Nationwide Bartender Re-Education: The Daiquiri

What the fuck is so hard about making a Daiquiri?  That is what my alarm clock chirps as I spring out of bed every afternoon.  I really do wonder this every day, so many cocktails I slide across the bar are so simple, why can’t everyone do it?  Ten years of practicing  grace and nuance aside, the reason is simple, they can’t because of the lack of experience and education.

I’ll say it, I tended bar for 3 years before I knew what a Daiquiri really was.  Any bartender that says otherwise must have grown up in this cocktail renaissance we are STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF (not nearly over) and likely doesn’t know how to make an Alabama Slammer.  Anyway, despite the good efforts of the Bar Smarts crew, there are still plenty of bartenders that don’t know the most basic of basics.  I want to bring the simple back to the people.

Two months ago I was in Hawaii and at any point during my trip I would have paid over $20 for one perfectly made Daiquiri.

It never happened, I made my own.

This is what my hotel bathroom looks like, knives, Esquire, juice press and several bottles of rum (not pictured).

But, I did manage to instruct a polyester-ed hotel worker on how to make a Negroni that I sipped with my lady at sunset while watching whales in the distance.  The creation of this moment wasn’t that hard. This bartender did me a solid, and I tipped him for it, why can’t this exchange be more common?

On June 1st I want everyone who is able, to go into a normal bar, one where no one has a vest or a mustache, and order a Daiquiri.  But wait, don’t just order it, ask, “Could you make me a classic Daiquiri, just light rum, a few squeezes of lime and a whisper of simple syrup?”  You don’t have to say “whisper”  that is just my fruity pants style.  It is important to “ask” and not “tell.”  No iPhones out at the bar, no comparing the drink slinger at your local to this, “one time I was somewhere better,” just extend an olive branch.

And then hope for the best.

We can teach ’em ’bout fine straining and rhum agricole some other time.  But I think that offering up a sincere order for the simplest of sours could create an epiphany moment.

I scheme to myself that this kind of thing could catch on, a new simple drink every month getting re-introduced into the bartender’s vernacular.  So please, June 1st, order up a Daiquiri and help us all get a better drink.

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20 Responses to Nationwide Bartender Re-Education: The Daiquiri

  1. Pingback: The Bartender Re-Education Plan « Caskstrength

  2. I guess the only problem I see is that for a lot of bars I’ll need to bring the limes and the juicer. Oh, wait, “are those limes in your pocket…”

  3. Peregrine John says:

    Something entirely shocking: go to and enter daquiri into the search box.

    Good grief. The daquiri is, indeed, a forgotten classic.

  4. Peregrine John says:

    Oh fer… Ok, never mind. I switched 2 letters. Turns out there are not zero but 32 recipes that come across for that. I do believe it is time for me to mix something for my muddled mind. Muddler optional.

  5. rafe says:

    I’m game. And I’ll toss a couple limes in my pocket just to insure it all happens as hoped for.

    • caskstrength says:

      My buddy Dragos that own a Cachaca brand rolls will a cooler of everything he’d like to drink when he meets a bartender for the first visit. The first day I met him, he pulled out a bottle of grenadine, some bitters, limes, a cutting board and knife with a trusty bottle of fernet all to get the cocktail he wanted me to try.

      Couple of limes in the pocket, sounds completely reasonable.

  6. That’s a great idea! I’ll be sure to order a Daiquiri on June 1st. It is too bad that the simple classics have been lost. It’s great to see that there are some people out there who are trying to bring them back.

  7. Rick says:

    I tried this out last night because the opportunity presented itself at the Doubletree Ontario, in California. The fly in the ointment was the lack of simple syrup, which I suspect will be the norm of this exercise. But half a sugar pack was a good stand-in. The results — for both me and bartender Briana — was most gratifying.

    • caskstrength says:

      Thats what I’m talking about; fixing up the double tree. I’ve done some, “splenda dry shake hotel room,” daiquiris and found that they work fairly well. Just shake juice with powdered sugar & a splash of water and then add ice an spirit.

  8. Good luck with you battle. I won’t be out and about, but I’ll be sure to make my guests a fair amount of proper daiquiris.

  9. Vidiot says:

    Hell yes.

    He’s a twit, but John Mariani has a great business card. (Now if we could get him to call it a cocktail glass and not a “Martini glass”, we’d be set.)

    • caskstrength says:

      When I was in college I used large plastic bags to move clothes on a couple of occasions. They were not trash bags, because they had mu wardrobe it them. They were moving bags.

      This is really how I feel about the cocktail vs martini glass discussion.

      And don’t start, I own luggage now.

  10. Peter Ghattas says:

    Finally, a proper use for twitter: reminding everyone of the reclamation project of the month.

    • caskstrength says:

      Please do tweet up a campaign. I’ll be doing so. It shouldn’t be too hard for people to squeeze a bit of lime and rum into their life.

  11. Pingback: Beer in outer space, real Daiquiris, homemade orgeat syrup and more interesting links | Thats The Spirit

  12. Sam says:

    Come on people, what’s wrong with everybody? Everyone knows that THIS is how you make a daiquri:


  13. howdy says:

    I ordered a classic daiquiri last night at the Waterfront, and I have to say I was very pleased with the results. My favorite server is used to me ordering neat scotch, so he looked at me a little strangely and wanted to make sure that I was okay with it not being blended. The bartender (sadly, I don’t know her name) is one of the better ones there, and she did a beautiful job.

  14. Pingback: Nationwide Bartender Re-Education Program: The Tom Collins « Caskstrength

  15. Pingback: Coriander-Ginger Daiquiri « bourbonismyspinach

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