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Archive for July, 2008

The Daiquiri – A Wrap Up

Posted by Aaron On July - 4 - 2008

In an ill-conceived adventure, team Cocktail Hacker spent the majority of the day north of the border, in Wyoming, acquiring large quantities of high-quality explosives in an, again, ill-conceived effort to convince our friends and neighbors of our long questioned patriotism. That being the case, this may very well be a shorter than typical post …

A long time ago, the daiquiri was the cocktail that introduced me to cocktails, the flavors, though complex, are sweet and largely non-threatening, making the daiquiri an excellent beginner cocktail for any aspiring enthusiast. And, while I’ve since had enough daiquiris to swear off of the drink entirely, the daiquiri will always remain an unquestioned favorite.

The, somewhat, sweet flavor of the cocktail, and the lingering scars from previous over indulgences, lent to heavy experimentation this week at Cocktail Hacker headquarters. While avoiding the slushed elixirs most people associate with this classic cocktail, we did try several variations. Reese has already posted his now classic strawberry infused recipe, but another enjoyable recipe, as posted on Wikipedia, and apparently recommended by Embury himself, involves the substitution of some, or all, of the simple syrup with grenadine.

grenadine

While I would not recommend using the red dyed high-fructose syrup packaged as grenadine that is available in most supermarkets (we will post our own grenadine recipes in this blog at some time in the near future), the following recipe did, in fact, produce a tasty cocktail:

[Ingredients]
8 parts rum
1 part lime
1 part grenadine
[Directions]
1) Shake well with ice
2) Strain in to a cocktail glass

In the end, however, our favorite variation contained a 4:2:1 mix of rum, lime, and simple syrup, or in Cocktail Hacker:

[Ingredients]
4 parts rum
2 part lime
1 part demerara simple syrup
[Directions]
1) Shake well with ice
2) Strain in to a cocktail glass

Reese and I both found this cocktail to be well balanced with a strong, though not overpowering, emphasis on the flavors provided by the rum. The demerara syrup also adds a nice bit of complexity to the overall cocktail.

The Papa Doble

Posted by Reese On July - 3 - 2008

Ernest Hemingway Portrait

Ernest Hemingway is famous for many things, most notably his writing, but he was also an Olympic quality drinker.  One of his favorite cocktails was none other than our focus for the week, The Daiquiri.  He spent a number of years in Cuba (~1939-1960) during which his favorite hangout was El Floridita bar in Havana.

The Hemingways and Spencer Tracy at El Floridita

The Hemingways and Spencer Tracy at El Floridita

Hemingway liked a small tweak made to the standard Daiquiri recipe when he was enjoying them.  Namely, Hemingway doubled the rum resulting in what has come to be known as the Papa Doble.  Aaron and I decided to give this one a go, in the name of science, of course.  We started with the “classic” recipe as listed on Wikipedia.

The Daiquiri:
9 parts Cuban Light Rum
4 parts Lime Juice
1 part Simple Syrup
Double the rum and you get...
The Papa Doble:
18 parts Cuban Light Rum
4 parts Lime Juice
1 part Simple Syrup

As you can see the Daiquiri recipe we chose for this experiment was pretty light on the simple syrup to begin with.  Which thus resulted in a Papa Doble that was even less sweet.  Which was an ok drink, but not really what we were looking for.  Aaron and I felt that were we to go the Papa Doble route we’d likely make a couple small modifications to suit our tastes better.

The Papa Doble (Per Cocktail Hacker):
8 parts Cuban Light Rum
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Simple Syrup

This recipe brings up the sweetness, but keeps the lime juice and rum at approximately the same level.  Which, in our opinion, results in a more balanced cocktail.  I also think this would be a great place to try branching out on your ingredient choices.  For daiquiris I really enjoy using a Rhum Agricole.  Rhum Agricole is a rum type that uses cane juice rather than molasses for the fermentation base.  There are many available from the Caribbean and one (that I know of) from the US (10 Cane Rum).  I would also recommend trying some demerara syrup in place of the simple syrup.  It adds another layer of complexity to the drink.  Enjoy your Papa Dobles and think of Hemingway as you do.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice PressWell, if you’ve been making drinks along with us for the last couple weeks by now your hands probably ache and you have giant blisters from all the citrus juicing you’ve been doing.  Allow me to present a solution.  These press style juicers are great for juicing limes, and possibly lemons.  I say possibly because I haven’t had great success getting mine (the unit at left and linked below) to work on lemons to my satisfaction.  Limes however, this tool is a champion.  You simply cut the lime in half, place one half cut side down in the juicer and squeeze for all you’re worth.  The juice comes out of drain holes in the bowl of the juicer and when you’re done you toss your spent lime half and repeat.

For lemons I still turn to a plastic juicer that I’ve had for years.  So, if you see an awesome lemon juicing tool send word my way.  Hopefully this one can alleviate some of pain in your hands for now.  If that fails to help, I recommend more cocktails to ease your pain.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press [Referrer Link]

Strawberry Classic Daiquiri

Posted by Reese On July - 1 - 2008

So as I was writing our kick off post for The Daiquiri and later the post on simple syrup I got to thinking.  Although The Strawberry Daiquiri is not truely classic it is quite tasty at times.  There must be some way to combine the classic feel of The Daiquiri with the wonderful flavor of fresh strawberries.  Then it hit me, a strawberry infused simple syrup!  Thus was born The Strawberry Classic Daiquiri.

Strawberry Classic Daiquiri

The infused simple syrup, which I’ll discuss more below, gives the drink a nice pink color.  Note that the recipe for this cocktail is sweeter than traditional, but I like it because it allows the strawberry syrup to come through more.  The resulting drink is wonderfully strawberry-y and still holds true to the daiquiri theme.

Strawberry Classic Daiquiri:
[Ingredients]
2 oz Light Rum
1 oz Strawberry Syrup
1 oz Lime Juice
[Directions]
1) Shake well with ice
2) Strain in to a cocktail glass
3) Garnish with a fanned strawberry

Now, in my earlier post I promised more info on infused syrups.  They’re really not much more complex than standard simple syrup.  They do however require a little more time.

Strawberry Simple Syrup:
[Ingredients]
2 cups Water
2 cups Sugar
1 lb Sliced Fresh Strawberries
2 oz Everclear
[Directions]
1) Simmer sugar, water and berries for 10 minutes
2) Strain out strawberry pieces
3) Add Everclear to increase shelf life 

Don’t discard the strawberries, they’re fantastic for strawberry shortcake or over ice cream.  This same technique can be used for making any number of infused syrups.  For example you could try mint syrup for mojitos, raspberry syrup for another twist on The Daiquiri, or ginger syrup for a spicy twist. Enjoy!