Cuban Highball Cocktail Recipe

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Cuban Highball Nutrition Facts


Fat:0 g

Protein:0 g

Carbohydrates:16 g


Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Cuban Highball, also known as the Cuba Libre, has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. It is said to have been created in Havana, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. The cocktail quickly gained popularity among American soldiers stationed in Cuba, who brought the recipe back to the United States.

  • The name 'Cuba Libre' translates to 'Free Cuba,' symbolizing the Cuban fight for independence.
  • The drink became a symbol of the close relationship between Cuba and the United States during that time.
  • The Cuban Highball is now enjoyed worldwide and is a staple in many bars and restaurants.

How Cuban Highball Tastes?

The Cuban Highball is a refreshing, sweet, and slightly tangy cocktail with a hint of warmth from the rum. The combination of cola, lime, and rum creates a balanced and easy-to-drink beverage.

Interesting facts about Cuban Highball

  • The Cuban Highball is considered the national cocktail of Cuba.
  • The original recipe called for Coca-Cola, but any cola can be used.
  • The drink is sometimes referred to as a 'Rum and Coke' in the United States.



The star of the show, rum brings tropical vibes and a sweet, smooth kick. We use 2 oz because, let's not kid, we're here to unwind, but also don't want to floor our guests too early in the party. Leave it out, and you might as well just have a sad cola-lime-ice mocktail.

Alex Green


Playing second fiddle, cola adds the signature fizz and sweetness that makes this drink a highball. 4 oz ensures a balanced mix without overpowering the rum—too much, and you might think you're at a kids' party; too little, and you're sailing on a boozy sea with no land in sight.

Mary Mitkina


This little citrus is the sassy friend that brings zest and keeps everything in check. The 0.5 whole lime for garnish and 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice cut through sweetness and add that tangy punch. No lime, no crime, but really, it’s criminal to leave out the zestiness that rounds out this drink.

Emma Rose


Ice isn't just cool, it's necessary. It chills the cocktail, subtly dilutes the drink to optimal drinkability, and keeps things smooth. Go without, and you might as well be drinking a warm hug from a rum bottle, not the refreshing embrace we're aiming for.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Cuban Highball Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of rum over the ice.
  3. Add 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice.
  4. Top with 4 oz of cola.
  5. Gently stir the cocktail to combine the ingredients.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Pro Tips

  • Use a quality rum for a smoother taste.
  • Chill the cola before using it to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Use fresh lime juice instead of bottled for a fresher, more authentic flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cuban Sandwich: The acidity of the lime and the sweetness of the cola complement the rich flavors of pork and cheese.
  • Tostones: The crispiness of these twice-fried plantains will contrast nicely with the refreshing quality of the Cuban Highball.
  • BBQ Chicken: The caramel notes from the cola and the slight kick of the rum bring out the smoky flavors in barbecued meats.


  • Iced Tea: An alcohol-free option that shares the same refreshing quality as the Cuban Highball, ideal for cleansing the palate between sips.
  • Sparkling Water: For those who prefer to stay hydrated while enjoying their cocktail, sparkling water is a great accompaniment.


  • Flan: A creamy flan can create a nice balance with the crisp and effervescent nature of the cocktail.
  • Chocolate Cake: The sweetness of chocolate pairs well with the rum and cola in the Cuban Highball.

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What you could change in Cuban Highball

  • Rum: You can use any type of rum, but a dark rum will give a richer flavor.
  • Cola: Any cola will work, but for a twist, try using a flavored cola.
  • Lime: If you don't have fresh limes, you can use bottled lime juice, but the taste may not be as fresh.

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And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Cuban Highball

Spice it up by adding a dash of bitters and a slice of jalapeño. The bitters add depth while the jalapeño slices lend an unexpected kick that sings backup to the rum's melody.

Ingredients: 2 oz rum, 4 oz cola, 0.5 oz fresh lime juice, 1 dash bitters, jalapeño slices, ice

How it changes: You've transformed the classic into a bold adventurer. The sweet and spicy dance on your tongue will have you thinking, 'Why didn't I try this sooner?'

Cuban Coffee Highball

For those with a love for caffeine, add 1 oz of cold brew coffee. It'll add a robust depth and a new dimension of flavor that pairs fantastically well with the rum.

Ingredients: 2 oz rum, 3 oz cola, 1 oz cold brew coffee, 0.5 oz fresh lime juice, ice

How it changes: It's like you've invited the cocktail to a caffeine-fueled party and the rum is livin' it up with a coffee twist!

Caribbean Highball

Invite coconut to the party! Use coconut rum instead of regular rum and add a splash of pineapple juice. Say hello to the tropics!

Ingredients: 2 oz coconut rum, 4 oz cola, 0.5 oz fresh lime juice, splash of pineapple juice, ice

How it changes: It's as if the Cuban Highball went on a Caribbean vacation and came back with a suntan and a story to tell. Now that's what you call island vibes in a glass!

In case you forgot basics how to make Cuban Highball

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cuban Highball

What type of glass should a Cuban Highball be served in?

Typically, a Cuban Highball cocktail is served in a highball glass, as per its name. However, it can also be served in any tall, slender glass.

Can I make a Cuban Highball cocktail without alcohol?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of a Cuban Highball. Simply omit the rum and add extra cola or another carbonated beverage to make up for the lost volume.

Can I use another citrus fruit instead of lime in a Cuban Highball?

While the classic Cuban Highball uses lime, you could also use lemon for a different twist. However, this may alter the original taste.

Is there a specific type of rum best suited for making a Cuban Highball?

A Cuban Highball traditionally features white rum, but dark or aged rum can also be used for a deeper, richer taste.

Can other mixers be used in place of cola in a Cuban Highball?

Traditionally, cola is used in a Cuban Highball. However, you could try using different sodas or mixers if desired. Just note that this will change the overall taste of the cocktail.

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