Reclaiming the Daiquiri

In 1948, David A Embury published The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.  A tax attorney by trade, Embury eventually left his profession to pursue his true passion, bartending.  Written in a droll and amusing conversational tone, Embury's tome was a reflection of his strong opinions regarding the preparation and presentation of cocktails.  Lucky for us, Embury had great taste and knew his way around a great cocktail.  

Embury introduced the recipe portion of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by presenting six basic cocktails that represent two basic categories of drinks.  The Martini, Manhattan and the Old Fashioned were the three cocktails offered by Emory as examples of the style of cocktail he described as aromatic.  Opposed to the aromatic style of cocktail Embury presented examples of the sour including the Sidecar, the Jack Rose, and the Daiquiri.  Huh?  I understand the Sidecar and the Jack Rose is a story for another day, but the Daiquiri?  

Embury's formula for the sour was 1 part sweet, 2 parts sour and 8 parts strong.  Although it's difficult to know for sure, that sounds pretty darn close to the description of the original Daiquiri that was created in the iron mines of the Sierra Maestra in Cuban by a US engineer named Jennings Cox.  The stories vary as to how Cox came to mix Cuban rum with lime and sugar.  Some say he ran out of gin for his gimlet and used what was available.  Others point to a Cuban engineer by the name Pagliuchi who whipped up a little something for them both after a hard day's work.  No matter how it came to be as the Daiquiri, the combination of rum, lime and sugar is a what we would call a no brainer.  

In order to fully explore how we got from the elegant three ingredient combination of the original Cuban daiquiri to the walls full of slushy machines in store fronts along Bourbon Street we would have to examine America's post-WWII infatuation with convenience.  But this is getting long winded and I'm getting thirsty, so instead let's find solace in the fact that the winds have once again shifted and bartenders the world over have rediscovered that the best daiquiris are the simplest.  

Revolution Cocktails is a big proponent of bar stool travel so perhaps it's time for a virtual trip to Cuba.  We suggest you take a minute to head to your kitchen and shake up a daiquiri for yourself. Then head back here for a trip to Santiago de Cuban to share a daiquiri time out and Cuban cigar with Julio Cabrera from the Regent Cocktail Club in Miami.  


2 oz Rum

.75 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

.5 oz Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice.  Shake and strain into your favorite cocktail glass.