Free Cuba

Author: Lyle

I’m a big fan of Jason Wilson’s regular column on spirits in the Washington Post.  Really, really great history, solid writing, and a fan of gin.  He had a great column on the Cuba Libre, which is not only so much more than rum & Coke, but surprisingly has gin in it and is also a good reason to purchase Arigostura bitters.  If you follow the recipe, you may see the inspiration for spiced rum products.


  • 1/2 to 1 lime
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces rum, preferably gold or dark (I used Bacardi black label)
  • 1/2 ounce gin (he says option, I say not.  I used Beefeaters)
  • Coca-Cola, chilled
  • 2 dashes Arigostura bitters

Squeeze the lime into a Collins glass, drop in the lime rind.  Add 3 or 4 cubes.  Add rum and gin, then fill with Coca-Cola.  Add bitters and stir.  Note, I’ve switched to the “Mexican Coca-Cola” (real Coke, but manufactured in Mexico and not the US).  Made with cane sugar and not corn syrup, and there’s no comparison.  A nostalgia trip back to 9 ounce glass Coke bottles pulled from the narrow door of a vending machine.  We find Mexico Coke in singles and 6 packs at Giant Food, and by the case at Costco.

You can find out about Jason Wilson at

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