The Cuba Libre, one of the world's most popular cocktails, has a history as taseful as the drink itself. It's name, meaning "free Cuba," was a battle cry of sorts during the Spanish-American War in which Cuba gained its independence from Spain.
More commonly known in the U.S. as a Rum and Coke, the beverage got its start around 1900 when then Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders arrived in large groups on the island. The soldiers alledgedly brought a supply of Coca-Cola with them which had become popular among the Cubans.
Legend has it that while celebrating victory at an American bar in Havana, Captain Russell of the U.S. Army had ordered a Bacardi and Coke with lime. Other soldiers followed suit, and Russell toasted, "Cuba Libre!" to a free Cuba. The rest is history, and over a century later a Rum and Coke is still a popular cocktail worldwide.