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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Daiquiri

Easy cocktails to make at home

From the Negroni to the Old Fashioned, here are five easy cocktails to make at home without any equipment more elaborate than a shaker and a jigger. Once you’ve mastered the…

From the Negroni to the Old Fashioned, here are five easy cocktails to make at home without any equipment more elaborate than a shaker and a jigger. Once you’ve mastered the basics, we’ve included tips for how you can upgrade your drink.

Since the strange events of the past year, we’ve become quite proficient home bartenders here at Master of Malt, able to whip up a fairly passable Martini in no time at all. It might not look quite as fancy as one at the Savoy but it certainly hits the spot. That’s the great thing about the classic cocktails, you don’t need a lot of elaborate equipment to make them. In fact, just turn to our home bar essentials page for a good list of bottles you can make pretty much everything with. A proper shaker is worth having and a jigger, and then you’re ready to go. Cocktail nirvana awaits.

Dry Martini with olive easy cocktails to make at home

How to make a Dry Martini:

The king of cocktails! Probably more has been written about the Dry Martini than any other cocktail. The big question is: how strong do you like yours? Some people just like a splash of vermouth, but we like it a little wetter. It’s really up to you. However you like it, use top-quality gin, plenty of ice and whatever you do, don’t shake it!

Basic recipe:

60ml Bathtub Gin
10ml Dolin dry vermouth

First, chill your Martini glass, then fill a shaker with ice and add the ingredients and stir for 30 seconds. Pour into the glass and garnish with an olive. 

Top tip: Keep your gin in the freezer and vermouth in the fridge and your Martini will come out extra cold with less dilution.

The upgrade: Use new make spirit or unaged Armagnac instead of gin for a spicy alternative. 

Old Fashioned - easy cocktails to make at home

How to make an Old Fashioned:

The original cocktail. In the olden timey days a cocktail simply meant a mixture of spirit with water, sugar, ice and bitters. Rye whiskey or bourbon are the most common spirits used but the Old Fashioned can be made with pretty much anything under the sun such as rum, single malt Scotch whisky, mezcal, Tequila, or gin. 

Basic recipe:

60ml Black & Gold 11 Year Old Bourbon
1 tablespoon sugar syrup
Angostura Bitters to taste

Fill a tumbler with ice, add all the ingredients and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds. Taste, add more bitters of sugar syrup if you want. Express a piece of orange peel over the top, drop it in and serve.

Top tip: Don’t bother mucking about with sugar cubes like Don Draper in Mad Men, just use a simple syrup.

Upgrade: Use sweet sherry-like a cream or PX instead of sugar syrup. This works particularly well if you’re using a sherry cask whisky.

Negroni easy cocktails to make at home

How to make a Negroni:

Probably the easiest of easy cocktails, the bitter complex Negroni was once a trade secret, beloved by bartenders but thought a little too much for your average customer. Well, not any more, the Negroni is very much mainstream. Part of the appeal is it’s so easy to make. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of good cold ice and you’re ready to go.

Basic recipe:

30ml Campari
30ml Martini Rosso
30ml Beefeater London Dry Gin

Add all the ingredients to an ice-filled tumbler. Still well, express a piece of orange peel and drop it in.

Top tip: A trad juniper-forward London Dry works best. We’ve had some Negroni disasters with liquorice-heavy and other unusual gins.

Upgrade: Everything is up for grabs with a Negroni. Try swapping the gin for mezcal, play around with different vermouths or even use something else like Amaro Montenegro instead of Campari.

Daiquiri Naturale easy cocktails to make at home

How to make a Daiquiri:

Nowadays when you order a Daiquiri in Havana, you tend to get the frozen version. What we have here is what’s known in Cuba as a Daiquiri Naturale. There are so many different ratios out there, this one comes from Simon Difford and it works beautifully.

Basic recipe:

50ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old
15ml lime juice
10ml sugar syrup

Shake ingredients with plenty of ice and double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Serve with a wedge of lime

Top tip: Be carefully when squeezing the limes that you don’t get any oils from the skin in as this can make your Daiquiri bitter.

Upgrade: Use dark rum and a little coffee liqueur to make a rich Daiquiri Mulata, a great after-dinner sipper. 

