While most people are making margaritas this weekend for Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d post that other cocktail you find so often in Mexican restaurants. No not the Strawberry Daiquiri, the plain old Daiquiri. But believe me when I tell you that the original Daiquiri is anything but plain. It’s got punch. It’s got zing. And that kick of sweetness should put this cocktail at the top of your Cinco de Mayo menu.
I know people think of tequila when they think of the Mexican holiday because tequila and Mexico go together like chips and guacamole. But rum shouldn’t be dismissed during this holiday. And neither should the daiquiri. The rum isn’t as sharp as tequila (especially Cuervo) and has a smoothness that when coupled with the lime juice and syrup makes for a wonderfully refreshing drink. Actually, if you think about it, the only difference between the margarita and the daiquiri is the alcohol you use. Oh, and the salt. But otherwise, they’re the same drink. Okay, so they’re not the same, but they’re definitely related.
Just like its icy counterpart, the original daiquiri was created in Cuba. Although most believe it’s from 1896, there’s some skepticism behind this date because rum, limes and sugar (the ingredients in the cocktail) were all (and still are) readily available in the country. But even if Cubans were drinking this refreshing concoction before 1896, it wasn’t until Jennings Cox, an American believe it or not, ran out of gin for his VIP guests and decided to record his new creation. The only liquor around was rum and since he didn’t like his rum straight, he added fresh lime juice and sugar. He named the drink after the town he worked in as a mining engineer. That’s right, Daiquiri. It remained a Cuban specialty until 1909 when Admiral Lucius Johnson of the US Navy brought the drink back to the States; and of course once it was here, it really took off.
For some reason, the original daiquiri fell off people’s radar sometime after WWII, though no one really knows why. Maybe it was because the frozen daiquiri was sweeter. Maybe because there were so many other delicious cocktails to choose from. But whatever the reason, seeing as how Cinco de Mayo’s tomorrow, it seems like the perfect reason to renew its popularity.
- 2 oz. white rum
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 2-3 dashes gomme syrup
- Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about a minute. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.