This week's cocktail is from my New Classic Cocktails book. This time, it is the "twist" to the classic rum and coke, or, as they call it, a Cuba Libre, so named as the toast used by American soldiers after the Spanish-American War - "Free Cuba"! My friend Mark came down, and the Rum & Coke is a favorite of ours, so I made us up the twist to this classic recipe.
First the Money
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon white creme de menthe (I use Marie Brizard brand here)
- crushed ice
- 1oz dark rum (Myers)
- 3/4oz Toussaint coffee liqueur (don't have this, so I used the more popular Kahlua brand)
- Coca-Cola (always Coke here, never Pepsi)
First, you cut the lime into quarters and muddle it, along with the creme de menthe, on the bottom of a tall highball glass (luckily, I received a set of these for my birthday!). To do this, you just plop them into the glass and take your muddler (a small wooden bat; the Lewis Ice Bag comes with a very nice one), and smoosh against the bottom of the glass, being careful not to bust the glass itself. Then fill the glass with crushed ice, add the dark rum and coffee liqueur, stir it up, fill with Coke, add a straw and you're good to go!
I like this drink. It's a nice twist on the standard R&C. Not a complete replacement, mind you, but it works pretty well as a starter. Surprisingly, you can taste all the ingredients, which means you can go pretty lightly with the creme de menthe, as a little of this powerful minty liqueur goes a long way.
As an added bonus, I will throw in the recipe for a very good, more direct, variation on the Cuba Libre:
Cuba Libre Improved
- 1 oz rum (I use Bacardi silver, although Capt. Morgan Spiced Rum is an approved variation)
- 1/2 oz gin (doesn't have to be Bombay Sapphire in this case!)
- 1/4 oz lime juice
This adds a splash of gin, along with lime juice, to the straight rum & coke normally served here at Chez Arnold. Limes can, of course, go in any R&C, but adding juice & gin really give this a true sparkle.