The Cuba Libre is one of a few mysterious cocktails that originated at some unknown time in some unknown place on the unknown island of Cuba. There are a number or urban legends purporting their own veracity as THE Cuba Libre origin story. The most famous of these having Teddy Roosevelt demanding the rum of the island to be mixed with the coke of america after having spent a grueling day fighting with his Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War to celebrate the newly free Cuba shouting, "Por Cuba Libre!" This particular myth, however seemingly true and ubiquitous as it may be seems to ignore the fact that Coca-Cola had not been introduced to Cuba until 1900, two years after the end of the Spanish-American War and the American military's exodus from Cuba. But we're not here to argue libation etymology or genesis! We're here to drink! And to drink it you've got to be able to make it and that's what I'm going to teach you how to do with this short instructable.
Step 1: The Cuba LIbre
The Cuba Libre, or rum and coke with lime, is a very simple drink consisting of- well rum and coke and lime! And while you may scoff at the vaunted mixologists proselytizing the faith of the highball and their secret handshakes or complicated passwords required to gain access 'behind the bar', it is a privileged few who know the difference between a drink mixed from three ingredients and a carefully crafted cocktail, bringing three disparate components together to form one perfectly palatable palliative.
And so we start with three ingredients:
Step 2: The Rum
Some people will tell you that one rum is no different from any other rum. That in the wide world of spirits rum is particularly base. Sugar cane --> rum. These people are WRONG!!!! There's white rum, aged rum, dark rum, spiced rum, flavored rum, pirate rum, Brazilian rum (cachaca), plantation rum, Demerara rum and others that I have not even heard of (which should frighten you). And the rum of choice for this particularly liberal libation is white rum.
White rum is fermented from sugar cane (duh), distilled, diluted and then sent straight into the bottle. It is not aged in barrels, nor are any spiced added to enhance the flavor and it is thought to be the 'cleanest' of rums. When confronted with a purist, they're going to accept nothing but clear, white rum in their Cuba Libre that could easily be mistaken for water... If not for the liquid love that hides within.
The black diamond course for Cuba Libres includes more creative choices in the rum department for your beverage. Purists my cry and whine to hear of such things as spiced rum like Captain Morgan's or even liquors as dark as Kraken residing within their coke, but simply put we're a modern people in a modern world and if a little bit of creativity is all it takes to put some pep in your step, well I'll be damned to let tradition keep us all down! So for something a bit spicier pick up the Kilo Kai, for something a little sweeter go to Sailor Jerry for their cherry notes and for something downright crazy uncork a bottle of Gosling's 151 and just see where the night takes you!
Step 3: Coca-Cola
That's it. Not pepsi, not diet, not ginger ale or root beer. You want a Cuba Libre you drink coca cola. And that's all there is to it.
Step 4: Lime
There are limes and there are limes and there are lemons. There is no circumstance in which you should ever build, receive or partake of a such a hellish concoction that would devise to poison the beauty of a larval Cuba Libre with... Lemon. When faced with adversity such as and limited to: apocalyptic weather conditions, zombie plague, mass gender-icide and/or the implosion of the sun, it may be deemed acceptable to use key limes in lieu of actual limes. Acceptable lime species include the Persian Lime, the Kaffir Lime and the Tahitian Lime.
There are also a number of methods that exist for slicing this delectable fruit but only one that I would ever recommend. It is diagrammed above and will forever insure a not only delicious, but structurally sound garnish as it perches on the rim of your glass.
Step 5: Mixing
There you are. Poised on the precious precipice of perfection staring at three puzzle pieces waiting to be pushed and prodded into position forming- potentially- the pingle preatest prink ever pade. And yet, you query, HOW??
It all starts with the ice. Cubed, not crushed mind you, the smaller the ice particle, the greater surface area to mass ratio is incurred and the swifter your ice will melt, turning your painstakingly crafted artwork into a watery mess. Cubed iced added to an 8 ounce highball glass until full and then 1.5 ounces of white rum poured upon it. Classically considered a shot and a half. Coca-cola poured over top and stirred gently. And then to transform your rum and coke into the noble Cuba Libre a single slice of lime is placed upon the rim of the glass to add olfactory character whether squeezed or not.
Now after reading this insanely informative instructable you may be feeling strong, smart and cocky enough to stray from the path. "Who cares what that guy said about Cuba Libres?! I've got the knowledge! I'm going to experiment! Live large! Take the bull by the horns and live life on the edge!" That's what you said huh? You arrogant son of a-. Excuse me. If you are feeling so confident as to stray from the beaten path and forge your own Cuba Libre protocol tread carefully. The magic is all in the ratio of liquid to love and if you get antsy... Just be sure to experiment among close friends and in comfortable surroundings.
And there you have it. Lean back, relax and sip upon perfection and above all, Drink Responsibly!