Another drink, please! Summer is in full swing, and so is my sunburnt beer belly. Not to worry though, I’ve still been finding plenty of alcohol to stimulate my tastebuds. In between rounds of 3 Stars beers and assorted local sours, I’ve been hooked on one particular drink lately:
BLOOD ORANGE DAIQUIRI
First things first. Hyper-masculinity says that real men shouldn’t drink daiquiris because they’re a “gay” drink or something. If you’ve read my blogs on liquor store etiquette, you know I don’t believe in stereotyping drinks. Men can drink fruity cocktails, women can drink whiskey neat, and there is no such thing as a “gay” drink. Daiquiris are delicious, and you’re a damn liar if you say otherwise.
That having been said, this is not what I’m talking about:
Let’s backtrack a bit. In order to balance a good cocktail, you need to understand flavors and how they interact with each other. You’re four main flavors in basic cocktail recipes are alcohol, sweet, bitter and sour. Of course there are others, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll stick with those for now. Some cocktails, like a Paper Plane, combine all four of these, while others, like a Manhattan, stick to just three (liquor, sweet, bitter). This balancing act is the key to mixology, not that I claim to be a master or anything.
A traditional daiquiri is a pretty basic drink for any bartender. Proportions are 3-2-1 white rum-lime juice-simple syrup. The idea is to combine rum with one sweet ingredient and one sour ingredient. These three easy ingredients get mixed together and poured over ice.
Knowing what we know about the flavor components, we can now add and subtract ingredients to make a drink that really hits home. For me, that results in a blood orange daiquiri. I’ve been using Mad River First Run Rum, blood orange soda, unsweetened lime juice, and cinnamon. I skip the simple syrup because the soda has enough sugar for me, but I do use more soda in my recipe.
Combine 1 part rum, 1 part soda and 1/2 part lime juice in a shaker. Add two dashes of cinnamon. Shake. Serve over ice. Garnish with a blood orange wedge.
Typical daiquiris use white rum, but I’ve elected to use an aged rum for two reasons: one, I think the light vanilla and barrel flavors work well with blood orange, and two, I didn’t have any white rum. When it comes to choosing a rum for this drink, it’s important to remember ABBC, Anything But Bacardi and Captain. These products belong in the garbage. You are a classy, sophisticated drinker and deserve better. For inexpensive white rums from New England, I like examples from Short Path Distilling and Privateer. For aged versions, I like Mad River (clearly), Berkshire Mountain Distilling, or Plantation (not from NE, but cheap and delicious). The great thing about rum is great bottles rarely go above $50, and you can often find amazing values in the $25-$30 range.
Let’s see what you think! Enjoy!