Libations

Libations essentials, Daiquiri

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

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1/2 oz Simple syrup
1 oz FRESH lime juice
2 oz White rum
Shake, strain, pour
Chilled coupe glass
Garnish with a lime wheel

The original yet simple blend of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar was reputedly invented around 1905 by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was working at an iron mine in the town of Daiquiri near Santiago on the southeast coast of Cuba. Legend has it that Cox came up with the idea when he ran out of gin while entertaining guests. (It’s just as likely that this combo was already being drunk in Cuba before Cox arrived, since limes, sugar cane and rum are three things the island produces in abundance).

Originally the drink was served in a tall glass packed with cracked ice. A teaspoon of sugar was poured over the ice and the juice of one or two limes was squeezed over the sugar. Two or three ounces of rum completed the mixture. The glass was then frosted by stirring with a long-handled spoon. Later the Daiquirí evolved to be mixed in a shaker with the same ingredients but with shaved ice. After a thorough shaking, it was poured into a chilled flute glass.

Consumption of the drink remained localised until 1909, when subsequently introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., and drinkers of the daiquirí increased over the space of a few decades. The drink became extra popular in the 1940s where rum-based drinks (once frowned upon as being the domain of sailors and down-and-outs), became fashionable, and the Daiquirí saw a tremendous rise in popularity in the US.

The basic recipe for a Daiquirí is also similar to the grog British sailors drank aboard ship from the 1740s onwards. By 1795 the Royal Navy daily grog ration contained rum, water, ¾ ounce of lemon or lime juice, and 2 ounces of sugar. This was a common drink across the Caribbean, and as soon as ice became available this was included instead of the water. Jennings Cox’s story is certainly a popular one and maybe he was responsible for the naming of the drink, but as far as creating it he was about 150 years late.

 

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