Special Cuba Libre
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Special Cuba Libre
Cocktail recipe

Rating

3.86 / 5
The Special Cuba Libre is a twist on the classic Cuba Libre cocktail, traditionally made with cola, lime, and rum. This particular variation incorporates a more complex flavor profile by ... more The Special Cuba Libre is a twist on the classic Cuba Libre cocktail, traditionally made with cola, lime, and rum. This particular variation incorporates a more complex flavor profile by using aged rum, known for its nuanced, deeper flavors that can range from smoky to sweet. The addition of sugar enhances the rum's natural sweetness, while the lime adds a tangy, citrus zing that complements the caramel notes of the aged rum and the fizziness of the cola. Typically served in a highball glass, the Special Cuba Libre provides a refreshing, yet rich, drinking experience, making it a suitable choice for both casual gatherings and more festive occasions. Its higher volume of cola in comparison to the other components makes it a relatively gentle and approachable beverage, ideal for those who favor a subtler rum presence in their cocktails.
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Microbadges

15 key ingredients
Base ingredient
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Aged rum
Alcohol content
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8% | 2.4 units *

Highball glass

Ingredients

oz
ml
cl
Serves:
-
+

Method
How to make a Special Cuba Libre

Serves 1 · Takes 3 minutes
Add sugar to the glass
Cut the lime into small pieces and squeeze over the sugar
Add crushed ice and the rum
Fill up with coke, give it a stir and then serve

Learn more about some of the mixology terms used in this cocktail

·  Stir  · 

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FAQ's

ORIGINS_HISTORY

What is the origin of the Cuba Libre and how does it relate to the Special Cuba Libre?

The Cuba Libre originated in Havana, Cuba, around the early 20th century, shortly after Coca-Cola was introduced to Cuba. It traditionally consists of cola, lime, and light rum. The Special Cuba Libre is a variation that uses aged rum instead of light rum and includes a specific measure of lime and sugar, enhancing the classic cocktail's depth and flavor profile. The 'special' part of its name reflects these premium or specific ingredient choices, signaling a more curated twist on the traditional recipe.

INGREDIENT_SUBSTITUTIONS

Can I substitute aged rum with another type of rum in the Special Cuba Libre?

Yes, you can substitute aged rum with another type of rum in the Special Cuba Libre, though the flavor profile will change. Light rum will make the cocktail lighter and more refreshing, while dark rum will add a richer, more molasses-heavy note. Spiced rum could introduce a variety of flavors, depending on the spices used. However, using aged rum is recommended for its depth and complexity, which complements the lime and sugar.

PREPARATION_TECHNIQUES

Why is the Special Cuba Libre stirred and not shaken?

The Special Cuba Libre is stirred and not shaken to ensure a smooth integration of the sugar with the lime juice and rum, without over-diluting the cocktail with ice. Stirring gently combines these ingredients with the cola, maintaining its carbonation and texture. Shaking could overly dilute the cocktail and reduce the fizz of the cola, altering the classic experience of the drink.

SERVING_SUGGESTIONS

What is the best way to serve a Special Cuba Libre for optimal taste and presentation?

The best way to serve a Special Cuba Libre is in a highball glass filled with ice, poured over with the mixed aged rum, lime, and sugar, then topped up with cola. The drink should be garnished with a lime wedge to enhance its appearance and aroma. Serving it cold is crucial, as it highlights the aged rum's complex flavors against the sweet and tangy backdrop of cola and lime. A straw can be added for sipping convenience.

FOOD_PAIRINGS

What are some good food pairings for the Special Cuba Libre?

The Special Cuba Libre, with its balance of sweetness, acidity, and alcohol, pairs well with a variety of foods. Think appetizers like empanadas, ceviche, or light tapas that can complement its refreshing nature. It also works well with grilled meats or barbecued dishes, where the smoky flavors are balanced by the cocktail's crispness. For a more casual pairing, consider salty snacks like nuts or chips to contrast with the drink's sweetness.

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