The Daiquiri cocktail is said to have originated in the Venus bar in Santiago near an iron mine and a beach both bearing the name Daiquiri. According to the story it was invented by some American miners who ran out of gin. Making use of the local rum, limes and sugars of the region the miners got creative and the Daiquiri was born. Admiral Lucius W. Johnson of the U.S. Navy discovered it in his travels and introduced the Daiquiri to the Army and Navy Club in Washington DC and soon it became a favorite of the likes of Ernest Hemingway and President John F. Kennedy.
When wartime rationing made whiskey, gin and vodka hard to come by in the 1940s rum came into it's own thanks to Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy which opened up trade to Cuba and the Caribbean and the Daiquiri began to appear in American bars throughout the country.
The original Daiquiri was a mixture of rum, lime, and sugar, served over ice, though most people are more familiar with the frozen, or blended version. The very first fruit flavored Daiquiri was the Banana Daiquiri but today the Daiquiri can be enjoyed in every fruit from the world over.
You'll find several of my favorite fruity versions at the bottom of this post.
For National Daiquiri Day this year I am sharing my new recipe for my:
Having just posted about making Vinegar Shrubs aka Drinking Vinegars, I had to make myself a cocktail from these wonderful syrups I had created. I had made plum, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry and watermelon shrubs, in that order, so I decided to start with the Plum Shrub Cocktail first!
Plum Perfect Shrub Cocktail
2 Oz. Vodka
2 Oz. Plum Shrub
Dash of Orange Bitters
Pinch of Cinnamon
Chill your glass in the freezer. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice then add the vodka, plum shrub syrup and the dash of orange bitters. Shake until chilled than garnish with the orange twist - expressing the oils over the cocktail - and dust a pinch of cinnamon over the top.
That's it! Enjoy and read up on Drinking Vinegars and stay tuned for more Shrub Cocktails!
With the rising cost of citrus and the lime shortage these days many cocktail enthusiasts are looking for alternative ways to include acid in their drinks. One alternative is the use of vinegar, a trend on the rise in happy hour land.
Mind you, using vinegar in a libation is not a new concept. Back in colonial days vinegar shrubs, which are shelf stable at room temperature, were all the rage with colonists with a thirst and no refrigeration. Shrubs, used as a method to preserve fruits in Frigidaire free America, were consumed with and without alcohol by none other than George Washington, Ben Franklin and John Adams, who most likely added a bit of vinegar shrub to those nasty, impure rums of the day.
Using a simple method of combining fruits with sugar and vinegar, the tart and sweet shrubs, also called drinking vinegars, were a thirst quenching alternative to drinking brackish water and they mixed pretty well with the wines and ales of the day as well.
Vinegars not only preserve fruits, they help preserve water. Historically used on ships to purify the water stores, vinegar was also used as far back as ancient Rome and Greece for medicinal purposes. Drinking vinegars are good for you.
A while back I experimented with using vinegar in cocktails in my Strawberry Balsamic Martini and made a few drinking vinegar syrups for mixing a quick mocktail for non-alcoholic drinkers, but, thanks to a gift of assorted Rice Wine Vinegars from Marukan, I recently got the shrub bug again.
Why are they called shrubs? I'm not all that sure but the word "shrub" is a variant of the word "shurb", which is from the Arabic word sharāb meaning "to drink". There is also the word sharbat, a Hindi word for drinks based on syrups made from fruit extracts. Shrubs are not confined to fruits either, you can make herbal shrubs and veggie shrubs. Imagine some kale or beets in a shrub!
There are several ways to make a shrub, including various hot and cold methods, but for your first go round use this simple recipe from Eric Felten's "How's Your Drink?" For mine I simply replaced the white wine vinegar with Marukan Rice Wine Vinegar which adds a bit more sweetness:
Strawberry Shrub Syrup
1/2 C. Sugar (I used regular cane sugar but feel free to experiment with turbinado or other fancy sugars.)
1/2 C. Water
2 C. Strawberries
1 C. Marukan Rice Wine Vinegar
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a sauce pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce your heat to simmer, add the strawberries and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the final syrup to resemble a cordial so reduce enough to stand up to the addition of the vinegar.
