History of the Rum Daiquiri Cocktail
The name Daiquiri derives its name from a beach near Santiago, Cuba. An American mining engineer by the name of Jennings Cox invented the cocktail at a bar in Santiago, near the iron mines where he was employed, just after the turn of the century in 1800. While entertaining guests, he ran out of gin and substituted rum in the cocktails being served. Rum was readily available in Cuba, as were lime and sugar, the key ingredients in a daiquiri and this mixture was already popular with the locals.
The actual serving of the daiquiri has changed somewhat over the years such as using ice shavings in the drink or straining out the ice. Originally, the drink was served with chipped ice. The sugar was poured over the ice and limes were squeezed over the sugar. Rum was added last. Methods later changed to shaking the ingredients up and then pouring into a chilled fluted glass. With in the invention of the electric blender, the daiquiri slush became a very popular method of serving this cocktail.
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The daiquiri stayed a local Cuba cocktail until a Navy medical officer introduced it to the Army Navy Club in Washington D.C. in 1909. By the 1940s, wartime rationing made liquor hard to come by. President Roosevelt opened up trade and travel relations with Latin America making rum obtainable. Rum based drinks, up to this point, had been frowned up on as a navy sailor drink. With rum easy available, the rum daiquiri became the fashionable cocktail. John F. Kennedy is reported to have been drinking a daiquiri while watching election returns in 1960. Even today the daiquiri remains a favorite. America loves the daiquiri so much that we celebrate National Daiquiri Day on July 19 every year.
Rum experts agree that the daiquiri is perhaps one of the best uses for rum. Properly made, its ingredients allow for the flavor of the rum to enhance, not overpowered by the sweetness of the sugar or the tart of the lime juice. Using the daiquiri as the base and adding different flavor choices, new rum drinks are constantly being introduced. Flavors such as coffee liqueurs or fruit juices gave the daiquiri even more popularity. Balancing the ingredients is the key. Too much lime and you have a sour drink. Too much sugar and the drink is too sweet. Too much rum and the drink will taste only of alcohol.
Knowing your rums is also a key to making the best daiquiri cocktail. Some rums are sweeter than others and will need less sugar mixed to keep the balance of the drink just right. Others rums may have a fruitier flavor or a caramel flavor. Most agree that a white rum or light rum is the best choice for a daiquiri. It ends up being a matter of personal choice which rum you like best. If you have a favorite rum brand, experiment with it and give yourself the perfect daiquiri.
The Basic Daiquiri
3 fluid ounces light rum
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 cups cracked ice
Blend the rum, lime juice, sugar and ice in blender for 10 seconds or until ice is fine. Pour into glasses. Enjoy!!!