On a scale of one to 10, the Fumoir at Claridge’s scores a stonking 11 on our glam-o-meter. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel good about yourself for just being there.
And why wouldn’t you? When you’re lucky enough to be in the midst of such downright sexy decor, being attended to by some of the most charming waiting staff in London, you can’t help but feel like you’re the most important person in the world. Which you are while you’re there, Ricardo Semeria and the team make sure of it.
For National Daiquiri Day they’ve got something pretty special lined up – a beautifully constructed menu inspired by the don of the Daiquiri, Ernest Hemingway. “What better way to celebrate National Daiquiri Day than by talking about the man who made them famous?” says Ricardo. “In his life of adventure and literary success he spent a lot of his time in Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s, during which time the world famous ‘Papa Doble’ Daiquiri was created for him. Mr Hemingway used them as a means of inspiration throughout his life in Cuba so we present our selection of twists on the classic, all inspired after his works.”
So Ricardo, what’s your definition of a Daiquiri?
A wonderfully refreshing cocktail to enjoy at any time, particularly on a hot day: a couple of ounces of rum, some fresh lime juice, and a hit of sugar, shaken long and hard with cracked ice, served up, and enjoyed quickly before it has even the slightest chance to lose its chill.
What does the taste conjure up to you?
The Daiquiri conjures the image of the ‘Golden Era’ of cocktails, much like other classic cocktails such as the martini or the Manhattan, in the way that it allows the quality of the liquor to really shine through. It’s a great drink for a hot summer’s afternoon and when I drink one I can always picture myself being in Cuba wearing a loose linen shirt, and a Panama hat with cigar in hand.
Do you remember the first one you tasted? If so, what was it like?
I probably tasted it for the first time in my late teens in a little town in Italy call Arma di Taggia, in a friend’s bar on the beach. It was made with a Rhum Agricole from Martinique 50%…very dry and sharp but I loved it, although I could not drink anything else afterwards…!
How do you prefer yours?
60ml Bacardí Blanco, 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 bar spoons of caster sugar.
Why do you think it’s such a classic drink?
What’s great about the Classic Daiquiri is its sheer simplicity; three ingredients, as most of the best are. Bacardí Blanco, fresh lime and sugar! It’s so easy to play with, you can freely explore endless combinations.
Where would you most like to enjoy one?
As Hemingway said: “In a place, bathed in the breeze from the sea” or inside the seductive space and timeless glamour of Claridge’s Fumoir Bar.
Tell us about the Daiquiris you’ll be serving for National Daiquiri Day?
We decided to name our drinks after some of the most well-known Hemingway novels. What better way to celebrate by remembering the man who made this drink famous? We married our Bacardí concoction in harmony with delicate bergamot, rich vibrant herbal notes from fresh fennel and Absinth, sweet and spice notes from honey and ginger, delightfully bitter sweet symphony of Campari dust and superfine sugar Crustas, sexy beetroot and licorice shrub. You can all enjoy at any time of the day!
How does Bacardí 44.5% Heritage elevate the taste and depth of your Daiquiri?
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage adds a unique flavour, complexity and personality to each of the drinks. The bolder flavours in this blend accentuate the notes within the Bacardí whilst still not overpowering the delicate flavours.
Why should cocktail lovers raise their glasses to National Daiquiri Day in your bar?
When thinking back to the grandeur and the timelessness of where the Daiquiri was made famous and all the history that has come along with it and with Bacardí as a brand, Claridge’s is the natural choice for such a celebration. Our Fumoir Bar was once the most popular cigar bar in Mayfair and although you can’t smoke in there anymore, the fantasy is still very much apparent, much like the story of Ernest Hemingway.
The Sun Also Rises
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage, Grand Marnier, pomegranate syrup, Campari powder, lemon
The Garden of Eden
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage, fennel juice, white vermouth, Galliano l’autentico, absinthe, lime
A Farewell to Arms
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage, bergamot liqueur, ginger infused honey, lime
The Old Man and the Sea
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage, beetroot shrub, honey water, liquorice bitters, lime
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Bacardí 44.5% Heritage, lemon verbena syrup, green chartreuse, absinthe, pomegranate air
The Fumoir, Claridge’s, 49 Brook Street, London W1K 4HR. T: 020 7629 8860. claridges.co.uk
Tomorrow: Celebrate National Daiquiri Day at… Mark’s Bar at Hix