Cocktail of the Week: Cuba Libré

Cuba Libré

With the relationship between the United States of America and Cuba finally beginning to thaw after 55 years I thought it might be appropriate to visit one of the most popular cocktails of all time, though it’s rarely called by it’s actual name these days, the Cuba Libré or rum and coke.

The Cuba Libré’s history, like most cocktail histories, is a bit murky but most agree that the drink was birthed in Havana sometime after the Spanish-American War (which ended in 1898.) The original cocktail calls for fresh lime juice and angostura bitters; some recipes even call for adding gin. The rum and coke has become the most pedestrian of cocktails made with little gusto and drank with even less. I encourage you to try the original some time.

Cuba Libré
The ingredients

Cuba Libré

  • 1/2 to 1 lime
  • 2 ounces rum, preferably dark
  • 1/2 ounce gin (optional)
  • Coca-Cola, chilled
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Squeeze the lime into a Collins glass, then drop the spent lime half into the glass. Add two to four ice cubes. Pour in rum (and gin if using.) Fill glass with Coke, add bitters, and give two stirs to incorporate everything.

Cuba Libré

I’ve always appreciated a good rum and coke. The actual cocktail is even better, the bitters help tame the sweetness of the Coke and rum goes good with everything. I sat on the porch listening to the Beach Boys and drinking this cocktail wishing that the weekend wasn’t over and I wasn’t landlocked…

Cocktail of the Week: Black Russian

black russian

 

The plan this week to was make a Mudslide but after a long week and then a weekend full of reading and being lazy, the thought of mixing more than two liquids together just seemed exhausting. So I looked around for something similar and the Black Russian seemed like it would do.

The funny thing is that I’m not really a fan of vodka or coffee. I was only looking for something simple, but I was pleasantly surprised! Turns out the Black Russian is delicious!

black russian
The ingredients

Black Russian

  • 5 parts vodka
  • 2 parts Kahlua

Put ice into old-fashioned glass. Pour vodka and Kahlua into glass. For a Dirty Black Russian top glass with Coca Cola.

black russian
Dirty Black Russian on the left, the original on the right.

Because the Black Russian was so simple, and I happened to have some real Coca Cola lying around I decided to also make a Dirty Black Russian. It’s just like the original except you top it off with the Coke.The cola helps with the sharpness of the vodka. People are more used to the burn of carbonation than they are with burn of pure liquor going down their throats anyway…

The Black Russian is sweet and bitter at the same time with the slight burn of alcohol on the way down. The Black Russian is a perfect cocktail for… Just about anything. The Dirty Black Russian mellows out the alcohol aftertaste and replaces it with the bite of Coke and the slight burn of carbonation. This was the perfect cocktail to wind down this weekend and prepare for the upcoming work week.

black russian
black russian