Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Happy Hour: Daiquiri

You've heard of a daiquiri, of course -- as in "strawberry daiquiri" and "banana daiquiri" etc., right? Well, the "plain daiquiri" (if you will) is the grandfather to those more colorful members of the daiquiri family tree.

A daiquiri doesn't require a blender, the ingredients are simple, and it doesn't need a lot of fuss. It's a great drink for summer because it has a light combination of sweet and tart. Here's how we did ours:

2 oz light rum (a/k/a white rum or silver rum)
juice of one lime (approx. 1 oz)
1 teaspoon of powdered sugar
Shake and serve.

Powdered sugar is the traditional ingredient, but you can substitute simple syrup. This recipe makes a conservatively sized drink -- unlike the heaps of blenderized icy froth adorned with fruits and cocktail umbrellas you might think of when you imagine a daiquiri. Not that there's anything wrong with froth, fruits, or cocktail umbrellas, of course.

We read that John F. Kennedy was sipping daiquiris while waiting for election returns in 1960. Ernest Hemingway famously drank daiquiris in Cuba before the revolution. This daiquiri is that kind of drink.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Special 4th of July Happy Hour: The Sparkler

Happy Independence Day!

On the 233rd anniversary of the independence of these United States, we offer you a perfect drink for your 4th of July picnics, cookouts, family gatherings, and fireworks viewing. And it's a Rogers Park Retro original!

We call it the "Sparkler" -- it's just as scintillating as the sparklers that are so perennially associated with 4th of July celebrations.

Here's how we make it:

1.5 oz of light (or silver) rum
juice of one lime (approx. 1 oz)
3/4 oz of pineapple juice
1/2 oz of triple sec

Shake well and serve. Cap it off with American sparkling wine. Ideally, garnish it with an American flag.

To us, this is an ideal Independence Day drink because it has a light summer composition, and the ingredients even bear some symbolic significance. Rum is closely associated with the American revolution. Paul Revere is said to have fortified himself with a drink of rum before his midnight ride. General George Washington is said to have ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to mark the 4th of July in 1778. We won't go so far as to propose that the pineapple represents our 50th state, or that the cherry garnish calls to mind the old story of George Washington and the cherry tree. The point is that you can enjoy the drink as a patriot, too.

Here's to the Spirit of '76!