Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daquiri Debacle

Twice in a fortnight I have ordered a Daquiri at a fine dining establishment and been embroiled in issues with wait staff. My wife and another couple were at a restaurant that holds itself out as a high end fine dining joint. When cocktails were offered I requested a Mount Gay Daquiri "up." Several minutes later a server returned and asked me whether I wanted stawberry or pineaple or peach. I was aghast at these selections and shocked that a barman at a supposed top flight bar would be such a dullard. I replied: " None of the above, I want a Mount Gay Daquiri...UP."
Said server returned with a glass of ice and some rum mixture contained therein....not what I ordered. I then caught the attention of the Sommelier...a lovely women who knew her trade...she knew what I was talking about and corrected both server and barman regarding this cocktail...the next offering was well mixed and delicious.
Last night I was at the Palm in Philadelphia for steak dinner with a longtime friend...Once again cocktail orders were taken. When I asked for a Mount Gay Daquiri UP...I was advised by the server " Oh sir...we do not serve blender drinks." I replied: " Just tell the bartender what I asked for and she will know." I did get a well chilled and proper daquiri at that point.
When did a classic cocktail like the daquiri become so associated with sickly sweet slushy blender concoctions that the bar trade and servers forgot about the original?
The Daquiri traces it roots to a Cuban Mining town of the same the early 1900's an Admiral serving in the Carribean liked the drink and introduced it to the Army-Navy Club in Washington D.C. The drink became wildly popular and was embraced by Hemingway and J.F.K. The classic version is fairly simple:

1 1/2 Ounce Rum
1 Ounce Fresh lime Juice
1 Teaspoon simple syrup/bar syrup
Shake with cracked ice,strain and serve with lime slice in chilled cocktail glass.

Hemingway was said to have invented a version which included some fresh grapefruit juice and juice of maraschino cherry. He doubled the proportions being the hard core gent he was and the drink became known as the "Papa Doble."
Havana Club from Cuba,while hard to procure...makes a splendid Daquiri.I prefer Mount Gay for a Daquiri.
Now, keep in mind a slushy fruit nightmare using cheap rum at a beach resort is OK for what it is worth...and may indeed have the ancillary benefit of getting the ladies frisky..but nothing beats the classic.


M.Lane said...

Good Lord! Where have we come to? At least the bartender at The Palm knew his/her craft.

PLEASE tell me the first place was not Savona...near you I believe and one of my favorite places anywhere.


Main Line Sportsman said...

What a guess...yes the 1st place was uncanny coincidence.

JMW said...

I'm afraid that chain restraurants/bars that force their staff to wear flair have contributed to the downfall of some cherished drinks. Not that you dine at such places, but sometimes that mindset infiltrates the ranks. Glad you were able to find people who could could make you a civilized drink!

M.Lane said...

Oh dear. Well, you are right about the young lady in charge of the wine cellar at Savona. She is a joy and such an expert without a snobby bone in her body.


Laguna Beach Trad said...

Havana Club might be well worth a visit just for the Dacquiries and frisky ladies.