Tag Archives: rum

Why is rum and Cola called Cuba Libre?


According to IBA (International Bartenders Association) the classic Cuba Libre must be built adding in a highball the following ingredients with the following doses:

  • 5cl of White Rum
  • 12cl Cola
  • 1cl Fresh lime juice

There are several hypothesis over the origin of the name of this incredibly famous cocktail.

At the moment the most accepted version of the facts is the following one.

downloadThe 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.

That’s it! Cool, isn’t it?


by Francesco Pochetti