Cuba Libre is known as a fun spot to grab a few mojitos, try out some Cuban cuisine and sometimes, dance the night away. But this popular spot also has had its own hand in trying to make a difference to the culture that they pay homage too, and that especially rings true for the month of August.
According to a release, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar recently announced the launch of “Cuba Libre for a Cuba Libre,” a companywide promotion in support of the #SOSCuba movement. The month-long promotion coincides with National Rum Month at all Cuba Libre locations—Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Washington DC, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale—and brings awareness to the ongoing plight of the Cuban people with 50% of the proceeds from the sale of its Cuba Libre cocktail benefiting Cuba Decide.
Earlier this year, Cuba Decide released a video summarizing how Cubans on and off the island are mobilizing to protest the repression they have been subjected to for over six decades. As the Associated Press reports, in 2020 alone there were 42 protests in the month of September, 88 in October, 110 in November and 122 in December, all of which were aimed for the public to gain the right to decide, free prisoners, acquire freedom of speech and have access to basic resources in the midst of a deep humanitarian crisis. Those needs were especially aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Cuba Libre family is proud to stand with the people of Cuba and their ongoing fight for freedom,” said Cuba Libre’s Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot in a statement. “Our restaurant’s name, which translates to ‘a free Cuba,’ signifies our hope for the future of the treasured island nation and we want to help amplify their message by supporting a cause that is working to bring democracy back to the nation.”
To fully support the citizen driven non-profit organization tirelessly advocating for change in Cuba’s political system, Cuba Libre will be donating 50% of sales from the restaurant’s signature Cuba Libre cocktail throughout the month of August to the organization (for up to a cap of $5,000). As the release states, the Cuba Libre cocktail is so intertwined with a desire for independence that it has been a rallying cry in speeches, as well as raised in glasses at local watering holes for more than a century. For Cuba Libre’s fundraising effort, the popular drink will be made traditionally, with Cuba Libre’s proprietary brand rum (blended by Florida Caribbean Distillers exclusively for the restaurant’s award-winning cocktails), Coca-Cola and a wedge of lime.
This initiative is par for the course for the hotspot as the company’s mission is to provide an “escape” to Havana through exciting food, beverage and entertainment experiences that celebrate the Cuban people and culture. For years the Cuba Libre brand has carried on that tradition throughout the U.S. (with the Philadelphia location being its first launching in 2000), and now the time has come for the movement to make its way past the border of Cuba for support.
This initiative also coincides with another spirited time of year: National Rum Month.
The Old City establishment is known for their rum collection with more than 90 premium, aged and spiced rums stocked. The month especially comes to a head on Aug. 16, National Rum Day. On that Monday, Cuba Libre will continue its annual tradition of half-price rums and rum drinks available at the bar from 4 to 7 p.m. ranging from cocktails made with rum, sipping rum and even rum flights. Also during National Rum Month, guests may enjoy the restaurant’s ongoing weekly Mojito Monday promotion which features full-sized pitchers of the restaurant’s signature classic mojitos and sangrias for $25 and flavored mojito pitchers for $30.
Food-wise, those who head to Cuba Libre to support the cause can also indulge in the food from two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot’s menus. The food was inspired by the chef’s time in his continuous travels to Cuba. Popular dishes include the crab guacamole (made with blue crabmeat, avocado, grilled golden pineapple, roasted jalapeños, fresh lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, plantain chips), spinach and Manchego buñelos (made with Manchego cheese and spinach fritters, goat cheese crema and organic olive oil), pez cobia (made with pan roasted Black Kingfish, sweet shrimp, Baja bay scallops, crabmeat, mussels, coconut milk Chino-Cubano broth, green mango escabeche and white rice), camarones enchilados (made with jumbo shrimp sautéed in Cuba Libre enchilado tomato, culantro sauce, white rice and maduros), a mixture of paellas and much more.
Soon, those traveling to San Juan will also be able to experience the brand’s sixth location come 2022.
For more information on Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, visit cubalibrerestaurant.com