I chose the "immortal DAIQUIRI" as my drink this evening for several reasons. One, Autumn is about to get in full swing, so this is the last chance for a tropical drink. And two, I have procured a bottle of five year old Havana Club Anejo Rum. So I really didn't have a choice.
Charles H. Baker, Jr. holds the Daiquiri in the same league as "the Martini, Manhattan, Side Car, and other immortals." He claims to have imbibed this cocktail in such famous Cuban haunts as "the Havana Yacht Club, Country Club, Hotel Nacional -between revolutionary bombings-Sloppy Joe's, La Florida, the Bacardi Building..." and it seems every place in between New York and Shanghai. Have Daiquiri ingredients, will travel should have been Mr. Baker's mantra.
Baker credits the invention of the Daiquiri to one Harry E. Stout and an engineer named Mr. Jennings Cox. This momentous occasion occurred during the summer of 1898 in the village of Daiquiri in Oriente province. The Yellow fever was rampant and one couldn't drink the water. So these two Yanks tinkered around with boiled water and rum, then added lime, dropped the water, added a sugar to "modify the acid." And voila! While Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders took San Juan Hill, Messieurs Stout and Cox were throwing back Daiquiris. Therefore, Mr. Baker advocates the "original Harry Stout-Jennings Cox mixture for the Original Cuban Daiquiri":
1 whisk(e)y glass level full of Carta Blanca or Carta de Oro Bacardi rum (I used 2 oz of Havana Club Anejo)
2 tsp of sugar (I used 1 oz of demerara simple syrup)
the juice of 1 1/2 small green lines (about 1/2 oz fresh lime)
Shake very hard over cracked ice and pour ice and all into a tall flute cocktail glass. (I strained out the ice, I like my Daiquiris up)
Baker warns not to make the drink too sweet. So ease up on the sugar, use simple syrup. The sour lime juice flavor with just a hint of sweetness, mixes perfectly with the chilled aged Rum. If using dark or aged rum, use less sugar. White rum, more sugar.
Where to get a great Daiquiri? The JakeWalk on Smith Street in Brooklyn. Barkeeps Ari Form and Matt Devriendt use Zacapa 23 Year Rum from Guatemala, serve it in a vintage crystal goblet, and leave you with the best Daiquiri north of the Tropic of Cancer.