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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. 🙂
You’ll have to try to get yourself in a tropical frame of mind today, to celebrate National Margarita Day. With the help of some of my nearest and dearest, we spent yesterday evening exploring a few way to enjoy the combination of tequila, lime and Triple Sec. With no further ado, allow me to present: Margarita’s Three Ways!
#1: The Classic!
There is some argument as to the proper proportion of a classic on the rocks margarita.
Our recipe stuck to simple proportions and used a LOT of fresh limes (and owing to our lack of a citrus press or reamer – lots of man power!).
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt for garnish
Combine tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.
This margarita is surprisingly smooth given that there is very little mix in it. I enjoyed the fresh lime flavor. Personally I might have given it a little bit more triple sec, to just give it a hint of sweetness.
While most of the jokes and *ALL* of Ian’s double-entendre’s do not bear repeating, the best line of the night goes to Michelle: “I like it on the rocks – it’s just more efficient.” 🙂
This party pleaser has been a favorite of my friends for many summers now. It’s a great way to make a pitcher of cocktails for a party. It has a nice fizz because of the carbonation in the beer–though I miss the hint of orange.
1 can limeade
1 cup of tequila
2 beers (something light like Coronoa or Pacifico)
Combine ingredients in a pitcher and serve over ice, in a glass with a salted rim.
#3: Tourista Classic–The Frozen Margarita
My friends Michelle and Teddy were recently in Phoenix Arizona for a holiday, and they learned that most margaritas there are made with what our American friends call “sweet and sour mix”. S&SM is basically just lime and lemon juice, water and a simple syrup mixed together, and if you can’t find it to buy it, you can make some of your own. I have to admit I was a little concerned by the rather lurid yellow-green color. If you’re going to use this mix, make sure you read the bottle carefully-from a quick review of different brands on the internet, it seems it comes in a variety of strengths and concentrations.
Our bottle of S&SM recommended ratio of 4 oz mix to 1oz tequila and 1 oz triple sec for one (largish) drink. We scaled this up to serve four, and whizzed it in the blender with 2 cups of ice cubes. Again, serve with salted rims.
The sweet and sour mix was Ok – not cloyingly sweet as I had feared, but lacked the fresh citrus punch of the classic margarita. I’ve always enjoyed blended drinks… they just kind of scream “I’m on Holiday!”. And isn’t that what we’re all really looking for in a cocktail??
Yours, in search of water and aspirin,
I didn’t have nachos tonight in preparation for National Nacho Day. I had pizza. Crappy pizza too. Stupid excessively overpriced crappy pizza. This is what happened…
The past two nights, G has stayed up late and has been energetic and lots of fun so I planned on that tonight. I planned on picking him up from daycare and we would go shopping to pick up the stuff for the Best Nachos Ever and it would be loads of fun. Like this!
I forgot though. Yesterday we went to one of the mass inoculation clinics and he got shot up with seasonal flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine … and then he woke up at 5 this morning with a fever and cranky. So when I picked him up from daycare, it was a lot more like this …
Suffice to say, we did not make it to the grocery store and I did not make nachos. Instead, I ordered this crappy-ass pizza from this crazy place that charged me $3.00 to put less than an ounce of feta on my small pizza! But I digress …
Since my child has yet again prevented me from being able to provide you with delicious photographs of delicious food, the least I can do is provide you with my Philosophy of Nachos and some delicious recipes.
Here’s my Philosophy of Nachos:
Nachos are all about the layers, the cheese and the salsa. Well, nachos ARE cheese on top of tortilla chips. Otherwise, they’re just tortilla chips. So really, the tortilla chips are conduits. Conduits for yummy ooey gooey melted cheese and tart juicy salsa. Of course, you should also put other toppings on your nachos to make it really spectacular which is what I almost always do. But the key is the layers. To build a really good plate of nachos, you have to layer your nachos, cheese, toppings like you are building a really complex lasagna, or playing Tetris or something like that.
You start with a nice deep casserole dish, or even better, a deep cast iron frying pan. Spread a two chip thick layer of tortilla chips across the bottom. Use good chips. You’re making nachos here – there is no “diet-friendly” here – nachos are about excess! Skip the baked tortilla chips and go straight to the good ol’deep-fried corn tortilla chips. Don’t buy unsalted chips either. You’d just be cheating yourself.