Manhattan cocktail with orange peel, easy cocktails to make at home

How to make a Manhattan:

A good way to think of a Manhattan is that it’s a sweet Martini made with dark spirits instead of gin. Rye is traditional but there’s a whole family of similar drinks such as the Rob Roy, made with Scotch, the Emerald, with Irish whiskey, and the Harvard, using Cognac. 

Basic recipe:

50ml Michter’s US*1 Rye
25ml Cinzano Rosso 1757
Dash of Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients with lots of ice in a shaker and strain into a cold coupe or a Nick & Nora. Express a piece of orange zest over and drop into the glass. 

Top tip: Though the Manhattan is traditionally served straight up, it’s also excellent on the rocks for when you want your easy cocktail fix quick.

Upgrade: Add a tablespoon of Fernet Branca to your Manhattan to give it a powerful menthol breeze. It’s like cough medicine for grown-ups. 

 

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Cocktail of the Week: The Daiquiri

Today’s cocktail has the ability to transport you back to the glamour of pre-revolutionary Cuba with just one sip. It is, of course, the Daiquiri! Let’s get the bad news…

Today’s cocktail has the ability to transport you back to the glamour of pre-revolutionary Cuba with just one sip. It is, of course, the Daiquiri!

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the invention of Cuba’s national drink is usually attributed to an American! The man in question was a certain Jennings Cox, a mining engineer based in the south of the island, near Santiago de Cuba. It was the early 20th century, and one day he was entertaining some friends when he ran out of gin, the drink Americans usually drank. Rather than let his party break up early, he mixed lime juice, sugar, ice and water with the local rum, Bacardi, a light, smooth style of spirit that proved ideal for cocktails. With winning modesty, Cox named his concoction not after himself but after the nearby beach, Daiquiri.

Downtown Havana ©Caleb Krivoshey

Downtown Havana ©Caleb Krivoshey

Or so the story goes; I am sure that the locals were probably drinking something not dissimilar already. This early Daiquiri doesn’t sound so different from a rum punch, a drink ubiquitous across the Caribbean, or indeed that old Royal Navy drink, Grog, a mixture of rum, lime juice, sugar and water, designed to keep sailors soberish and scurvy-free. It was in Havana, however, that the drink became something a little more sophisticated. The barman at La Floridita, Constantino Ribalaigua (born in 1888 in Catalonia), shook the ingredients with ice and then strained the mixture into a cold glass to create… well, it’s sour, isn’t it? Yes, a Daiquiri is simply a sour made with rum.

Nevertheless, the Daiquiri became legendary, perhaps due to the famous people who drank it. Hemingway, a regular at La Floridita, was a fan. He had a special one prepared without sugar because he was diabetic. It was also a lot stronger. During Prohibition, Havana became a playground for Americans: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra were all seen knocking back Daiquiris. The in-crowd drank at the art-deco Hotel Nacional, which opened in 1930. With American celebrities came American criminals; the Mafia poured into Cuba in the 1920s and ‘30s, and Cuba’s capital city became notorious for vice, gambling and corruption.

Emilio Gonzalez at another Havana hotel, the Plaza, came up with the idea of using a blender, a new invention in the 1930s, to crush up ice and fruit to create the frozen Daiquiri. Without Gonzalez’s refinement the greatest drinks conversation in cinema could not have taken place. In The Godfather Part II, the Corleones are in Havana indulging in some vice, gambling and corruption. Alfredo Corleone asks his brother, who he has betrayed, “How do you say Banana Daiquiri in Spanish?”. Michael Corleone replies, “Banana Daiquiri”.

Daiquiri Naturale

Daiquiri Naturale

Nowadays the standard Daiquiri in Havana is frozen; if you want an old-school version you have to ask for a Daiquiri Naturale. The beauty of the Daiquiri is that it is so adaptable: you can use different types of fruit and rum, you can adjust the sweetness, and it can be frozen or merely cold. My own favourite variation is the Daiquiri Mulata, made with dark rum and a coffee liqueur, but this week, I’ve kept it classic with a Havana Club 3 Year Old. Finally, it’s worth double straining to remove any bits of ice and lime pulp.

