Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Daiquiri #3

320 Main Daiquiri #3
The Daiquiri may be the most basic, most common, and most frequently abused cocktail in the world. Starting as a simple mix of rum, lime, and sugar, the drink these days is often thought of as something served out of alcoholic slush machines. In earlier times the simple Daiquiri was a drink that captured the imagination of bartenders and the American public. 

In Havana during American Prohibition, a man named Constantino Ribalaigua Vert was tending bar at La Florida. Constantino, better known as El Constante Grande or “The Big Constante” (way cooler than “The Big Lebowski”), built an empire around the beguiling Daiquiri. 

La Florida

In addition to making hand-shaken Daiquiris in numbers so great that he hired boys from all over the city to stand in long lines shaking the drinks almost non-stop, Constante began blending the Daiquiris and making multiple variations to appeal to the ever-growing throngs of Americans flooding his bar every night.

The Daiquiri #3 was one of the most popular versions to grace the menu. Starting with the normal recipe, Constante added Maraschino liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice to the standard lime juice, sugar, and rum. This was usually shaken but, just as often, blended and served in a goblet.

Daiquiri #3
2 oz White Rum
1 oz Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp Maraschino
Shake with ice and a lime hull and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a lime wedge.

Ernest and Mary Hemingway at La Florida with Spencer Tracy.

This drink was popular not just among the regular barfolk, but also one of the favorite drinks of one of the most well-known writers of all time: Ernest Hemingway.

Legend tells us that one day the famed writer walked into La Florida while Constante was setting up for the evening service and asked if he could use the restroom. When he re-emerged, he asked if he could try one of the Daiquiris (believed to be the #3) already lining the bar.

Upon finishing the drink, Hemingway declared it delicious and became so taken with the drink in the blended variation that in the La Florida Bar Guides written by Constante there appears a drink with the same recipe as the Daiquiri #3 – but specifying that it should be blended – named the E. Hemingway Special.

At 320 Main, we may not have a blender, but we can still make you a Daiquiri #3 so good that you'll see why Papa Hemingway frequented La Florida enough to earn a bronze statue in the bar in his favorite spot.

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare  runs RumDood.com, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.

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