It's not quite warm outside but with the return of spring and summer offerings to our favorite local bar menus, you can certainly try to will (or numb) your body into feeling like it is.
So it snowed last week? Inside, I was sipping on a daiquiri, visions of palm trees dancing in the wind, crystal blue waters kissing my feet and … wait, yep, I said a daiquiri. A REAL Daiquiri, in fact (that's the official name for the cocktail, anyway). And it's makers over at Clementine want you to know that it's the right way to drink a daiquiri.
Forget the frozen Bacardi mixes or the slushy machines you can buy at Target. The daiquiri wasn't originally intended to be " the adult Strawberry smoothie" General Manager Andreas Tzortzinis says customers immediately think of today. According to lore passed on in my copy of "The Essential Cocktail," the daiquiri was born in Cuba, invented in the late 1800s by American mining engineer Jennings Stockton Cox, who was working near a town called Daiquiri.
In need of cool refreshment, Cox made a beverage with the ingredients he had around him: Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, limes and sugar. The daiquiri found a thirsty audience in cocktail-craving Americans, who fled to Cuba during Prohibition. The drink became especially popular at Havana's El Floridita bar, one of Ernest Hemingway's favorite spots. Hemingway, of course, put his own spin on the drink, too — but for my money, A REAL Daiquiri served on Harford Road is closer to a REAL drink than Hem's grapefruit-and-maraschino mashed concoction. In fact, maybe we can blame the author for the bastardization of the drink at beach bars across America.
Instead, the drink is really meant for people who like rum, particularly aged rum, as was originally intended. "Aged rum really allows the character of the [liquor] to show through instead of covering it up [with sweeteners or spiked fruit]. At the same time, it is super approachable, so anyone who wants a light, refreshing cocktail will really enjoy it. It's a taste of the tropics," Tzortzinis explains. And by tropics, he doesn't mean Cuba. Instead, A REAL Daiquiri is made with Angostura 7-Year Aged Rum from Trinidad-Tobago. The lime, sugar and soda water smooths the edge off the drink and brightens the taste. Tzortzinis says he wants "to appeal to people's sentiments by reviving classic cocktails that capture a taste or an idea … something that people can have some fun with."
A REAL Daiquiri accomplishes all of those goals: a drink with enough nostalgia and romance to transport us elsewhere while, at the same time, just being, as Tzortzinis himself proclaims, "God damn good!"
How to Make A REAL Daiquiri
1 1/2 oz. Angostura 7-Year Aged Rum
1/2 lime, juiced
Splash of simple syrup
Splash of soda water
Add all ingredients to a rocks glass, serve up. Variation: shake rum, lime juice, simple syrup together; pour into chilled rocks glass; add splash of soda.
Where to Get A REAL Daiquiri
5402 Harford Road, Hamilton