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The complications of simplicity: making a true daiquiri

SARA ESSEX PHOTOGRAPH, Prop styling by Kate Palmer Mercurio, Props courtesy of Quince

It seems whenever someone has a truly outstanding but simple idea, it’s never enough. Someone else will come along and complicate the entire situation out of all proportion. Cocktails are the perfect example. Sometimes you get the feeling you’re in a Shakespearian production, seeking “eye of newt” as a key ingredient.

The whole idea is supposed to be the creation a beverage you will enjoy, both making and drinking. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Take the wonderfully refreshing daiquiri, the perfect beverage for a hot, sultry August. Daiquiri is the name of a beach near Santiago, Chile, and iron mining workers there wanted a cool, refreshing drink after a hard day of work.

Not terribly romantic, but born of necessity.

The northward migration of the daiquiri occurred thanks to American engineers who were working for the mining company. As they moved to other hot climate assignments, they brought the recipe with them. The drink flourished in Hemingway’s Havana, Cuba, with “Papa” putting his own spin on the simple three-ingredient cocktail.

Daiquiri
2 ounces Flor de Cana, 4 year, Extra Dry Rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 - 3/4 ounces simple syrup (to taste)

 
Shake ingredients hard over ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

In the Hemingway version, add grapefruit juice; omit the simple syrup and use cane syrup; then float Maraschino Liqueur on the drink. Stir; don’t shake.

Thanks to Michelle Reeves, mixologist at the Pelican Club, 312 Exchange Alley, in the French Quarter.

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