Evenly sprinkle a layer (silly aside here – I just accidentally typed “lawyer” not “layer” – I have work on the brain) of grated “cheese” (explained below) and a layer of “toppings” (also explained below), followed by another two chip thick layer of chips, another layer of cheese, another layer of toppings and so on until you have filled the casserole dish. Finish by topping the last layer of toppings with a layer of cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until all the cheese is thoroughly melted. It can’t be a little bit melted. It has to be bubbling-boiling-oil-separating-from-the-milk solids melted. Take it out of the oven and then eat your nachos by dipping them in a variety of “delicious dips” (explained below) and sour cream before carefully putting them in your mouth trying not to burn your tongue on the melted cheese. Drink beer with your nachos. Or maybe a Margarita if you want to pretend you are on a tropical holiday somewhere lounging on the beach …
“Cheese” – should be a mixture of cheese. Not just any old cheese. Mix monterey jack (preferably with jalapenos or habaneros in it) and extra old cheddar. That’s the best combo.
“Toppings” – this is where things can get crazy. Skip the canned black olives (eeewwwww!!!) and go for any combination (or all) of the following:
1. The Fresh Veggie Topping: Finely chopped bell peppers of every hue (red, green, yellow, orange), tomatoes (use Romas – they’re less juicy so they won’t make your chips soggy), sweet onion (stay away from yellow and purple – too strong!).
2. The Taco Sunday Veggie Topping: Saute onions, mushrooms and diced red peppers until tender but still crunchy. Add black beans, corn and spices. “Spices?” Spices. Specifically, toasted ground cumin, chili powder, toasted ground coriander, cayenne, salt and lime juice. Yes, I consider citrus a spice. Cook long enough to meld all the flavours, but remember that your veggies will be cooking in the oven while the cheese is melting so don’t go overboard or you’ll end up with mush.
3. The Taco Sunday Meat Topping: Brown extra lean ground beef or bison meat. Properly lean meat will actually require some oil in the pan and there won’t be anything to drain off. Add spices and a slurry. Spices are pretty much the same as for the Veggie Topping, but don’t put lime in it unless you really, really like citrus. Make a slurry with some corn starch and some water, or if you want to stick with our family’s Taco Sunday tradition, use beer. Mix the spices with the slurry, slop it onto the meat and cook on med-low heat until it thickens. You can do the same thing with chicken instead but it’s best to rub spices on the chicken, grill it, shred it and then simmer it in the spicy slurry. If you use chicken, definitely use the lime.
4. The Taco Sunday Extra Best Special Topping: Chorizo and lime. That’s it. Just chorizo (really good quality of course) sauteed with some fresh lime juice squeezed on it.
5. The Gotta Have Something Pickled Topping: pickled jalapenos, banana pepper rings, green chiles, olives (again, let me reiterate, not the canned ones! eeeeeewwwwww!), etc.
“Delicious Dips” – there’s a variety here. It’s all about salsa fresca – which just means “fresh sauce” which doesn’t really tell you much about what you’re eating except that it’s “fresh”. No, that doesn’t mean it’s going to pinch you in the butt when you walk by. It means fresh raw ingredients. The best salsa is made with the best produce, so if you’re gonna make it, splurge on the high quality produce and buy local whenever you can – it almost always tastes better.
Because I am blessed to live in the heart of farm market country, I rarely eat store bought salsa. Salsa fresca is easy to make and delicious to eat so why would I? First, make your base. What you do is you finely mince a mid-size clove of garlic and put it in a bowl. Add about a quarter of a sweet onion finely diced, a couple of handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves, a pinch of cayenne and some fresh squeezed citrus (you pick lemon or lime – depends on what else you’re putting in the salsa). Amounts are not specific (if you have a problem with that, please go re-read my profile – you can’t say you weren’t warned). Point is to have a light touch with the onion, heavy touch with the cilantro, cayenne to taste. I almost always include a fresh hot pepper, like a jalapeno or serrano or habanero, in my base, but it’s optional. Not everyone likes the really spicy stuff.
For tomato salsa, add to the base some fresh finely diced tomatoes. Use good flavorful tomatoes like Super Sweets or Romas. Not cardboardy flavourless beefsteaks. You might as well buy something in a jar if you’re gonna do that.
For tomatillo salsa, skip the citrus and add a bunch of finely diced tomatillos and some avocado. Tomatillos are very acidic so you don’t need citrus, unless you feel like having a perma-pucker while you eat.
For fruit salsa, add a finely diced fruit, like a papaya, mango or pineapple (or all of them mixed together). These are tropical fruits which is a deviation from the fresh local produce refrain. It’s the exception to the rule. You could, in fact, make a salsa using fruits local to BC and it would still be delicious. Peach salsa, for instance. Or apples. Or … you get the point.
That’s about it for salsa fresca. I am not going to talk about guacamole here. Why? Because I know there is a guacamole day coming up someday and I wouldn’t want to steal it’s thunder. Plus, I think this is my longest post yet and I’m concerned I have lost your attention by now.
I am SO going to make nachos this weekend!