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Mojito crisis averted: the original daiquiri

August 4, 2008 |  1:40 pm

Daiquiri1 It happened to me, and it very well could happen to you. Call it a mojito crisis. It's a balmy summer evening, and you're all set to make mojitos for everyone. Rum? Check. Limes? Check. Sugar? Check. Mint? Where's the mint???! 

No mint, no mojitos! No matter. Do as Ernest Hemingway would do (or as his favorite bartender at Havana's El Floridita would do) -- and make daiquiris. Not the cloyingly sweet, slushy blended drink, but the original daiquiri -- simple, beautiful, refreshing and requiring just rum, limes and sugar. The following is a recipe from a favorite cocktail book, "The Tropical Bar Book" by Charles Schumann (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1989). 

It's 1 1/2 ounces light rum, 1 teaspoon superfine sugar and the juice of half a lime shaken with ice and strained into a glass.

Barbook "The Tropical Bar Book" is filled with 151 other cocktail recipes, rum history and lore, and short stories about tropical drinks and bars (and bordellos) including, of course, "Daiquiris" by Hemingway (who preferred his really strong and with the addition of grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur -- and whose daiquiri-drinking record is reportedly 16 "Papa Dobles" in one sitting).   

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times, top, and Stewart, Tabori & Chang