10 great spots across America to sip the summery classic.
A well-made Daiquiri can cool to the core with its bright, summery combination of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar. First mixed in Cuba in the early 1900s, word of the Daiquiri’s deliciousness quickly spread (in fact one of its more famous fans, Ernest Hemingway even inspired his own namesake variation). And though the drink spent much of the past century masked as a sugary, slushed shadow of its former self, a growing number of cocktail bars are bring the drink back to its original glory. In our July/August 2012 issue we highlight five spots around the U.S. that serve topnotch versions of the Cuban classic (some with their own modern twists), but we couldn’t stop there—here are 10 additional spots worth checking out. And be sure to check of the July/August issue for our five other picks.
Caña Rum Bar
Rum is the name of the game at this classy So Cal rum club, where a classic Daiquiri serves as the delicious default drink when a first-time guest asks for a recommendation. And in just a few months, the bar plans to start mixing Daiquiris with their hotly anticipated house rum, currently being developed by an American micro-distiller. “It’s going to clock in around 90-proof, have a very distinct nose and finish cooler than its alcohol content would have you believe,” says general manager Allan Katz. “It’ll make our natural Daiquiri—2 oz. light rum, 1 oz. fresh lime, 3/4 oz. 1:1 turbinado simple syrup—unique enough to call our own.”
714 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-745-7090; 213nightlife.com/canarumbar
A few weeks ago, two of the bartenders (Jesse and Luis) and I got some amazing training and information from Eric Alperin. I feel like everyone who works in the industry and/or lives in LA knows who he is. If not, you really should Google him. Needless to say, we felt really privileged to get to spend some time learning from him. He shared a lot of great stuff! He also offered some great suggestions. We now make our own grenadine, have a better honey syrup recipe, and have improved some of our specialty cocktails.
After he left, the boys made comments like: “Man, that guy is f’ing cool,” “I wanna be like him,” “He’s amazing. When are we going to The Varnish?”
Lately, both the boys have started imitating some of Eric’s mannerisms when they’re bartending. It’s actually pretty funny, because anytime they do, they always say “Did you see that?” They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
Lauren Wong, Golden Gopher, GM