No matter how you call it, this is a winner drink. Cubalibre is, by far, the most popular drink made out of rum. Even more than my favorite mojitos. The reason: it’s a simple, easy to make, refreshing drink and it tastes so good. So, I thought it would be a good thing to have this Super Bowl Sunday.
Nobody certainly knows the origins of Cubalibre (free Cuba in Spanish), which is also worldwide known as “rum and coke” or more suggestive Mentirita (little lie), because there is no such thing as a free Cuba. No matter its roots, most probably tied to the Spanish-American War, Cubalibre became popular in the United States during Prohibition, when Coca Cola emerged as the handy mixer to disguise the taste of low quality rums.
This is not today’s case. Today’s Cubalibre is made of Santa Teresa Añejo, also known as Gran Reserva, a blend of first quality rums —aged up to five years in oak barrels and casks at the Hacienda Santa Teresa, in my home country—, and the flagship of Ron de Venezuela.
Even if rum and coke is just that, we use to add a splash of gin and a dash of bitters. To make it even more appealing, instead of squeezing a lime wedge, I muddle two quarters of a lime or lemon with the rum. This trick, which I got from Dale Degroff’s The Craft of Cocktails, adds extra flavor, from the lemon skin oil, to the drink and definitely enhances it!
2 quarters of a lime or lemon
1½ oz of Ron de Venezuela Santa Teresa Añejo
1 splash of gin
1 dash of bitters (I used Angostura)
In a tall glass, muddle lime or lemon with the rum. Fill the glass with ice, add gin, bitters and top off with Coca Cola. Stir and enjoy it!