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Friday Musings: The Hemingway Daiquiri

Friday Musings: The Hemingway Daiquiri

hemdaiquiriWhen in Havana, Ernest Hemingway spent a good deal of his time in a bar called El Floridita. It is said that he asked the bartender there, whose name was Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, to make him a daiquiri with “half the sugar and double the booze.” Since the original would have contained only rum, lime juice, and sugar, changing those ratios would have created a very unbalanced drink. According to Hemingway, “it was good, it was a fine drink” and he claimed to hold the record for drinking 16 double Daiquiris in one night! And to think he was worried about sugar!! Hemingway may have loved his version of the cocktail, but over time it proved to be too bland, too tart, and too boozy. It eventually morphed into something a bit different with the addition of Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Most people feel the need to also add the sugar back in by using simple syrup; I know for certain that I do.

Original Daiquiri

2 oz light rum such as Bacardi
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup*
Lime wheel for garnishing

Add all the ingredients to the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your one large cube, and 2 small, or fill 2/3 full with regular ice. Shake until very cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

Hemingway Daiquiri

2 oz light rum such as Bacardi
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz simple syrup*
Lime wheel for garnishing

Add all the ingredients to the bottom half of a shaker tin. Add your one large cube, and 2 small, or fill 2/3 full with regular ice. Shake until very cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

*To make the simple syrup combine equal parts sugar and water and bring to a gentle boil until the liquid is clear. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for about a month.

You can also batch these Daiquiris in a blender with ice if you want more of a slushy drink. For one drink, simply pour over crushed ice. I would use wineglasses here instead of cocktail glasses.

Daiquiris are traditionally thought of as summertime drinks, but with a few changes we can easily transition them into cocktails for the colder months. Think along the lines of an aged rum like the Appleton Estate I used for the East India Trading Co. cocktail, winter citrus like blood oranges or Meyer lemons, simple syrups that are infused with spices like the Tippleman’s Burnt Sugar syrup that I used in my Rum and Root Old-fashioned, and liqueurs that have the same flavor profile like Dry Curaçao, Apricot Liqueur, and even an Amaro like Montenegro. Just keep the ratios the same as those in the Hemingway Daiquiri, and then adjust from there if you think you need to. The possibilities are endless – I can’t wait to try some of them!

Have a great weekend! See you all on Monday when we’ll be talking about that friend that gets you into trouble all the time… you guessed it – her name is Tequila.

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The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

The East India Trading Co: Polished, smooth, and potent.

westindies1It’s hard to believe that the Mojito from Monday’s post contains the same base spirit as the East India Trading Co. (a cocktail from Death & Co in NYC), pictured above. I specifically chose this drink for today because I wanted to illustrate just how versatile rum can be. And let’s be honest, I was dying to try it! The combination of ingredients intrigued me: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Lustau East India Solera Sherry, Ramazzotti (an Italian Amaro), and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters. The Appleton is a Jamaican rum that has a gorgeous aroma of sweet molasses, orange, cocoa, and vanilla. When you taste it, you’ll also find all those flavors, but it’s powerful so you have to be careful to take small sips. Its beautiful color comes from the fact that it’s been aged at least 12 years in oak barrels. I had to substitute Osborne Oloroso Cream Sherry for the Lustau because it just wasn’t available anywhere. To me it’s all raisins and vanilla, sweet and easy to drink. The Ramazzotti is something I’ve had before and happen to like very much. It smells and tastes like bitter oranges and sweet spices, and it has that elusive element that all the Amari have. Who knows what’s in them? The Italians aren’t saying! I also had to substitute Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters for the Bittermens Xocolatl simply because that’s what I had here at home.

So let’s look at how this drink is composed. There are 2 ounces of the Appleton in this cocktail, so it clearly provides the main flavor profile, as well as the backbone and the punch. The Sherry draws out the sweetness in the rum, and the Ramazzotti echoes the oranges. The Chocolate Bitters act as a bridge, pulling out the cocoa from the Appleton and the spices from the Ramazzotti, while keeping the sweetness of the drink under control. It’s perfect harmony! This stirred cocktail is meant to be served in a chilled cocktail glass with no garnish. My husband loved it that way but, for me, it was just a little bit too strong. I preferred it in an Old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube. westindies2

East India Trading Co. from Death & Co. in NYC

2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Ramazzotti
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing class and add ice. Stir with a long handled bar spoon for 15-20 seconds or longer until the drink is well chilled. Strain (using a julep strainer) into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!

Check back tomorrow when I’ll be featuring the Art in the Age store in the Old City area of Philadelphia on the Thursday Barlogue!

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The Dark and Stormy: Get inside, there’s a big one rolling in!

The Dark and Stormy: Get inside, there’s a big one rolling in!

darkandstormy1The year is 1860 and the place is Bermuda, where the Gosling family has developed an aged black rum, bottled in champagne bottles and sealed with black wax (hence the name Gosling’s Black Seal). Nearby the Royal Navy is brewing a ginger beer, either in an effort to deal with seasickness or as part of a movement towards reducing the amount of rum that sailors were consuming on a daily basis. Before long these two beverages crossed paths and the Dark and Stormy was born. It is said that a sailor gave it its name when he remarked that it was “the color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under.”

My own personal history with the Dark and Stormy began about 15 years ago while away for a long August weekend in Saint Michael’s, Maryland. A bartender in a crabhouse there recommended it to us, describing it as the perfect summertime drink that went along with water, docks, and blue claw crabs. He was absolutely right and it quickly became one of our favorites. Even now it remains one of our go to cocktails as soon as the weather turns warm. The Gosling’s Rum is a must because it’s the original choice, but if you must use another make sure it’s just as dark and rich. There are many ginger beers, ranging from having lots of bite to being fairly mild. I chose Fever Tree for my drink; it’s definitely on the milder side, which I prefer. Whether or not to use lime juice is also up for debate. Many people think the lime cuts the sweetness of the rum, and tempers the bite of the ginger. I agree, and I also think that adding citrus has the effect of brightening the drink in much the same way it does when it’s used in cooking. The 4 ounces of ginger beer and 2 ounces of rum are pretty standard, but the lime juice can vary from none at all on up to a ounce. Change it up and see which way you like it best!

Not only is this a built drink, but it is also a layered drink. You will add the lime juice first, then the ginger beer, and then finally you will gently pour the rum on top. It will sit there and give the effect of dark, looming storm clouds. Serve it with a straw so you can eventually stir it up and incorporate everything together.darkandstormy2The Dark and Stormy

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
4 oz good quality Ginger Beer
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Lime peel or twist for garnish

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add the lime juice first, then the ginger beer, and then gently pour the rum on top. Do not stir. Garnish with a lime peel or twist and serve with a straw. Enjoy!

Tomorrow we’ll get to know rum’s darker, deeper side with a recipe from Death & Co that features Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-year aged rum, Oloroso sherry, Amaro Ramazzotti, and chocolate bitters! I’m excited!

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