Cuba Kola


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Introduction to the Cuba Kola Cocktail

Welcome to the vibrant world of the Cuba Kola, a classic cocktail that’s as lively and effervescent as its name suggests. This highball drink is a simple yet delightful mix, perfect for those who appreciate the rich, caramel notes of dark rum complemented by the zesty kick of lime. Whether you’re lounging on a sunny beach or hosting a backyard barbecue, the Cuba Kola is your go-to refreshment.

Originating from the warm shores of Cuba, this cocktail has made its way into the hearts of rum enthusiasts worldwide. Its popularity lies in its simplicity and the perfect balance of sweetness and citrus. Let’s dive into the essence of this Cuban classic and discover why it’s a staple in the cocktail scene.

Grab your favorite highball glass, and let’s get ready to mix up a storm with the invigorating Cuba Kola. It’s a drink that promises to whisk you away to a tropical paradise with every sip!

Key Facts About the Cuba Kola

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV (28 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 182 kcal
  • Glass Type: Highball glass
  • Garnish: Lime wedge

Interesting Facts about the Cuba Kola

Did you know that the Cuba Kola is often considered a cousin to the famous Cuba Libre? While both share similar ingredients, the Cuba Kola emphasizes the use of dark rum for a deeper flavor profile. This cocktail is not just a drink; it’s a celebration of Cuban culture and its storied history of rum production.

The Cuba Kola’s versatility also makes it a favorite among mixologists who enjoy experimenting with different types of cola and rum to create unique variations. It’s a testament to the cocktail’s enduring appeal and adaptability.

Cuba Kola Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Cuba Kola

The Cuba Kola is a harmonious blend of flavors that dance on the palate. The dark rum provides a robust foundation with hints of molasses and spice, while the cola adds a familiar sweetness and effervescence that lifts the spirit. A splash of fresh lime juice cuts through with a bright acidity, balancing the drink and adding a refreshing twist.

This cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy a sweet yet complex beverage. It’s a crowd-pleaser at parties and a comforting choice for a quiet night in. The Cuba Kola is versatile, fitting seamlessly into any occasion, from celebratory events to a relaxing end-of-day treat.

History of the Cuba Kola

The origins of the Cuba Kola are somewhat shrouded in mystery, much like many classic cocktails. However, it’s widely accepted that the drink has its roots in the early 20th century, when Cuba was a hotspot for American tourists during Prohibition. The island’s rum quickly became a favorite, leading to the creation of various rum-based cocktails.

The Cuba Kola may have been inspired by the Cuba Libre, which gained popularity after the Spanish-American War. The addition of cola to rum was a novel idea at the time, and the inclusion of lime juice was a nod to the local Cuban flair. Over time, the use of dark rum specifically for the Cuba Kola emerged, distinguishing it from its relatives and solidifying its place in the cocktail canon.

Today, the Cuba Kola remains a symbol of Cuban hospitality and the island’s rich cocktail heritage. It’s a testament to the timeless appeal of rum and its ability to adapt to the tastes of each generation.

Cuba Kola Ingredients

  • Dark Rum (2 oz): The soul of the cocktail, dark rum brings depth and warmth with its rich, caramel-like flavors.
  • Cola (4 oz): Adds sweetness and carbonation, creating a refreshing and bubbly experience.
  • Fresh Lime Juice (1/2 oz): Provides a tangy contrast to the sweetness, brightening the overall taste.
  • Lime Wedge: Used for garnish, it adds a touch of elegance and a hint of extra citrus zest if squeezed into the drink.
  • Ice Cubes: Keeps the cocktail chilled and dilutes it slightly for a smoother sip.

Did you know? The Cuba Kola is sometimes referred to as a “Cuban Highball” due to its simple yet satisfying highball composition.

Preparing Cuba Kola

Cuba Kola Method

Preparing the Glass

Start by selecting the right highball glass to showcase the Cuba Kola’s beauty. Fill the glass to the brim with ice cubes to ensure the cocktail remains cold and refreshing.

Mixing the Ingredients

Pour the dark rum over the ice, followed by the fresh lime juice. The order is important as it allows the lime juice to mix evenly with the rum before adding the cola.

