toast to the colourful and vibrant island we now know as Cuba, history says that when the drink was ordered, a cry of ‘Por Cuba Libre’ echoed around the bar, celebrating free Cuba and independence as a whole.
I guess you could say then that Cuba libre inspired independence and freedom, which for an alcoholic drink, is quite the statement.