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national daiquiri dayI can vividly remember my wife’s favorite drink when she was 21 years old. It was the frozen strawberry Daiquiri. She ordered it all the time. It was simple. The bartender poured some red syrupy goop into a blender, added rum and some ice, and then blended the whole thing together. Pour into a pint glass and serve. The fancy places, like maybe Applebees, garnished with a strawberry!

What a laughable drink. I couldn’t stand it at the time – it was sickly sweet and left my mouth coated with a thin film of sugar (or corn syrup or whatever it was).

I grew contemptuous of the Daiquiri and scoffed when people ordered it. But then I found out that it was one of Hemingway’s favorites. And Hemingway prided himself on being tough, being a “real” man. His other favorite after all, was the martini.

In other words there had to be more to this drink.

And there was. The original Daiquiri, introduced to the United States in the early 20th century by (probably) a mining engineer named Jennings Cox who may have found it or invented it while in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. It was drunk by only a handful until 1909, when it was introduced to the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C. It took off from there, becoming fashionable by the fashionable set (like Hemingway).

This original drink was not what Applebees was serving, the original was indeed much more manly than that. The original Daiquiri recipe was a teaspoon of sugar, the juice from one or two limes and two-three ounces of white rum. That’s it. Oh and it’s served strained after being stirred with crushed ice.

Doesn’t that sound more appealing than strawberry goop poured into a blender?

Happy National Daiquiri Day!

Original Daiquiri

Tall glass with crushed ice

Pour 1 teaspoon sugar and juice from 1-2 limes over ice

Add 2-3 ounces white rum

Stir until very cold

Strain into martini glass

Garnish with lime slice

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