Picture 3I want to start ushering us into our late twenties.  That means it is time to make drinks that celebrate their ingredients, not hide them.  I want to try to up the ante for you all.  I am the first to say drink some Yamazaki up or on a few rocks, but there is a world of classic cocktails out there worth learning to master.  As with a lot of things in life, sometimes the simplest things are the finest.  Here’s some proof.


Only a few tiny nuances separate this drink from a rum and coke  you’d order at any old bar, but it is the nuances in life that are responsible for so many important things.  Nuances make baseball the game it is.  Nuances made you choose your wife over that other girl.  Nuances are the stuff of legends and classics.  A Cuba Libre is not just a rum and coke.  A Cuba Libre is a tribute to nuances.

2 oz gold rum
half a lime
2 or 3 large ice chunks
1 bottle of Coca-Cola, chilled

Don’t buy cheap Bacardi.  Get yourself a nice bottle of gold or anejo rum.  The kind of rum Hunter S. Thompson used to drink in Puerto Rico as a young buck writing the Rum Diaries.  Don’t be tempted for a dark rum.  Don’t be tempted to do anything but get yourself a nice bottle of something old and gold.

Get yourself a highball glass and squeeze half a lime into it.  Really squeeze it.  Then, drop the whole half lime in and pour your rum over it.  Now for the nuance.  Get your muddler out and give that lime a full body massage.  The goal here is to muddle the lime peel and release all the oils in it right into the rum.  Take your time with it.  Your girlfriend will think you look cool.  And she will be right.   If you are a girl, the fact that you are reading this means there is a lucky guy out there.

Now that you have some real lime-infused rum going, drop in a few big, jagged ice cubes and wash pour Coca Cola over it.  I recommend getting the Mexican Coca-Cola or Pepsi Throwback or Pepsi Natural because they have cane sugar which goes well with the sweetness of the rum.

A light stir and you are ready.  Put on some leather sandals and some comfortable shorts.  Open all your windows and kick your feet up on your dark wood coffee table and take in a ballgame with some friends.  While the lazy swill Bacardi and Cola, you will be drinking in some nuances with a legit Cuba Libre.



Filed under mxologist

2 responses to “MXOLOGIST: Cuba Libre

  1. seanmcdonnellbrown

    I applaud your salute to old school class and style. I am currently sitting in a sweltering bar with an industrial sized fan blowing directly into my face, the temp hovers between 94 and 96 wicked degrees, and an antique relic of a jukebox screeches nonsense into the empty dive. A 60 year old shirtless jellyfish of a man just wandered in and started passing out hugs to the other flies. A couple of tattooed hipsters just started in on the pinball like its their goddamn life’s own mission, and who knows? maybe it is. The heat makes us lethargic and crabby, cranky and foul tempered, wicked with thoughts of gang beating motorcycle cops just for fun and spite.

    And then I read your ode to the Cuba Libre. A call towards class and classic style, and then I remembered. I am, after all, a true professional living the dream, and has to be hotter in San Juan than Portland anyway. I have a job to do, and no time for heat nor foul tempers. Thank you for that, Zack of Lost Angeles, for reminding me what’s important in life.

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