The Cuba Libre Cocktail Celebrates 112th Anniversary

World’s favorite cocktail created in 1900 with BACARDI rum; more than six million enjoyed every day.

In its 150th anniversary year, Bacardi celebrates another historic milestone with consumers around the world. The legendary original Cuba Libre, more commonly called a “BACARDI and Coke®,” turns 112 years old this month. Since its inspiration and creation in Havana , Cuba , in 1900, this classic cocktail has become the most ordered cocktail in the world with seventy BACARDI Cuba Libre drinks enjoyed every second, every day around the world.

And yet, the drink that caused such a cocktail revolution was, appropriately enough, borne of revolutionary origins itself. The year was 1900, marking the end of Cuba’s War for Independence. It was this war, known as the Spanish-American War, which brought many Americans to Cuba , including future United States President Theodore Roosevelt , then a Colonel in his regiment popularly known as the Rough Riders. These Americans had also brought Coca-Cola® with them to Cuba , and soon it had become a popular beverage among Cubans and Americans alike. While celebrating Cuba’s victory at The American Bar in Havana , a U.S. Army Signal Corps captain decided to combine his Cuban BACARDI Rum with Coca-Cola® and the squeeze of a fresh lime, sparking interest among others bar patrons. Soon the entire bar was drinking this enticing, new combination. The captain proposed a toast of “Por Cuba libre!” (For a Free Cuba )–a phrase of particular political significance used frequently as the battle cry by Cuban revolutionaries and Americans soldiers alike. The name caught on, and stuck. Today, the Cuba Libre cocktail is globally recognized as containing BACARDI rum, cola and lime juice.

“The fact that the Cuba Libre cocktail, distinctively but simply made with BACARDI rum, cola and fresh lime juice, is the world’s favorite cocktail and continues to gain popularity after 112 years speaks to the exceptional quality and great taste BACARDI rum adds to this iconic drink,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and great-great grandson of the Bacardi founder. “Taste and superior quality, along with the mixability of BACARDI rum, remain key to our phenomenal success and position today as the world’s favorite and most awarded rum brand.”

And the revolutionary Cuba Libre was itself a product of a revolution in rum-making. In 1862, in Santiago de Cuba , Don Facundo Bacardí Masso developed the world’s first smooth light-bodied spirit–BACARDIwhat the world now knows as premium rum. Designed to be the ultimate mixing spirit, as it never dominates or dilutes the taste of the drink, BACARDI rum inspired the creation of other legendary cocktail recipes like the authentic Mojito, the original Daiquiri, and the Pina Colada. For nearly 150 years, through seven generations of Don Facundo’s descendants, family-owned Bacardi has focused on innovation, consistency, quality, taste and excellence.

“The hand-crafted quality of BACARDI rum is easily detectable, and that’s why, when making a Cuba Libre, you simply can’t substitute its great taste with anything else,” said Ed Shirley , President and CEO of Bacardi Limited. “It’s also a very easy drink to make, and deliciously refreshing, which explains why it’s the drink of choice for millions of consumers globally. In fact, every day, more than six million BACARDI Cuba Libre cocktails are enjoyed around the world.”

Today, sipping an original BACARDI Cuba Libre still summons a feeling of celebration and liberation. Like the soldiers in the bar in Havana , this cocktail still unites friends in a spirit of fun and fellowship with a taste of freedom from the ordinary.

The original BACARDI Cuba Libre is a consumer favorite because it’s easy to make and just tastes great. To make a perfect Cuba Libre, the method is important as the squeeze of lime over ice makes all the difference.

Original Cuba Libre part BACARDI Gold® rum
3 parts Coca-Cola® (bottled)
2 lime wedges
Ice cubes

Fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Squeeze juice of fresh lime wedge into the glass. Drop the squeezed lime wedge rind into the glass. Pour in BACARDI Gold rum and top with chilled Coca-Cola®, ideally bottled. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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