At this point it has become abundantly clear that making the best of any in-house quarantine must include a few sips of booze every now and then. While everyone else was out ravaging the aisles of the grocery stores for toilet paper, I headed straight for the liquor store to make sure I was well stocked with a variety of my favorite spirits and mixers. If you have not done so yet yourself, I suggest you order some to be delivered to your door, pronto!
Making cocktails while quarantined serves a dual purpose. Obviously enjoying the drink itself is the point of the whole thing, but mixing it yourself gives you a great reason to get off the couch and injects a bit of creativity and fun into the monotony of sitting at home.
The cocktail we are going to focus on this week is the daiquiri. The daiquiri has been the unfortunate victim of a false identity crisis, as most folks hear the name and picture an oversized, obnoxiously bright, strawberry-flavored, frozen, fruit-based disaster of a drink that was tailor-made for morons, ’80s housewives and cruise ship attendees.
But a true daiquiri involves none of that silliness. Created in Cuba in 1902 during the Spanish-American War, the cocktail was the invention of an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox. Served in a coupe glass and consisting of white rum, lime juice and sugar, the simple, yet satisfying drink slowly gained popularity throughout the early part of the 20th century. But it wasn’t until World War II, when government rationing made both whiskey and vodka harder to get, that this, and other rum-based cocktails became common and beloved among the masses.
One famous American who was known for his love of the daiquiri was author Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was a notorious boozer and spent lots of time in places like Havana and Key West where lime-based libations were the norm. But Hemingway was never big on sugary drinks, so the famed novelist had a bartender create an alternate version of the daiquiri that ups the rum, subs out the simple syrup for maraschino (pronounced mara-skeeno) liqueur and adds a touch of bitterness with a bit of ruby red grapefruit juice. His is the most interesting version of the drink, so that’s the recipe we are making this week. Enjoy a few sips at home while paging through “The Old Man and the Sea” and let one of America’s greatest authors take you on a trip far outside of your own four walls.
The Hemingway Daiquiri
• 2 ounces white rum
• 3/4 ounce lime juice
• 1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur
• 1/2 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)
• Lime wedge (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Double-strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.