Today we commemorate National Daiquiri Day…
It is said that the Daiquiri was invented (in the sense that “necessity is the mother of invention” )…
Origin Is Disclosed of Daiquiri Cocktail:
One Group of American Engineers Named Drink at Santiago Bar
During prohibition Havana was the mecca for Americans and the Sevilla Biltmore, with its sophisticated atmosphere equaling that of the Ritz in Paris and the Hotel de Paris at Monte Carlo, was the rendezvous of the dimplomatic corps, the army and the navy, men of the arts and science, financiers and those who came to ace and rub elbows with the cosmopolitan.
Many new drinks were invented behind the Sevilla’s great bar. The basic ingredients of numerous concoctions was Cuba’s favourite liquor. Ron Bacardi. At the time the Sevilla Biltmore was opened and the variety of Bacardi drinks was limited.
As time passed, however this rum became outstanding because the clever artists behind the Sevilla’s bar recognised its superiority for mixing and invented new recipes for its use.
Eddie Woelke then at the Sevilla was among those who enriched the art of mixers. Some of his noted creations are the Mary Pickford, El Presidente, Dorothy Gish and Nacional cocktails. While in Havana he recieved the “La Corona” in recognition of being the only man ever known to have prepared one million drinks from Ron Bacardi. In 1930, Eddie took first prize in an important mixing contest held in Havana. Pictures of this affair were taken by Fox Movietone News and widely distributed.
The most renowned of all Cuban drinks is the daiquiri or Bacardi cocktail. Here is its history.
Shortly after the Spanish - American war, there was a popular trysting place in Santiago known as the Venus Bar. One day a group of American engineers who had come into town from the Daiquiri mines were imbibing their favourite drink in this restful spot. It was one of those wonderful rum concoctions made from Ron Bacardi.
A jovial fellow by the name of Jennings Stockton Cox spoke up “Cabelleros y amigos, we have been enjoying this delicious mixture for some time but strange to admit the drink has no name. Don’t you think it is about time something was done to extricate us from this sad predicament” It was unanimously agreed that the drink should be named without further procrastination. There was a silence for several minutes as each man became immersed in deep thought. Suddenly Cox’s voice was heard again. “I have it men! Let’s call it the Daiquiri”. And so it was christened.
Originally it was a tall drink. The glass being packed with cracked ice and a teaspoonful of granulated sugar poured over the ice. The juice of one or two limes was squeezed in and two or three ounces of Bacardi added. The glass was frosted by stirring with a long handled spoon for several minutes.
At the Venus bar the Daiquiri was prepared and served as follows:
The juice of half a large lime , or one small lime was squeezed into a shaker containing one teaspoonful of granulated sugar. Two ounces of Bacardi (carta Blanca) were added and a generous quantity of shaved ice prepared the shaker for frosting. When the mixture was thoroughly mixed, it was then poured (not strained) into a chilled glass known as a “flute” This recipe is the correct one and was given by Facundo Bacardi and corroborated by one of the men who attended the christening.
During Eddie’s early days at the Sevilla Biltmore bar, he discovered that the Daquiri made an ideal appetizer when cracked ice was used in place of shaved ice and the mxture was strained into a large cocktail glass. Well chilled. This method was blessed with the name of Bacardi cocktail, in honor of its proprietors.
During prohibition this drink was pitifully abused. Many establishments used grenadine in place of sugar and this still obtains today.
There is a cocktail called Santiago which requires no sweetening but it is absolutely wrong to give it the name Daiquiri. The Daiquiri and Bacardi cocktails are the same. The serving of ice in the glass is generally omitted unless otherwise specified.