There’s something about being stuck near home that makes you look back to sunnier times and adventures past. Today’s cocktail is inspired by a great adventure with friends a couple of years ago, walking in Papa Hemingway’s footsteps through the sunny streets of Havana to the air conditioned oasis of El Floridita for their signature Daquiri.
We had a riff on the classic daiquiri a few days ago and I said I love this drink all the way around, even the blended one, well, this is the blended one. We consumed many, many, many of these amazing concoctions while enjoying croquettes de jamon, amazing music and even better company in beautiful Cuba. El Floridita became our home base where we could be “safe” from the sun as we returned after nearly every adventure, usually in an amazing vintage convertible. We even snuck out of here, leaving our lady friends in its relative safety for a few minutes to buy black market Cohiba’s in one of the sketchiest transactions I have ever been a part of, but that’s another story for a different day.
The standard recipe calls for one ingredient that can be challenging to acquire, Havana Club 3 year white rum. It’s the official rum of Havana’s bars, even the unofficial ones, and it is one of the finest rums we have ever sampled. You can make a fine drink with any light rum, but if you find this one, which is fairly easy anywhere but the U.S. it is amazing. So once you’ve gone on a grand adventure to acquire your contraband rum, take 2 ounces of it and pop it in a blender with 1 1/2 cups of ice, a half ounce of granulated sugar, Demerara is really nice here, 1/2 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice and 1/2 ounce of maraschino liqueur, I went for Luxardo cause that the only one I know. Pulse it to get things broken up and then really lay into it and blend well. Pour into a coupe or cocktail glass and if you are at the bar, pop in a half straw and serve. At home I opted to top it with one of those fancy luxardo cherries, cause it’s pretty and it gave me an excuse to splurge on a jar of these amazing delicacies.
That’s it, tropical heaven in a glass. It’s super simple to make and way too easy to enjoy many of them on a hot day. The only thing to watch is to not overdo it on the ice. No heaping cups here, less really is more, and you don’t want it to over dilute, you aren’t here to drink water. So mix it up, and enjoy it thinking of good times with good friends in the shadow of Che’ and Papa. Salut, my friends. Stay home, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane.