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1940s Recipes + Menus

The Baker “Improved” Libre

Makes1 drink
July 1943
The legendary Charles H. Baker Jr., author of The Gentleman’s Companion, was a world traveler. “I’ve met and downed Kooba Lee-brays from Blue Hill, Maine, to Port au Prince in Haiti, to Cat Cay in the Bahamas,” he wrote. “But somehow in the back of my mind the darn thing always has been like a girl five-feet-two in height—it lacked something! It was oversweet, it was seldom served chilled cold enough.” His adventures may not have diminished his sexism, but he did discover a way to make a Cuba Libre he could live with. A jigger is 1 1/2 ounces.

First and foremost, this is a sweetish drink so make it very cold or not at all. Into a 14-ounce thin crystal glass pour two jiggers of Bacardi Carta de Oro or some other good grade of Gold Label light rum; add the juice of 1 small green lime or 1/2 small lemon, and let the squeezed dry hulls fall into the glass. Muddle for a moment to get the aromatic oil up over the inner surfaces of the glass. Add half a glass of fine ice and fill with chilled Coca-Cola. Stir once and consume.
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