US troops disembarking at Daiquiri, Cuba, 1898. Wait! Is that why they call that drink ... ?
Say what you want about the Spanish-American War — and there is plenty to discuss — but it gave birth to two great cocktails: the Cuba Libre and the Daiquiri. Both are exotic and wonderful, hot-climate bombshells made with one of the most ubiquitous and yet unappreciated spirits out there: rum. We are gonna have a good, long talk about rum sometime. But the weather finally turned hot this very week, the holiday weekend is fast upon us, and so I shall save my rantings for some sleepier day this summer. Let’s make a daiquiri. And next week, let’s make another one. Like the martini, there are a lot of ways to do this right — this drink is about balance and capturing a moment in time. Let it have you.
1 part lime juice
1 part simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water)
4 parts Flor de Cana Extra Seco Rum
Give it a healthy shake and serve it up in a cocktail glass; a martini glass works. Did you remember to chill the glass first? Next round.
I usually juice a whole lime first (about 3/4 of an ounce of juice) and base my parts off that. Sure, you end up with 3 ounces of rum in your glass, but you were going to be laying down in the sun anyway, right? So simply mix these some short distance away from your beach chair, and when you can’t get up to mix another, you’ve had enough — daiquiris are nicely self-regulating in this way.
You’ll notice that I recommended a specific brand and type of rum for this where normally I recommend a few brands. This rum has no equivalent that I’ve found. You will have to call a few liquor stores (most places only have the barrel-aged varieties, while the stuff we want is clear), but it is well worth your trouble. This is absolutely an endorsement — FDC does not pay me. These guys make Bacardi look like amateurs. I buy mine at Ace Beverage on New Mexico Avenue. (I don’t have an arrangement with them either, unfortunately.)
Okay, now I know somebody is thinking: What about the strawberries? Yeah, I get you. Those are good too, but it is a totally different drink with a totally different point. We’ll wander our rum through the berry patch and into the blender some other day. For now, simply enjoy what has got to be one of the finest cocktails ever conceived by man as it was meant to be enjoyed: simply.