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The Original Bacardi Cuba Libre Celebrates 111th Anniversary

August 24, 2011


CORAL GABLES -- This August, Bacardi, the world's favorite and best-selling premium rum, celebrates the 111th anniversary of the creation of the Original Cuba Libre. With its refreshing combination of Bacardi Rum, the American classic Coca-Cola and rich historical ties to Cuba, this legendary drink has withstood the test of time and continues to bring people (21+) together around Bacardi rum for a great cocktail for memorable experiences.

The origins of the Original Cuba Libre trace back to Cuba's War for Independence in 1898, when Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and his regiment, known as the Rough Riders, along with large droves of Americans, arrived in Cuba. Coca-Cola was introduced to Cuba after the arrival of American troops, and it soon became a popular choice for Cubans and Americans alike.

In August 1900, while celebrating victory at the American Bar in Havana, Cuba, Captain Russell of the United States Army Signal Corps, ordered his Cuban Bacardi Rum and Coca-Cola, served with a wedge of fresh lime. This new combination sparked interest from the soldiers around him and soon the entire bar was drinking one. The Captain proposed a toast, "Por Cuba libre!" in celebration of a free Cuba. The words Cuba Libre – meaning Free Cuba – had a special political significance and were frequently used by Cubans and Americans alike. It seemed quite natural the American soldiers selected and applied this popular slogan to this drink, which they considered indigenous to Cuba, consisting of Bacardi Rum and Coca-Cola. The name caught on quickly, and remains popular to this day.

"The fact the Cuba Libre cocktail continues to gain popularity after 111 years speaks to the exceptional quality and great taste Bacardi holds in this iconic drink," said Toby Whitmoyer, vice president and brand managing director, rums category at Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. "More than 80 billion Bacardi Cuba Libre cocktails have been served since 1900, and close to 6,000,000 are consumed every day around the world. Bacardi has always been, and will continue to be, a brand that brings people together to celebrate any occasion over great cocktails."

In 1862, in Santiago de Cuba, Don Facundo Bacardi revolutionized rum making by developing the world's first smooth light-bodied spirit — Bacardi Rum — what the world now knows as premium rum. As the ultimate mixing spirit, Bacardi Rum inspired the creation of legendary cocktail recipes like the Mojito, the Daiquiri and the Pina Colada. For nearly 150 years, through eight generations of Don Facundo's descendants, Bacardi has focused on quality, taste and excellence.

Original Cuba Libre
2 parts Bacardi Gold Rum
4 parts Coca-Cola
2 lime wedges
Ice cubes

Fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Squeeze and drop a fresh lime wedge into the glass. Pour in Bacardi Gold Rum and top with chilled Coca-Cola, ideally bottled. Stir gently.


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