Fancy a side order of lushness with your Daiquiri? Then step lively towards the London EDITION hotel. In the heart of Fitzrovia, it’s a luxury boutique hotel that blends the old and the new through exemplary design and personal service. Not to mention extremely appealing drinks experiences in the shape of the Lobby Bar and the Punch Room.
Davide Segat from the London EDITION tells us why the Daiquiri is important to him and how he’ll be celebrating National Daiquiri Day with three versions of this iconic drink
What’s your definition of a Daiquiri?
It’s the most basic recipe ever – rum, lime, sugar – you can’t go wrong. Or can you? It’s so simple to make that you can easily mess it up. Balance is key; we use it as a yard stick to gauge bartenders when they come in for a trial. It’s the perfect way to measure their understanding of a balanced drink.
What does the taste conjure up to you?
The rum needs to be the dominant taste, you want to enhance its flavours with the citrus and sweet notes. If you make it correctly, with the appropriate rum of course, it will have a very powerful start and a nice delicate aftertaste.
When did you first taste one and what was it like?
I remember exactly where it was but out of compassion, I’d rather not name names because it was the most sickeningly sweet rendition ever, really poorly executed. But I didn’t know much back then so I just assumed that was the way it was meant to be. It got better from there, but my favourite experience was when David Cordoba came into the bar where I was working with an actual bottle of Bacardí 44.5% Heritage (we didn’t have much rum, maybe one bottle) and actually showed me how he drank his. It was a total game changer and to this day, it’s my favourite recipe!
How do you prefer yours?
I prefer mine with 15ml of lime juice, 10ml lemon juice, 2 bar spoons of white sugar, 60ml of Bacardí Rum, shaken with few cubed and a big block of ice. The 10ml extra of rum really helps the rum notes stand out, plus the winning combination of lime and lemon juice gives you the right citrus notes.
Why is it such a classic drink?
It’s one of the original great cocktails, and easily the most bastardized. Ultimately, it proves that the simplest combinations work the best. It hits all the marks: spirit, citrus, sweetener and dilution… That’s where it all began, right? A great nod to that is Anastasia Miller and Jared Brown’s book Cuban Cocktails wherein the British Ponche is credited to have helped the creation of the Daiquiri…Bring Punch into the mix? I’m in!
Where would your ideal place be to enjoy one?
Almost anywhere really but if I had to choose THE best place it has to be the Malecon in Havana. Sit down, look at the ocean and enjoy the atmosphere, it`s awesome! But then again I had one as a shot next to a beer at Employee’s Only in New York very late at night on my last visit and that was pretty cool too. Let`s just say there’s really no bad time to sink a Daiquiri…
Tell us a bit about the Daiquiri you’ll be serving for National Daiquiri Day?
We will serve three Daiquiris. The first one is the one I listed above as the classic recipe. Then we will make a Bacardí Cocktail (a small variation from one of the most famous versions): 50ml Bacardí, 10ml lemon juice, 15ml of lime juice, 15ml grenadine syrup and a dash of Luxardo Maraschino, which wasn’t present on any of the Bacardí Cocktail versions but it adds a little depth and balance. The third serve will be The British Ponche, we had to have a go!: (serves one, multiply according) 50ml Bacardí 44.5% Heritage 25ml lemon juice, 20ml Demerara syrup, and swapping the water for a nice healthy 50ml measure of spiced tea blend (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper).
How does Bacardí 44.5% Heritage elevate the taste and depth of your Daiquiri?
I like the balance of the product, the fact that it tries to recreate the flavour of an old style of rum, the higher proof also really adds a great rich flavour to your cocktails, not only the Daiquiri. I find it helps a lower proof drink like Punch really stand out.
Why should cocktail lovers raise their glasses to National Daiquiri Day in your bar?
Because Andy and I are not there and I’m sure the staff will throw a massive party! Also because with the three serves we have, hopefully you can see what the Punch going around the Caribbean back in that era tasted like (or as close as we can make it).
The London EDITION, 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP. T: 020 7781 0000. editionhotels.com
Tomorrow: It’s National Daiquiri Day!