Add the vinegar, raise the heat and return to a boil for an additional 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, strain, and allow to cool then store in the refrigerator.
(As an aside, you might think about doing these outside on a grill burner as the last step wafts a good dose of vinegar smell about!)
I then repeated this recipe with blueberries, plums, dried cranberries, watermelon and blackberries. For the blackberry shrub I used brown sugar to get that molasses taste and used Marukan's Sweet & Tangy Rice Wine Vinegar just for a giggle. Whatever vinegar (rice wine, apple cider, white, balsamic, champagne), sugar, produce, you use keep in mind the wine edict, "if you wouldn't eat it or drink it, don't cook with it" and use quality ingredients!
You can add herbs, even peppercorns and other natural flavor enhancers, to your shrubs, which I would add at the same time as the berries, but I chose not to do this (except with the watermelon to which I added some apple mint leaves*) so I could pick the herb I wanted at the time I mixed the cocktail or drink. I might be in the mood for basil one day or tarragon the next so why box myself in? WHY BOTHER MAKING SHRUBS?
The advantage of vinegar shrubs is their shelf life, you can always have some fruit on hand to add to a cocktail no matter the time of year or your proximity to a fruit vendor. Additionally, shrubs are a perfect way to add balanced acidity and sweetness to a cocktail with one ingredient, kind of like customized sweet & sour mixes. Sure, you can buy shrubs too, thanks to their rising popularity many artisnal shrubs are popping up on the commercial market, but when they're this easy why not let your own culinary creativity off it's leash? Basic Alcohol Shrub Cocktail:
1 -2 Oz. Shrub Mix/Syrup
2 Oz. Spirit
4 Oz. Club Soda or other sparkling non-alcoholic beverage. (I haven't tried sparkling wines here yet. That waits for another day.)
You can leave out the soda and drink this shrub as a cordial. Leave out the spirit too and you have yourself an old fashioned medicinal palliative. Basic Non-Alcoholic Shrub Drink:
1 Oz. Shrub Mixture
3-4 Oz. Club Soda (Yes, you can use non carbonated waters ad well.) Stay tuned for the Shrub Cocktail Recipes coming up soon!
Laissez les bons temps rouler - let the good times (and the blood, sex and violence) roll.
The good times will roll again tonight for all the vampire lovers (Trubies) out there in Bon Temps and surrounding locals with this True Bloodtini and the premiere of HBO's final season of True Blood.
Though I came late to the party (being too penurious to shell out for premium channels), I got addicted visiting with friends, ponied up the dollars and now I mourn and will hungrily devour this last season to see what awaits those creatures of the night who have sucked me into their world.
To ease my withdrawal from Eric, Bon Temps and Sookie's coffin hopping, I created this True Blood cocktail.
As it contains gin instead of hemoglobin, my True Bloodtini is a happy hour take on "Tru Blood", the invention that started this whole bloody mess. If my version had been served at Merlotte's and Fangtasia maybe less blood would have flowed and it might have kept all those blood suckers, assorted humans, fairies, shapeshifters and werewolves from allowing friends to drink friends' blood . . .
THE TRUE BLOOD MARTINI
2 Oz. Gin
2 Oz. Pomegranate Juice
10 Fresh Cherries, Pitted
Juice of Half a Lime
2 Tsp. Sugar
Optional: 3 Dashes of Tru Blood (for your vampire guests)
Chill your glass in the freezer. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cherries, lime juice and sugar. Add 1 cup of ice, pour in the gin and pomegranate juice then shake until chilled. Strain into your chilled glass, add optional Tru Blood, garnish with a cherry and a few pomegranate seeds.
Settle back and enjoy the last season of Sookie, Eric, Bill, Lafayette, Sam and the rest of the Bon Temps crew.
Celebrate the King of Cocktails today with my favorite way to enjoy a Classic Gin Martini - with a little twist and a dash of bitters:
2 Oz. Plymouth Gin
1.5 Oz. Noily Pratt Dry Vermouth
3 Dashes Orange Bitters
Chill your glass in the freezer. Add all the above ingredients to a martini pitcher filled with ice and stir gently to chill the cocktail. Strain into your chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist of orange, expressing the oils of the zest into the martini just before serving.