This classic, which also goes by the less mellifluous name “rum and Coke with lime,” is one of the most popular drinks in the world, thanks to the relentless marketing efforts of the Bacardi company and wide availability of its ingredients. As the rum behemoth’s publicity machine has been telling it for over a century, the soda drink was “invented” in Cuba in 1900 at the tail end of the Spanish-American War, insofar as the act of adding cola to rum amounts to invention. As the (apocryphal) story goes, while celebrating the U.S. victory over Spain in Havana, a young army captain ordered Bacardi rum with Coca-Cola and a slice of lime. He then issued a rallying cry— “Por Cuba libre!”— and launched an altogether new kind of revolution.
Mix it Up
In 1900 Coca-Cola still contained cocaine, but we don’t recommend mixing up an authentic batch. (They tried that in the 80s. It didn’t work out.) Instead, try subbing in lemon for the lime or—heaven forbid!—RC Cola in place of Coke. You can also use Mexican Coke for a less sweet option (it uses cane sugar rather than corn syrup).
A spin on the classic Dark and Stormy—a blend of dark rum, lime and ginger beer—the Perfect Storm adds one small but important ingredient: Angostura bitters. Not only do they keep with the Caribbean theme of the drink, they also add an impressive amount of aromatics, which only enhance the rich taste of dark rum and ginger spice.