Right, here’s a basic Naturale recipe:

50ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old
15ml lime juice
10 ml sugar syrup

Shake ingredients with plenty of ice and double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Serve with a wedge of lime and an anecdote about Papa.

Havana Club

Cubans love the smell of Havana Club

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Master of Cocktails – Banana Daiquiri

Right then cocktail fans. Time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails extravaganza. This time, we’re making a Banana Daiquiri recipe. Course we are. This is a rather prep-heavy drink, and with most…

Master of Cocktails Banana Daiquiri

Right then cocktail fans. Time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails extravaganza. This time, we’re making a Banana Daiquiri recipe. Course we are.

This is a rather prep-heavy drink, and with most of it we will be able put it together a day or so in advance. Following that, all we’ll need to do is remove it from the freezer, give it a quick blitz with a stick blender, tip into a glass and garnish. But first, let’s have a look at the homework we will have done beforehand.

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Master of Cocktails – The Hemingway Daiquiri

After a break from Daiquiris on #MasterofCocktails last week, they’re back in force with probably the finest evolution of the drink – maybe with the exception of Artesian’s Frozen Banana…

Master of Cocktails Hemingway Daiquiri

After a break from Daiquiris on #MasterofCocktails last week, they’re back in force with probably the finest evolution of the drink – maybe with the exception of Artesian’s Frozen Banana with Caviar… and I’ll be having a crack at recreating that one in a few weeks’ time incidentally… but this week we’re going with The Hemingway Daiquiri.

He liked a drink or two did old Ernie, and this recipe is a fine legacy indeed. The theory here is essentially unchanged from the standard, only we’re going to be replacing boring old sugar syrup with Maraschino. The original recipe also calls for a splidge of Grapefruit Juice. Not convinced it needs it myself but we’ll stick it in anyway and you can easily omit it if you’ve not got grapefruits in (who does, usually?).

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Master of Cocktails – The Strawberry Daiquiri

Right then y’all. It’s time once again for #MasterofCocktails. This week’s drink (and next week’s come to think of it), are both drinks that you *should* feel comfortable ordering if…

Master of Cocktails Strawberry Daiquiri

Right then y’all. It’s time once again for #MasterofCocktails. This week’s drink (and next week’s come to think of it), are both drinks that you *should* feel comfortable ordering if they’re made correctly.

They are both pink though. Very pink.

This one (as you may have guessed) is a Strawberry Daiquiri. We’re making it properly, which means no strawberry syrup, no strawberry liqueur and absolutely no sweet and sour mix. Shall we?

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Master of Cocktails – The Mojito

Sticking with the Daiquiri theme, we’re (finally) making Mojitos this week on #MasterofCocktails. It’s taken a while to get round to it, but is there a more crowd-pleasing summer drink?…

Master of Cocktails Mojito

Sticking with the Daiquiri theme, we’re (finally) making Mojitos this week on #MasterofCocktails. It’s taken a while to get round to it, but is there a more crowd-pleasing summer drink?

Now the very first thing you’re going to need to do is take a small amount of granulated sugar…

and do this with it…

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Master of Cocktails – The Daiquiri

In this week’s #MasterofCocktails we’re making what is probably the most abused drink in the history of all time: The Daiquiri. It’s such a blisteringly simple drink when done correctly….

Master of Cocktails Daiquiri

In this week’s #MasterofCocktails we’re making what is probably the most abused drink in the history of all time: The Daiquiri.

It’s such a blisteringly simple drink when done correctly. Rum. Sugar. Lime. That’s all.

Now, there are some variations worth lauding (we’re going to do a few over the next couple of weeks), but the classic version is one that should be in everyone’s repertoire.

The recipe really couldn’t be simpler. Can you remember the following?

 

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Master of Cocktails – Mai Tai

This week’s #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We’re making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world. Now, if you’ve ever ordered one…

Master of Cocktails Mai Tai

This week’s #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We’re making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world.

Now, if you’ve ever ordered one of these in a bar, you’ll either have had a delicious variant on a Daiquiri, or a juice-laden mess that bears as much resemblance to a proper cocktail as a bottle of Hooch and an apple schnapps chaser.

Can you guess which version we’re going to be making?

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