Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
With the onset of spring, it’s time for light, refreshing cocktails. Although I love the spoils of winter (bourbon, brandy, anejo tequilas), there is nothing more refreshing than your first spring cocktail on a 65 degree day. For me, that typically means a daiquiri in some form or another. You might not be here – but you can pretend to be.
The daiquiris that I speak of are not the frozen touristy concoctions that you find at Sandals Jamaica. And they don’t come from an Island Smoothie machine. These daiquiris are real cocktails, no different in style from your manhattan or martini.
Your basic daiquiri is made up of three parts – rum, citrus (typically lime), and simple syrup. This rum drink is tart and refreshing, nicely balanced, and perfect for the spring. Within the daiquiri family, and there are many options out there, my favorite is the Hemingway Daiquiri.
To pull off a true Hemingway Daiquiri, you’re going to need a maraschino liqueur of some sort. My personal favorite is Luxardo brand. Luxardo is an Italian company that makes all sorts of liqueurs. The maraschino and the amaretto are my personal favorites (although they make many others), and the maraschino is a perfect match for this drink. Maraschino liqueur is a clear liqueur, made from the fruit, seeds and stems of the Marasca cherry. This distilled liqueur has a distinct taste, with an almost anise-y undertone and a hint of sweetness. It’s a very unique liqueuer and one that is best when used in moderation. You don’t want an ounce of this stuff in your cocktails.
So, to make the classic Hemingway daiquiri, you’ll need rum, lime juice, simple syrup, maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. In this case, the grapefruit juice gives the cocktail an acidic tang while the maraschino adds a bit of depth and complexity. It’s really an interesting combination. For me, the goal is to find balance, and to do so more on the dry and slightly bitter side than on the sweet side. It’s easy to let the simple syrup get away from you, but i think that this cocktail benefits from tart moreso than from sweet.
Here is a basic recipe to get you started. Enjoy!
1.25 oz White Rum
0.75 oz Lime Juice
0.50 oz Grapefruit Juice
0.50 oz Simple Syrup
0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and mix until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Pour up into a martini glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist or a lime twist.