The Missionary's Downfall
An herb infused delight that may be the pinnacle of what a Daiquiri can be.
The daiquiri is one of those Tiki drinks that managed to hold on through the 80's and 90's while most of Tikidom was in dead or dying. Perhaps it was their variety of simple flavor profiles. Perhaps it was that they worked well as a slushy drink coming out of a blender after the spindle mixers had all disappeared. Maybe it was that the coupe glass still looked stylish when the Tiki mugs began to look old fashioned. Either way, the survived. However, surviving isn't the same thing as thriving.
Even at it's most basic version, the aptly named Daiquiri No.1; the difference between bottled lime juice and a ripe, freshly squeezed lime is noticeable to even the most novice of drinkers.
When I first started bartending daiquiris were typically made from Rum and a pre-made mix. Fresh fruits might be found on a rim garnish if you were lucky but that was it. While taking the time to use fresh ingredients and make component ingredients from scratch is a well trod path to better cooking it's not something that I had really applied to bartending before I discovered Tiki. My bartending training had been focused on speed and consistency more than craft and presentation (and "farm to table" still meant "poor subsistence farmer"...) The daiquiri changed my mind in this regard. Even at it's most basic version, the aptly named Daiquiri No.1, the difference between bottled lime juice and a ripe, freshly squeezed lime is noticeable to even the most novice of drinkers.
Take that fact and multiply it times the numerous variations in the Missionary's Downfall and you get a truly great cocktail that is clean enough in it's flavor profile to be a daiquiri while seeming thoroughly modern with it's use of mint, fresh fruit, and honey. The recipe calls for light Puerto Rican rum which to this Gen X'r means Bacardi white. However, I find the flavor of Bacardi white to be too distinctive in daiquiris. I blame on too many rum & cokes... Cruzan is technically Virgin Islands rum but I find their white to be perfect in its rounded lightness for drinks where you want to hide the rum.
Missionary's Downfall (Don the Beachcomber 1940's)
Source - Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Grog Log
0.5 ounce fresh Lime Juice
0.5 ounce Peach Brandy
1 ounce Honey Mix
1 ounce light Puerto Rican Rum
2 ounces diced fresh pineapple
2 ounces fresh mint leaves (tightly packed)
Combine everything in a mixer tin with 6 ounces of crushed ice. Blend for 20 seconds and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish is typically a mint leaf or small mint sprig.
A bit on the mixing part - I assume that spindle mixers were originally used in these but getting the mint leaves properly mushed requires you to mix to the point of melting too much ice into the drink IMHO. I actually prefer to make this in one of those juicing blenders that lets you attach single serving cups (mine is a 1500 watt Ninja BL770) It almost liquefies the mint leaves so that you get the flavor without spending the rest of the evening picking bits of mint out of your teeth. I also prefer this daiquiri a bit slushier than a classic daiquiri which is to say I like it as slushy as most bars serve daiquiris nowadays. The ice helps suspend the mint leaves so that the taste is consistent from start to finish.
One last note - While I have an immense amount of respect for Donn Beach & Beachbum Berry I actually prefer the drink when I decrease the honey syrup to 3/4 ounce and up the rum to 1.5 ounces