Daiquiri Lovers Unite: The Cocktail Snob takes Daiquiri Discussions
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Last week, I was in the presence of NYC spirits royalty at Rum Reader’s Daiquiri Discussions Event at Slowly Shirley in New York City. The event, which included a panel of experts, focused solely on the daiquiri, a 3-ingredient cocktail with endless variations. Though the daiquiri is a simple cocktail, there was so much to discuss. The panel included some of the city’s most talented mixologists like Dave Arnold, Shannon Mustipher, Eryn Reece, Jim Kearns, and panel moderator, St. John Frizell. Panelists shared their perspectives on the history of the daiquiri, definitive components, and ingredient variations. But the highlight of the night was having the opportunity to taste each panelist’s take on the classic cocktail, which resulted in 6 glorious rounds of the most amazing daiquiris I’ve ever had. What a treat!
Besides the delectable drinks, my favorite thing about this event was realizing how the daiquiri was both polarizing and unifying all at the same time. As the discussion went on, the panelist’s responses revealed variations in technique, differences in preferred ingredients, discussion on the necessity of a garnish, and many more friendly debates. But what struck me most was, despite all the differing opinions, there were 5 ideas that everyone agreed upon:
Ordering a daiquiri at a bar is a great way to test a bartender’s skill level
There IS such a thing as a bad daiquiri-old lime juice and too much sugar will do the trick
A daiquiri is a great way to introduce people to more aggressive rums or spirits
Garnish without function is silly
The rum is and will always be the star of the daiquiri
As a bonus, they offered tips to help the home bartender create a quality daiquiri in the comfort of their own home.
Choose your rum wisely. There are so many amazing rums to choose from.
Fresh lime juice is essential. None of that store-bought stuff.
After you’ve assembled all your ingredients, shake it with large ice.
If your friends don’t want to sip daiquiris at home with you, you need to make new friends!
Who knew such a simple cocktail could produce such an intellectual discussion? Thanks again to the folks at Rum Reader for allowing me to be one of their special guests.