Cuba Libre and Mojito Cocktails

Cuba Libre

 

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Rum is a popular drink in Spain, most commonly mixed with cola to make a Cuba Libre, or with mint in a mojito. Below are our versions of these two cocktails.

Tony's Cuba Libre Recipe

Cuba Libre is Spanish for "Free Cuba." The exact origin of the drink's name is not clear, although it seems to have originated around the year 1898 when Cuba won the battle for independence from Spain. Since its creation over a hundred years ago, it has become popular all around the world. The drink is known by slightly different names in the various Spanish-speaking countries, but in Spain, it is still best known as cubalibre. The basic drink is a simple mix of an ounce or two of white rum and cola over ice. A squeeze of lemon juice is mixed in and served with a lemon wedge on the side.

After tasting the Cuba libre prepared at Bar Ruiz in Patino, Murcia, Tony has a new favorite version of the Cuba libre. The secret ingredient in this one that makes it special must be the bit of cinnamon stick dropped into the glass when stirred.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (colored portion only)
  • Cinnamon stick, approximately 1.5 to 2-inches in length
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 6 oz cola drink
  • Lemon wedge
  • Ice

Preparation

  1. In a tall glass (12-16 oz), grate the lemon zest directly into a glass.
  2. Gently squeeze lemon wedge into glass, then drop in.
  3. Fill glass halfway with ice cubes, not crushed ice.
  4. Pour the rum over the ice.
  5. Pour the cola up to the top of the glass.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick.
  7. Stir gently with a long-handled spoon and serve.

Tony's Easy Mojito Recipe

A mojito is a traditional cocktail from Cuba, which is made of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and fresh mint. The traditional method to prepare a mojito is to slightly crush the mint with a "muddler," a rounded piece of wood similar to a pestle. Tony's version uses a blender, to make a quick and easy batch for 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 6 to 8 oz white rum
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (no stems)
  • 2 heaping tbsp frozen limeade concentrate
  • 2 limes for garnish

Preparation

  1. Use a large blender with a glass pitcher size approximately 40 oz or 1 liter.
  2. Fill blender with ice cubes.
  3. Pour rum into the blender.
  4. Rinse mint leaves and place in blender.
  5. Scoop frozen limeade concentrate into the blender.
  6. Cover and blend until ice is crushed and ingredients are mixed.
  7. Serve in short glasses. Garnish each with a slice of lime.