Cuba Libre (Rum & Coke w/ Lime)
3 oz. Mexican Coke
3/4 oz. Light Rum
3/4 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1/4 of a Fresh Lime
1 Barspoon Vanilla Sugar
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
To make the vanilla sugar put 1 cup of pure cane or raw turbinado sugar in a plastic container. Take one vanilla bean and cut down the center. Remove the seeds with the back of your knife and add the seeds into the sugar. Stir well to combine the ingredients. Then cut up the vanilla bean pod into a few smaller pieces and bury those in the sugar. Keep covered for at least two weeks before using.
To the bottom of your glass add in the 1/4 of the lime (chopped into pieces), 1 barspoon of the vanilla sugar, and two dashes of the Angostura bitters. Muddle those ingredients together. Once well combined, add in the two rums. Then pour the Mexican Coke into the glass and stir to combine all ingredients well. Serve & enjoy.
A couple of important things… First, let’s just get this out of the way. Yes, I know this isn’t a traditional Cuba Libre. Second, for the love of God, please if you can in any way, don’t make this with anything but Mexican Coke. Mexican Coke - made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup - is the way to go.
I took the inspiration for my version from a few different things. I recently got the book "Bitters" by Brad Thomas Parsons. In his recipe he makes ice with the Angostura bitters in the ice, and uses that in the drink. I liked that idea, but forgot to make the ice in advance of wanting the drink… so I just used bitters the old fashioned way. The other inspiration came from a pretty cheesy marketing piece by Bacardi - part of their “True Originals” series that I happened across on YouTube. It’s pretty bad overall… but the “True Original” uses a vanilla bean to stir the drink & then as a straw. Nice idea. Hence the use of vanilla sugar in my recipe.
I developed a love of rum and cokes from my college friends from Miami, and for a long time, when going out this was one of my go-to drinks. Pretty hard for most bars to screw up right? Wrong. Most bars can’t ever seem to get the ratio of rum & coke right - either too strong, or too watered down. Most of the time they suck… (except those times when you really just need one no matter how bad they are). Regardless… I’ll say after making this at home I’m going to have a hard time going back to crummy ones in bars. #mixologyproblems #craftcocktailproblems #drinksnob
PS - You know what takes this drink over the top? Enjoying it while listening to Mr. 305, Mr. Worldwide - Pitbull. You know he don’t talk about it, he be about it. Baby, don’t doubt him. You know that’s how I’m livin’ life too…
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