An Ode to the Daiquiri
When I first landed in New Orleans, baby faced and ready to start my whirlwind big city adventure, I got a serving job at a fast-paced restaurant on a big corner in town. Over the course of about six months I worked my way into some bar shifts, and I cut my teeth by being thrown head-on into Mardi Gras insanity. The restaurant I worked for sat at a prominent part of the parade route, and just the line for the bathroom would snake all the way through the dining room and out the front door. During this time, we sold an absolutely mind-blowing amount of frozen drinks, or, as most people call them, daiquiris.
If you say daiquiri to someone without too much cocktail knowledge, something with strong strawberry flavoring, pureed by a blender and sporting a tiki umbrella generally comes to mind. If you say daiquiri to a bartender, they will think of one of the most fantastic, unsung classic cocktails in existence. I might be adding a little bit of my own spin here, because I truly love the drink, but I've heard this phrase, or something like it, said by many, many a talented bartender.
The classic, hand-shaken daiquiri is actually a very simple drink, easy to make and even easier to enjoy, and no part of it requires a blender. It has only three ingredients: rum, lime, and simple syrup. It is an 8-3-3 cocktail, meaning if you were thinking of the drink in the standard cocktail measurement form of a quarter of an ounce, the daiquiri has 8 quarters of an ounce of rum (2 oz), 3 quarters of an ounce of lime (.75 oz), and 3 quarters of an ounce of simple syrup (.75 oz).
The classic daiquiri is the drink of choice for both Bill and I. This goes back to the early days of us dating, when we used to sit at our favorite bar in the French Quarter, Longway, and drink happy hour daiquiris after work. As such, it's always the first cocktail we make when we want to try a new simple syrup flavor. The balance of the sweet, caramel flavors in the rum and the tart, juiciness of the lime really allow the simple syrup to shine. The outcome is always an incredibly harmonious cocktail. It also doesn't hurt that the colors of our simple syrups make for a stunningly vibrant drink! All you have to do to make it at home is build it in a shaker, add 3-4 ice cubes, shake for about 10 seconds, strain into a coupe, and enjoy.