Adding the Cola

Gently top the mixture with cola, being careful not to disturb the carbonation too much. A gentle stir is all that’s needed to combine the ingredients without flattening the drink.


Finally, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim of the glass. This not only adds visual appeal but also allows drinkers to adjust the citrus flavor to their liking.

Serving Suggestion for the Cuba Kola

The Cuba Kola is traditionally served in a highball glass, which is tall and straight-sided, allowing for the perfect ratio of ice to liquid. This type of glass also showcases the effervescence of the cola and makes for an easy grip.

Garnishing with a lime wedge is more than just decorative; it invites the drinker to engage with their cocktail, squeezing the lime to add a personal touch of tartness. The garnish also emits a subtle aroma, enhancing the sensory experience.

Elevating the Cuba Kola

Choosing the Right Rum

Selecting a high-quality dark rum with a rich flavor profile can transform your Cuba Kola. Look for rums aged in charred barrels for added complexity.

Chilling the Cola

Using chilled cola not only keeps the drink colder longer but also preserves the carbonation, ensuring a lively sip every time.

Balance of Flavors

Adjust the lime juice to suit your taste. A little more can add sharpness, while a little less allows the rum and cola flavors to shine through.

Cuba Kola Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Cuba Kola

If dark rum isn’t available, try using a spiced rum for a different twist on the classic flavor. For a lighter version, diet cola can be used to reduce the calorie and sugar content.

Similar cocktails that share the spirit of the Cuba Kola include the Rum and Coke, which typically uses a lighter rum, and the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, which substitutes ginger beer for cola.

Add a Twist to the Cuba Kola

Infuse the rum with vanilla or cinnamon for a spiced variation. Alternatively, muddle fresh mint with the lime juice for a mojito-inspired take on the Cuba Kola.

For a smoky version, try adding a splash of mezcal to the mix. The smokiness of the mezcal pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the cola and the tanginess of the lime.

Preferred Liquors for the Cuba Kola

When it comes to the Cuba Kola, the choice of rum can make all the difference. Brands like Myers’s Original Dark Rum and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum are known for their robust flavors and are excellent choices for this cocktail.

For those who prefer a smoother taste, Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 provides a subtle sweetness and a velvety finish that complements the cola and lime beautifully.

Similar Cocktails to the Cuba Kola

If you’re a fan of the Cuba Kola, you might also enjoy the classic Mojito, which shares the rum and lime components but introduces mint and soda water for a fresher taste.

The Long Island Iced Tea is another option for those who like complex flavors, combining multiple spirits with a splash of cola for a potent yet balanced cocktail.

Food Pairings to Go with the Cuba Kola

The sweet and spicy notes of the Cuba Kola pair wonderfully with savory snacks like empanadas or Cuban sandwiches. The cocktail’s robust flavors can stand up to the richness of these dishes.

For a lighter pairing, consider fresh ceviche or shrimp tacos. The acidity of the lime juice in the cocktail complements the seafood’s freshness, creating a delightful contrast.

Cuba Kola FAQs

Can I make a Cuba Kola with light rum? Yes, you can use light rum for a milder flavor, but dark rum is traditional and offers a richer taste.

Is the Cuba Kola suitable for large gatherings? Absolutely! It’s easy to mix in large batches, making it perfect for parties.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version? Substitute the rum with a dark non-alcoholic spirit or rum-flavored syrup to enjoy a similar flavor profile without the alcohol.

Cuba Kola_001

Cuba Kola

The Cuba Kola is a refreshing and effervescent cocktail that combines the rich flavors of dark rum with the brightness of cola and a splash of lime, making it a perfect drink for any casual gathering or a hot day.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 182 kcal


  • Highball glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon


  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 4 oz cola
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the dark rum and fresh lime juice over the ice.
  • Top with cola and gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge on the rim of the glass.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly.


For a lighter version, diet cola can be used to reduce the calorie and sugar content. Adjust the lime juice to taste if a more or less citrusy flavor is desired.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, cola, Cuba Kola, Cuban cocktail, dark rum, Highball, Lime, Mixed Drink, rum cocktail

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