Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's a Daiquiri. Seriously.

Many of you may be unfamiliar with the daiquiri in it rawest form. You probably noticed first of all that it's not red. And it's not frozen. And there's so little of it!

For what it lacks in size, however, it more than makes up for in quality. Like the finest hors d'oeuvres, well made cocktails pack a ton of flavor in a small package, often relying on complexities that mystify and intrigue the palate. Cocktails should pack a strong punch without being overwhelmingly alcoholic. Only proper spirits can achieve this beautiful balance without requiring absurd amounts of sugar to hide the harsh flavors. Cocktails should be kept simple; my favorite recipes include no more than four ingredients. Lastly, Americans have a tendency to reach for the grandiose 22 oz. cocktail glasses which is complete overkill. It's a far better approach to keep your cocktails small, and simply make more of them. A 5 oz. cocktail glass is perfect. And it should always be chilled. This will ensure that your cocktail served straight up will stay nice and cold while you imbibe.

The daiquiri is a Cuban drink born of rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. This one is made with Flor de Caña rum from Nicaragua that's been aged for four years. I like a well rested rum for my daiquiris rather than spiced rum. I've fallen for the Flor de Caña recently due to its buttery coconut flavor and low price point. Seriously, it's only $13.00! - about the same price as Crapton Morgan. For a few bucks more you can get the five year old rum, but it's better suited for sipping straight. Stick with the four year old stuff.

I make mine in the same proportions as Lillian Hellman (though I certainly don't consume them in the same proportion):

2 oz. Aged Rum (light rum can be used, but will offer a less complex flavor)
1 oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice
.5 oz. Simple syrup

Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lime. Enjoy.

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