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.

Things You'll Need

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.