This is a simple and easy recipe for a Cuba Libre mocktail, a refreshing Cuban drink made with a quality non-alcoholic spirit.
Cuba Libre means “Free Cuba” in Spanish. The drink is rumored to have been created after the Spanish-American War, since that was a slogan of the independence movement at the time. A Cuba Libre is a lot like a rum and coke, but it is unique because lime is added to the mix. The lime adds a refreshing quality to an otherwise syrupy sweet drink.
Cuba Libre Mocktail
- 2 oz. Lyre's White Cane Spirit
- juice from half a lime
- Coca-Cola Classic
- lime wedge (for garnish)
- Pour lime juice and White Cane Spirit in an Old fashioned glass filled with ice and stir.
- Top with Coca-Cola and lightly stir.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
- You can experiment with different style of cola if you prefer different flavors or want less calories, but Coke Classic is the best for a Cuba Libre Mocktail.
- This mocktail will also work well in a highball glass.
- Optional: try a lime wheel garnish instead of a wedge for a slightly fancier look.
Non Alcoholic Rum
Lyre’s is a brand of non-alcoholic spirits based in Australia. They claim to offer “crafted homages to the intensity, balance, and beauty of time-tested classics.” This is definitely true for their non-alcoholic version of light rum called White Cane Spirit. While rum is typically made from a distilled spirit, White Cane Spirit is made by carefully blending natural essences and extracts for the perfect rum-like flavor.
Lyre’s White Cane Spirit is smooth and sweet with a light bite, and it tastes and smells a lot like light rum, especially when used in mocktails. The resemblance is impressive. A 2oz serving of White Cane Spirit has roughly 2g of sugar. Most of the mocktails that require light rum tend to be sweet, mixed with fruit or sweet mixers, so keeping the sugar content low is more difficult with this than other non-alcoholic spirits.
Which Cola is Best for a Cuba Libre Mocktail?
Deciding which cola to use in your non-alcoholic Cuba Libre depends on what you’re after. The best option, in my opinion, is Coca-Cola Classic. It has that sharp bite that stings your throat and makes you say “Ah.”
Since the non-alcoholic rum adds a bit of sweetness, Pepsi and Mexican Coke can taste a bit too sweet for this drink, as they both have sweeter flavor and less bite. Diet Coke is also an option, if you are looking to cut back on the calories, but be warned – the artificial sugar flavor messes with the flavor in the recipe, so I don’t recommend it as the best option.
Prepare Your Mocktail Recipe Ingredients
Have you ever heard the French term mise en place? It refers to the gathering of all of your ingredients prior to cooking, or in this case, mixing. Preparing your ingredients properly prior to making your mocktail will ensure the process moves quickly and will make cleanup a lot more efficient. Not to mention, it is a lot easier to prep the right amounts if you’re making more than one mocktail. So, it may seem like a fancy chef term for making drinks, but trust me, it’s worth adding this habit in your kitchen routine, whether you are making drinks or food.
In order to prepare your ingredients neatly, you will want to have your tools and storage vessels handy. Since this recipe is super simple, you will only need to use these tools:
- pour-spout measuring cup
- Bar spoon
- Citrus squeezer
- Old fashioned glass
- Small cups or jars (if making more than one mocktail)
When it comes to limes, there are a couple varieties to look out for in the store:
- Bearss lime (also called Tahiti or Persian) This is a large fruiting variety, and it’s probably the most common lime you will find in the supermarket. The store may or may not have the name listed, but usually there are only a couple of choices. This one or key limes, so grab this one. It has a fair balance of acidity and sweetness, and will give you more juice per lime.
- Key limes: These are very small limes, with a slightly more yellow-green rind than the Bearss/Persian variety. Key limes are much more acidic, and because of their size, they are a bit of a pain to juice for mocktails. However, they can be interesting to use if you are looking for a more acidic drink. Because most bars/bartenders do not use key limes, you will have to adjust recipes to account for the extra sharp acidity.
When preparing your ingredients, always wash and dry your produce. This is an easy step to overlook, but incredibly important. After you have everything ready, cut your lime in half. Then, prepare your garnish: take one of your lime halves and half it lengthwise, then half one of those wedges again, lengthwise. Then, score one slice on the fruit across the middle so it will sit neatly on the edge of your glass.
If you are making more than one mocktail, you will want to have a couple vessels handy. Go ahead and measure out your lime juice and non-alcoholic rum and set them aside in small cups. If you’re only making one, you can squeeze the juice from half of a lime with your citrus juicer directly into an Old fashioned glass.
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, add all the ingredients to your glass with ice and top with coke. Enjoy mixing up this simple and refreshing mocktail.
More Mocktail Recipes with White Cane Spirit
Since it is such an excellent non alcoholic rum substitute, Lyre’s White Cane Spirit has performed well in other non alcoholic Cuban drinks, including two versions of a pina colada, Lyre’s Pina Colada, and Frozen Non Alcoholic Pina Colada. It’s also really great in a Mojito Mocktail, fresh with mint and lime juice.
Another option for this drink would be to mix a simple non alcoholic rum and coke. It’s even easier to make than the Cuba Libre mocktail – just leave out the lime juice!