Rum is the world’s most varied spirit, and while it primarily hails from the Caribbean, it’s made in many countries around the world. Each region typically has its own production methods which create a great deal of variety and personality between one rum and the next.
While the true origins of rum have never been found, evidence points to it being made first in Barbados in the early 17th century. The Daiquiri, a classic rum cocktail, also lacks a verified origin story. However, the most popular theory involves Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who worked in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. During a dinner party with American guests, Cox was said to have run out of gin. Rather than leave his guests without drinks for the night, he decided to offer them locally produced rum. He added lime juice and sugar to improve the flavor for his guests, who were used to sweeter drinks.
The drink became popular in Cuba, but it didn’t reach mass appeal until 1909 when Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, a U.S. Navy medical officer, tried the drink and loved it so much that he introduced it to his friends at the Army and Navy Club once he was back in Washington, D.C.
The Hemingway Daiquiri
Ernest Hemingway was known to frequent bars in Cuba during the 1920s, and one of his most frequent haunts was called the El Floridita. The bar was tended by Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, a man known for his flamboyance, artistry, and precision. He had made several successful variations of the daiquiri, but Hemingway would make one of his creations famous around the world. The story is that Hemingway tried a daiquiri at the bar one day and asked Vert to make it “without sugar and double the rum.” Because this strong drink has quite a bite to it, it was later adapted to be more palatable.
- 2 oz. white rum
- 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a small coupe.
Prepared by and shot on location at SideTrack