Rum gets a bad rap. It’s most likely been many years but at some point in your past you probably drank it with Coke or some other sugary mixer and then you had a horrible tomorrow. If your story is my story you probably had spiced rum and now the smell of it makes you nauseous.
I have some good news. Rum is delicious. The spectrum is vast and varied. This daiquiri recipe makes for a magnificent rum drink. It may just cause a change of heart about the spirit as a whole. This cocktail is so refreshing, easy to make, and delicious you are going to wonder where it has been all your life. Next thing you know you’ll be standing waist deep in some rum punch recipes proclaiming the wonders of rum and looking for your cat (but you’ve never owned a cat).
It all started in Cuba during the Spanish-American war. Roosevelt was taking iron-ore from mines outside of a town called Daiquiri, where an engineer named Jennings Stockton Cox was in charge of the excavation. He and his crew were given rations of local Cuban rum—Bacardi Carta Blanca to be exact–and while Cox is often credited with the invention of the drink, he had probably just been observing how locals consumed the spirit.
I’m not one to throw shade at someone I’ve never met, but it seems all too typical that a white man would show up in a remote village across the sea and claim a local invention as his own. As David Wondrich so eloquently puts it “... most Caribbean and South American peoples make liquor out of sugarcane, grow limes, and drink them together. What's the Brazilian caipirinha but a daiquiri on the rocks? In fact, the daiquiri represents such an obvious marriage between local ingredients – rum, sugar, limes – and American technology – cocktail shaker, ice – that it would take the chowder-headedest duffer who ever buttoned a trouser not to invent it.” So here’s to you Mr. Cox, the esteemed inventor of the Daiquiri. Keep up the good work you chowder head.
Due to our current season, and because I can’t leave well enough alone, I give you to you the Autumn Daiquiri. It’s a slight twist on the classic and is the perfect companion to this holiday season.
What you will need for this cocktail: Aged rum, limes, and spiced syrup.
For the rum: Plantation 5 year or Angostura 7 year are perfect. If you’d like your cocktail to pack a little more much, Smith & Cross is calling your name.
For the limes: Juice them.
For the spiced syrup:
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg
- Peels of one orange (avoiding pith)
- Thumb size piece of ginger finely grated (cheese grater or microplane works great)
- 2 cups demerara sugar or Sugar In The Raw
- 2 cups water
Combine all dry spices and crush them up with a muddler, spoon, or rolling pin. You can also pulse them a few times in a spice grinder. Transfer crushed spices to a pot and add vanilla, orange peels, ginger, sugar, and water. Bring ingredients to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the syrup steep for 10-20 minutes. Send the syrup through a fine strainer and cool.
Autumn Daiquiri Recipe
- 2 oz aged rum
- ¾ oz lime juice
- ¾ oz spice syrup
Add ingredients to a shaker. Add ice to shaker. Shake hard for 10-15 seconds and strain into a coupe.
There ya have it. A simple, refreshing cocktail that will satiate the restless masses and put you in the autumnal spirit.