summery rum cocktails

You can’t spell summer without r-u-m! And there’s nothing more satisfying than kicking back and enjoying a classic Daiquiri on a hot summer day.

The Daiquiri is the result of implementing the classic cocktail formulaic ratio. One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak. The sour is anything from citrus juice and aromatic bitters to vermouth and bitter liqueurs like Italian Amaros, Campari or Cynar. The sweet is obviously sugar, most of the time in syrup form. Bar syrup is made by adding 1 part sugar to 1 part boiling water, cooled, bottled and refrigerated. Aromatics or flavorings can be added to expand your flavor palate. Most notably ginger, cinnamon or mint. Other “sweet” options are honey or 1:1 honey mix, cane sugar syrup or maple syrup. Exotic flavorings like orgeat and falernum are excellent additions to rum drinks. Strong is the spirit or combination of spirits. Try blending different types of rum to completely change the complexity of the cocktail. The weak is, of course, water—most particularly ice. You shake or stir, cubed or crushed, not just to chill your drink, but to improve its balance with a bit of melted ice.

2 ounces Bacardi Superior Silver *
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge or wheel.

The name Daiquirí is also the name of a beach near Santiago, Cuba, and an iron mine in that area, and it is a word of Taíno origin.  The daiquiri was supposedly invented by an American mining engineer, named Jennings Cox, who happened to be in Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American War.

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 Bacardi 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.

Papa Hemingway’s Daiquiri
Still a classic, this is also known by various aliases, including Poppa Doble or Ernest Hemingway Special. This distinctively different Daiquiri was created for Hemingway by Constantino Ribalaigua, the famed Cuban bartender at El Floridita in Havana. Living in Cuba during Prohibition, Hemingway could indulge in Havana club Silver Dry rum, and preferred his Daiquiris without sugar, cold and sour, and with a bit more rum than the traditional Daiquiri. If you prefer a lighter, sweeter version, use 2 ounces of rum and add a teaspoon of sugar.

3 ounces Bacardi Superior Silver *
½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1½ ounces fresh grapefruit juice
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
lime wedge for garnish
Combine all ingredients but the garnish in a blender with ½ cup of ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze lime wedge over the drink, and drop it in.

Variation:  La Floridita Daiquiri
2 ounces Bacardi Superior Silver *
¼ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1½ ounces fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon of sugar
prepare in the same manner as the Papa Hemingway Daiquiri

*I use Prichard’s Crystal Rum. Made in Kelso, Tennessee, many experts say it is the closest to Cuban rum that we can get here in the U.S.A.


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 Vine & Table #301