Daiquiri No. 1
Updated: Sep 19, 2020
The grandaddy of short hoists
As I prepared to go to the beach last week I set out a challenge of packing the smallest bar possible while still being able to offer at least 10 different drinks throughout the week. It worked pretty well and I only had to hit the store once due to the popularity of lower alcohol drinks that had us going through a lot of coconut rum - soooo much coconut rum. Anyway, in researching possible menu items I started by choosing 1 or 2 drinks I couldn't live without that had a lot of ingredients. Then I combed through recipe books and bar manuals looking for cocktails that only used the ingredients I already had from the first two cocktails. On its face it's an easy task but if you're not careful you end up with 10 drinks that all taste very similar. In an attempt to get around this I found myself drifting toward the "originals" in different drink categories.
When I say "original" I mean this in the sense of the drink that was the template upon which a class of cocktails has been created. You can argue (and I have) that most Tiki drinks a simply a variation of Planter's Punch. However, some variations are great enough to launch their own branch on the old Banyan tree. One of those is the Daiquiri.
Now, if you're a Gen X-er like myself, daiquiris came with a negative connotation. For me it was a syrupy sweet, fruit flavor based, low alcohol drink made for people that don't drink very much (or often). That may be the daiquiri story circa 1990, but that's certainly not how it started. In the beginning, (like 1890!) at the Hotel Floridita they made THE daiquiri. There was no other and it was what every early cocktail was meant to be; a way to neutralize straight liquor. The proportions necessary to accomplish this have been documented for a long time. According to The Fine Art of Mixing Cocktails, David A. Emory's 1948 classic, the correct proportions of a daiquiri are 8:2:1 (8 parts rum:2 parts simple syrup:1 part lime juice). If you've ever had a bad daiquiri, chances are it was nowhere near 8:2:1. The bar become so famous that Trader Vic himself went to Havana to watch Constantino Rapalo (who invented the frozen daiquiri) make daiquiris and learn his secrets.
Given that this drink is essentially three ingredients, getting the most out of each is where the magic happens. Traditionally, daiquiris use a light Cuban rum. This makes since as the Floridita Hotel is in Havana. Since the Kennedy administration, that's been a bit difficult here in the US of A and I've traditionally gone with a light virgin islands rum in my daiquiris. However, I'm currently using Plantation Rum's 3 Star in the Daiquiri No.1. I also prefer Smuggler's Cove's version of the drink which uses demerara syrup instead of simple syrup and ups the lime juice 1/4 oz above the classic 8:2:1 ratio. It helps offset the bolder taste of the Plantation 3 Star rum IMHO.
I made this as part of a virtual Tiki Tuesday event for the Commercial UAV Expo this year so I've got a full video tutorial if you're into that sort of thing. If not just jump below it for the recipe. This ain't Pinterest for crying out loud...
Daiquiri No. 1
Source -Smuggler's Cove, Martin Cate
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce Demerara syrup
2 ounces blended lightly aged rum
Add everything and shake with crushed crushed ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish is a a lime wedge or peel or nothing at all.
*Bamboo Sam's customizations: I'm using Plantation 3 Star rum, beyond that there's nothin' needs changin'!