This spin on the Cuba Libre is one that can open the minds of your friends who don’t drink cocktails – except for Rum & Coke or Jack & Coke. The original goes back to just after the 1898 Spanish-American War in Cuba. U.S. soldiers stuck around and brought Coca-Cola with them, adding it to the typical rum and lime. Flash forward to the ’90s: Paul Harrington is working the bar at Townhouse up in Emeryville. He gets with two people from Wired magazine to launch a cocktail section on their web site (now long gone) that helps spur the current cocktail renaissance. His tweak to this tired old drink, suggested by a Venezuelan customer: Add a hit of gin and Angostura, cut back on the Coke – suddenly the high-school drink is all growed up.
1 1/2 oz light rum
1/2 oz London Dry gin
3/4 oz lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
3 oz Coca-Cola
Measure accurately with the Double Cocktail Jigger from Kegworks.com.
Shake first four ingredients with ice.
Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice.
Top with cola.
Stir to blend.
Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with straws.