Five Factoids About Daiquiris (other wise known as “hope this helps you win Trivial Pursuit one day”)

One: A wide variety of alcoholic mixed drinks made with finely pulverized ice are often called frozen daiquiris. However, strictly speaking a Daiquiri is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients are rum, lime juice, and sugar or other sweetener. The Daiquirí is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury’s classic The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. A recipe for a classic daiquiri is:

2 oz White Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Two: The name Daiquiri is also the name of a beach near Santiago, Cuba, and an iron mine in that area. The cocktail was supposedly invented about 1900 in a bar named Venus in Santiago, about 23 miles east of the mine, by a group of American mining engineers. Consumption of the drink remained localized until 1909, when Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, a U.S. Navy medical officer, tried a daiquiri. Johnson subsequently introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., and drinkers of the daiquirí increased over the space of a few decades.

Three: The drink became popular in the 1940s. Wartime rationing made whiskey, vodka, etc., hard to come by, yet because of Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy (which opened up trade and travel relations with Latin America, Cuba and the Caribbean), rum was easily obtainable. As a consequence, rum-based drinks (once frowned upon as being the domain of sailors and down-and-outs), also became fashionable, and the Daiquirí saw a tremendous rise in popularity in the US.

Four: The daiquiri was one of the favorite drinks of writer Ernest Hemingway and president John F. Kennedy.

Five: The basic recipe for a Daiquirí is also similar to the grog British sailors drank aboard ship from the 1740s onwards. By 1795 the Royal Navy daily grog ration contained rum, water, ¾ ounce of lemon or lime juice, and 2 ounces of sugar. This was a common drink across the Caribbean, and as soon as ice became available this was included instead of the water.

Suddenly thirsty? Try a Hemingway Daiquirí, or Papa Doble – two and a half jiggers of Bacardi White Label, juice of two limes and half a grapefruit, six drops of maraschino liqueur, served frozen. Warning, one commenter on the web says of this drink: ” 4/5 sitars: Makes you feel like a suicidal alcoholic in a third-world nation. But in a good way.”

As for me, I did my drinking before I did my research, so I had a blended strawberry daiquiri before knowing that I could try to procure something more classic, or Hemingway-esque. But you know what? On the patio, with the sun in my face, it was delicious. 🙂