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How To Ace The Rum-To-Cola Ratio For An Awesome Cuba Libre

5 Tips To Master Rum And Cola Ratios In A Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre is a delightfully simple cocktail made using the most sparse ingredients that extract maximum flavour. It combines quality rum and cola in a simple combination of bitter and sweet flavours that are enhanced with a sprinkling of lime juice. This cocktail is a celebration in a glass, as its origin story suggests. It was popularised during the Spanish-American War when Cuba was fighting for freedom with help from America, where cola was becoming an increasingly favoured drink. Cuba libre then stands for free Cuba, and soldiers would raise a toast to the bright future of the country.

However, even though the cocktail appears to be deceptively simple, it is quite tricky to get the proportions of rum and cola right in order to make a well-balanced drink. You could make the drink too sweet if you add too much cola or too intense if there is excess booze. Alternatively, you could also end up creating a mix that is too diluted if the proportion of ice exceeds that of the cola and rum. But when you do get the alcohol to mixer ratios right, you can come up with a spectacular drink that carries an enduring appeal.

Read on below to know more about some of the tips and tricks you can employ to prepare a classic rum and cola infused cuba libre cocktail:

Follow The Classic Ratio

Traditionally, preparing a cuba libre requires you to mix two parts of rum with four parts of cola so you can enjoy all the fizz and sweetness of the cola interspersed with the bitterness and slightly intense qualities of rum. This ratio works when you are using a cold cola drink without ice so you reduce the risk of diluting your flavours. However, when you plan to add tons of crushed ice or ice cubes to a highball glass, you can reduce the cola and amp up the rum to arrive at a well-balanced cocktail.

5 Tips To Master Rum And Cola Ratios In A Cuba Libre

Add Lime Juice

A cuba libre cocktail would be incomplete without the addition of lime juice or lemon lime soda which not only enhances the flavours of the rum but also gives the drink a bit of zest. The cola already has a fizzy touch but the lime juice supplements it with a certain sharpness and tang that brings a freshness into the drink. But make sure you keep the proportion of lime juice as a quarter of the rum you would add to avoid making the drink too acidic.

Rum Variations

Innovation in mixology most often than not yields unexpectedly tasty results. While making a traditional cuba libre, you can play around with different varieties of rum to infuse the drink with multiple flavour components. Go for some quality spiced rum to add intensity to the drink or a coconut rum for a tropical nuance. While using a rum variation embodying potent flavours, you can reduce the ratio of rum to 1.5 parts of the spirit for every four parts of cola. And when you add rum prepared using blackstrap molasses, you can further play around with the ratios to ensure the spirit is not too overpowering.

5 Tips To Master Rum And Cola Ratios In A Cuba Libre

Flavoured Colas

Adding flavours to a classic cuba libre comes in many forms and one of them is adding flavoured colas or sweeteners into the drink. You can prepare a stunning cuba libre cocktail by pouring in cherry infused fizzy colas or lemon-lime sodas to introduce tasty variations into the classic recipe. And if you want to cut down on added sugars, you can either use tonic water or simple club soda to make a highball-like cocktail.

Add Bitters

Some mixologists prefer to add ginger shavings to a cuba libre to pack it with a zesty, spicy kick. Others like to enhance the bitter textures of the rum in the drink and drop a touch of angostura bitters into the cocktail for their tart and tangy notes. You can make a classic cuba libre by adding a 30 ml pour of premium Captain Morgan Dark Rum. The overall taste of the cocktail will be enhanced with a splash of lime juice and the tiny helping of citrus bitters.


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