Cuba Libre. It’s essentially a rum and Coke with a twist of lime. But cocktails are always so much more intoxicating when they come with a fancy-sounding name, don’t you agree?Angie Zoobkoff

Several shot glasses partially filled with Cuba libre on a silver platter.

Cuba Libre

5 from 1 vote
A Cuba libre is a quintessential cocktail, especially in the summer. A splash of lime brings extra freshness and tropical flavor to your next cocktail hour.
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories154 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 1 cup Ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 ounces excellent quality light, gold, or dark rum
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 5 ounces Coca-Cola
  • Lime wedge, for garnish


  • Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the rum and lime juice, top off with Coca-Cola, and garnish with the wedge of lime. Sit back, sigh, and partake.
Cuba! Cookbook

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 cocktailCalories: 154 kcalCarbohydrates: 15 gProtein: 0.2 gFat: 0.04 gSodium: 18 mgPotassium: 21 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 13 gVitamin A: 8 IUVitamin C: 5 mgCalcium: 12 mgIron: 0.2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Dan Goldberg | Andrea Kuhn | Jody Eddy. Photo © 2016 Dan Goldberg. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This Cuba Libre takes me back to our trip to Cuba. So good! I tried this recipe with the two different rums that I had on-hand: Havana Club 3-year and Havana Club 7-year. Both were delicious but the 7-year added a fuller, more robust flavor that we preferred. The lime was a large, juicy lime and it produced quite a bit of juice for half a lime. We used the whole amount but found the lime flavor to be a bit overpowering so to balance out the flavor we added a bit more rum and Coke and it was better balanced and perfect. A very refreshing cocktail.

Altering one ingredient transforms a rum and cola into a proper drink—the magic lime changes the sip into a refreshing one with the right balance. It takes 5 minutes to assemble your barware and serve. No advance fancy syrup to make and decant, just wash your lime and go! Having recently had rum and cola with just a wedge of lime, I was really surprised how the actual juicing of lime made the cola into something more pleasing and also less sweet. I like a long drink with substance and rum can provide that. You could play with darker rums in your Cuba Libre, but this is actually a really nice use of a lighter rum. I used Flor de Caña rum and a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola I had tucked away for just such a drink. You could make this an even longer drink with a taller highball glass. Mine was a 12-ounce glass, so filled with ice, the rum and lime, took 5 oz. to top off and seemed perfect. The extra garnish of lime wedge is a nice visual reminder.

This Cuba Libre is a refreshing cocktail that’s a fresh take on a rum and Coke! It’s easy to adjust to the taster’s preference, which meant I made sure I got a full tablespoon of lime juice to 1/2 cup Coke and 1 1/2 ounces light rum. My husband preferred less lime and more Coke so I made his with a scant tablespoon of lime, 1 cup Coke, and 1 1/2 ounces light rum. I think mine was better!

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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