Daiquiri, Cocktail of the Week

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It got very cold very quickly in Davis. Autumn lasted but a few weeks it seems and now I’m stuck with the dry, bitter cold. Of course with the cold weather I’m supposed to be making punches, warm rums, and hot toddys. The last of those I can’t stand and the other two I’ve had no experience with whatsoever. Besides, I thought I’d try to capture a bit of the lost summer and make a Daiquiri

Daiquiri
The ingredients

Daiquiri

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Daiquiri

You’ll notice that this drink isn’t being served in a pineapple, a bright color, or got half a fruit basket popping out of the top of it. Frozen Daiquiri’s are quite something else. Some might call them an ‘abomination.’ Not me, I’m too kind. But some might. A real Daiquiri is a simple cocktail, and an old one. Originating in Cuba sometime in the late 19th century the drink is attributed an American engineer and brought to the United States, New York specifically, by a Congressman! The drink caught on from there with the US military before becoming popular nationwide during World War II, rationing made vodka and whiskey harder to come by!

The original drink was white rum served in a tall glass over cracked ice, with sugar being poured over the ice and then limes squeezed into the glass. The cocktail was then stirred until the glass frosted. Today, it is shaken with shaved ice and served in a cocktail glass. Dark rum is often substituted today as well.

Anyway, despite being delicious the Daiquiri did not quite warm me up as much as I had hoped. Oh well!

Cocktail of the Week: Caipirinha

Caipirinha

I know, I know you’re asking what the hell is a Caipirinha? It’s the national cocktail of Brazil, a combination of cachaça, lime, and white sugar. I know, I know you’re asking what the hell cachaça is? It’s a sugarcane liquor. No, it isn’t rum. Rum is generally made from molasses while cachaça is made from the fermentation and distillation of fresh sugarcane juice.

It used to be nearly impossible to get a Caipirinha in the US because of the rarity of cachaça. That is slowly changing as the market in the US has started to see high quality brands enter the country. I’m pretty open about my admiration of the Brazilian people and culture and when I realized cachaça was appearing on American liquor store shelves I rushed out to purchase some and make Brazil’s most recognizable cocktail.

Caipirinha
The ingredients

Caipirinha

  • 1 2/3 oz. cachaça
  • 1 lime quartered
  • 2 tsps white sugar

Muddle lime and sugar in an old fashioned glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add cachaça.

Caipirinha

Caipirinhas are delicious, smooth and refreshing. Not too sweet and with a hint of bitter from the oils in the lime peel. Though they are also strong. Make sure you stir the drink after adding everything to incorporate the lime juice and sugar into the alcohol. They remind me a lot of a mojito minus the mint and with more sour from the lime. Tasting this good and being this simple the Caipirinha might be the perfect cocktail for summer evenings.

Cocktail of the Week: Cuba Libré

Cuba Libré

With the relationship between the United States of America and Cuba finally beginning to thaw after 55 years I thought it might be appropriate to visit one of the most popular cocktails of all time, though it’s rarely called by it’s actual name these days, the Cuba Libré or rum and coke.

The Cuba Libré’s history, like most cocktail histories, is a bit murky but most agree that the drink was birthed in Havana sometime after the Spanish-American War (which ended in 1898.) The original cocktail calls for fresh lime juice and angostura bitters; some recipes even call for adding gin. The rum and coke has become the most pedestrian of cocktails made with little gusto and drank with even less. I encourage you to try the original some time.

Cuba Libré
The ingredients

Cuba Libré

  • 1/2 to 1 lime
  • 2 ounces rum, preferably dark
  • 1/2 ounce gin (optional)
  • Coca-Cola, chilled
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Squeeze the lime into a Collins glass, then drop the spent lime half into the glass. Add two to four ice cubes. Pour in rum (and gin if using.) Fill glass with Coke, add bitters, and give two stirs to incorporate everything.

Cuba Libré

I’ve always appreciated a good rum and coke. The actual cocktail is even better, the bitters help tame the sweetness of the Coke and rum goes good with everything. I sat on the porch listening to the Beach Boys and drinking this cocktail wishing that the weekend wasn’t over and I wasn’t landlocked…

Cocktail of the Week: Anna’s Banana

Anna's Banana

It’s been unseasonably warm this month. This weekend the weather got into the high eighties! That isn’t very hot, it’s downright pleasant, but it isn’t the weather I normally associate with March but with the May or June. With the weather as warm as its been I didn’t see any reason to wait until the Summer to start making summer drinks. I also happened to have some bananas that were getting ripe and so I started looking for something that would be cool, refreshing, and have some bananas in it. I found Anna’s Banana

Anna's banana
The ingredients

Anna’s Banana

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey

Slice banana and put into blender. Add vodka, lime juice, and honey to blender. Add cracked ice to blender and blend on medium for about 10-15 seconds. Serve in a chilled white wine glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Anna's banana

Anna’s Banana was cool and refreshing. It was also very smooth. There isn’t much more I can say about it though. It hardly had any taste at all. I might have put in too much ice or not enough honey? I did notice that when I pored the drink out of the blender there was honey below the blender blade. In the future I think I will use honey simple syrup instead of pure honey; I think it would blend better. For my first blended drink this was kind of a bust. I’m hoping future cocktails will be more noteworthy!