Today is National Rum Day, which for some reason is not yet a federal holiday. However, unlike Arbor Day or Grover Cleveland’s birthday, this is a holiday you should take the trouble to celebrate. That’s why we’ll be throwing back Cuba Libres in the mental_floss offices this afternoon.
The mojito and daiquiri may get all of the glory as rum cocktails, but Bacardi has been pushing to restore the Cuba Libre—a concoction of rum, cola, and lime juice—to its rightful place among these summer classics. Once we tasted a Cuba Libre, a venerable cocktail that dates back to Havana at the turn of the 20th century, we were sold.
You wouldn’t think a squeeze of lime would be enough to cut through the sweetness of cola and rum to make an impact on the drink, but that little splash of citrus is magic. It transforms the boring old rum and Coke—a drink that tastes more like a night of making bad decisions in college than a real cocktail—into something surprisingly refreshing. The acidic lime is the perfect counterpunch to the other two ingredients’ overwhelming sweetness, and we give it extra points for being so easy to make.
Here’s the recipe—give it a try and let us know what you think:
- 3 parts cola
- 1 part rum (we’ve been using Bacardi Gold)
- 1 lime wedge
Fill a tall glass with ice, squeeze the lime wedge over the ice, and then add the rum and cola. Garnish with another lime wedge, and wonder aloud why all cocktail construction isn’t this painless.