Skip to main content
Tags: Cuba libre | cocktail

History of Cuba Libre Cocktail

By    |   Wednesday, 15 July 2015 01:21 PM EDT

The Cuba Libre cocktail, known more commonly as a rum and coke with a slice of lime, has a colorful history that dates to the early 1900s.

The phrase "Por Cuba Libre" translates to "Free Cuba," and was the battle cry of the Cuba Liberation Army during their war of independence from Spain that ended in 1898, according to The Havana Club. There are multiple versions of how it became associated with the alcoholic beverage.

One story has Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders celebrating with the drink in Cuba after a series of successful battles, though Coca-Cola wasn't readily available in the country at that time.

Vote Now: Should the US End the Embargo Against Cuba?

Another tale depicts a time in 1900, during the United States occupation of Cuba, when military personnel were in an Old Havana bar. This version tells of an American officer ordering the ingredients — by this time, Coca-Cola had begun selling in Cuba, according to the company's web site — and loudly toasting with the words, "Por Cuba libre."

Those words ignited a raucous celebration, and became a common occurrence when requesting the now popular highball, according to the Havana Journal.

Some versions are more detailed, offering such tidbits as identifying a captain in the U.S. Signal Corps as the person who ordered the drink, which is typically made with one part Rum, two parts cola and two lime wedges, according to Bacardi.

For their part, Bacardi describes a scenario in which a Havana bar owner named Barrio created the drink for U.S. customers, who instantly approved. They toasted each other with the now famous phrase and the name of the cocktail was born, according to the CulinaryLore.

Culinary Lore goes on to explain that determining the true origin of a cocktail "is often no more successful than trying to trace the origin of a cooking recipe," while agreeing that the drink is steeped in historical significance.

Tell Us: What Do You Think About the US Trade Embargo Against Cuba?

Different versions of the drink also exist. Cuba Pintada and Club Campechana alter the amounts of rum and cola used, while a drink called the "Cuban Missile Crisis" uses higher proof rum.

The Spanish-American War began and ended in December 1898. The unexplained sinking of the U.S. Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor spurred the conflict when Spain refused America's ultimatum to relinquish control of Cuba.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The Cuba Libre cocktail, known more commonly as a rum and coke with a slice of lime, has a colorful history that dates to the early 1900s.
Cuba libre, cocktail
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 01:21 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in and do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.


Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved