Did you know, the world’s second most popular drink was born in a collision between the United States and Spain? It happened during the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century when Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and Americans in large numbers arrived in Cuba. One afternoon, a group of off-duty soldiers from the U.S. Signal Corps were gathered in a bar in Old Havana. Fausto Rodriguez, a young messenger, later recalled that Captain Russell came in and ordered Bacardi (Gold) rum and Coca-Cola on ice with a wedge of lime.


Capt. William M Russell 001


The captain drank the concoction with such pleasure that it sparked the interest of the soldiers around him. They had the bartender prepare a round of the captain’s drink for them. The Bacardi rum and Coke was an instant hit. As it does to this day, the drink united the crowd in a spirit of fun and good fellowship. When they ordered another round, one soldier suggested that they toast ¡Por Cuba Libre! in celebration of the newly freed Cuba. The captain raised his glass and sang out the battle cry that had inspired Cuba’s victorious soldiers in the War of Independence.


The Original Cocktail of Freedom


¡Vivimos!, “we live,” is a multi-part film that depicts the actual historical events that shaped the Bacardi brand. This new video, (inspired by real events), celebrates the irrepressible spirit of Emilio Bacardi Moreau, who was more than a rum magnate. Emilio, the eldest son of the founder of BACARDÍ, coordinated an underground network to transmit secret messages and distribute revolutionary newspapers from his rum factory in the late 1800s. Watch to see an inspiring take on Emilio’s role in Cuba’s liberation.


The Cuba Libre was created by an American soldier in Cuba and named after the battle cry that united a nation – ¡Por Cuba Libre!



The Cuba Libre, “Free Cuba”) is a highball made of colalime, and white rum. This highball is commonly called a Rum and Coke in the United StatesCanada, the UKIrelandAustralia and New Zealand where the lime juice may or may not be included.





  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes
  2. Slice the lime in half and Squeeze half the lime into the glass
  3. Add BACARDÍ Rum into the glass
  4. Top off the glass with Coca Cola
  5. Stir lightly with a long spoon or stirrer
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge




Cuba Light : Uses Diet Cola instead of regular Coco Cola

Tico Libre : Made with Dark Rum and Diet Cola

Cuba Pintada : Substitute Club Soda instead of Coco Cola, but with just splash of the Coco Cola

Cuba Libre y Despierta: Also add a shot of the Kahlua Coffee liqueur to the above recipe


Visit BACARDÍ on YouTube to learn more about BACARDÍ’s storied origins. 


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