Today is the day to raise your glass and toast National Daiquiri Day. For those unfamiliar with a Daiquiri, it’s a cocktail in the rum family that typically brings together the Pirate’s favorite liquor, citrus juice and sugar.
It’s hard to believe a drink that conjures up images of sunshine and beaches was actually born of darkness. In 1898, an American Engineer named Jennings Cox, supervised a mining operation in a small community off the coast of Cuba. Every day after work Cox and his employees gathered at the Venus Bar in Santiago. As a good supervisor would back then, he poured the men a well-earned drink. While Cox is credited with the invention of the Daiquiri, named after the mine, in truth the combination of rum, water, lime juice and sugar were a part of British Sailors daily rations in the latter 1700s. The only difference was that Cox took the time to name the concoction.
In 1909 Admiral Lucius Johnson, a U.S. Naval Medical Officer, sampled the Cuban cocktail and decided to introduce the drink at the Army-Navy Club in Washington D.C. An appreciation of the specialty drink was so popular that it earned a mention in a passage from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920 novel, This Side of Paradise. The Daiquiri surged in popularity again in the 1940s. Wartime rationing had made liquor a rare commodity. In an effort to open trade relations and promote travel to the Caribbean Region, President Roosevelt initiated the Good Neighbor Policy, and rum became readily available. Latin American culture became trendy, and drinking daiquiris was all the rage. Public figures such as Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy seen sipping a daiquiri only added to the drink’s popularity and all things Cuban.
That begs the question, do we have the daiquiri to thank for the likes of Ricky Ricardo?
What I like best about the Daiquiri is that it doesn’t take a well-stocked bar to make one. Rum is all you really need from the liquor store. All the other ingredients you probably have on hand anyway. And if you love to cook, rum might just be kept in the kitchen pantry anyway for all those cakes and holiday candies.
Fresh Berry Daiquiri
8 oz White Rum
2 oz Lime Juice
4 oz Simple Syrup
Sugar as needed
Stem and hull the berries. Set aside 4 berries to garnish the glasses. Place remaining 12 berries in a bowl and mash. Pour mashed berries into a pitcher.
Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup to the pitcher. Stir the ingredients together. Place in the refrigerator to chill well.
When ready to serve, pour some sugar in a small plate. Cut reserved berries in half. Run half of a strawberry around the rim of a cocktail glass to moisten the rim. Dip rim in sugar to coat the rim. Repeat with remaining 3 glasses.
Divide Daiquiri into four prepared glass. Dip remaining strawberry halves in the sugar, garnish glasses and enjoy.
Want more? Try a refreshing Frozen Georgia Peach Daiquiri for that fruity slushy goodness.