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If you start ordering rum and Cokes at 10 p.m., you might find yourself ordering Roman Cokes by the time last call rolls around if you don't pace yourself. With a name based on the slurring of "rum and Coke," you can expect even the fine-tuned ears of veteran bartenders to understand your request as rum and Coca-Cola -- unless you make it clear you want the less common sambuca-based Roman Coke instead. Sambuca-based Roman Coke derives its name from the Italian origins of its primary spirit, anise-flavored white sambuca.

Roman Coke

Squeeze the juice from a lime wedge into a chilled tall glass. Drop the peel in for garnish.

Add 1 shot of white rum, or about 2 ounces, to the glass. Fill the glass with ice.

Top the ice with Coke and stir. Garnish with another lime wedge.

Sambuca-Based Roman Coke

Fill a chilled rocks or highball glass with ice.

Pour 1 part sambuca over the ice.

Add 3 parts Coke to the sambuca and stir. Garnish with 3 coffee beans, mint or lime.


If you're in the mood for an upscale rum and Coke, try Elmore Leonard's Cuba Libre, a variation named after the eponymous novel. Squeeze the juice from a key lime wedge into a chilled tall glass, followed by 2 dashes of bitters and 2 ounces of light rum and the squeezed wedge itself. Fill the glass with ice and top it off with Mexican Coca-Cola, sweetened with cane sugar. Garnish with a key-lime wedge.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.