As it is now officially summer, Calum has done his traditional thing and bought a watermelon! As he grew up in Hong Kong, it is one of the things that reminds him about living there. Due to their size, eating it all in one sitting was not an option so we needed to find something else to do with it! Sliced and packed into the freezer we started our weekly mission to find a cocktail of the week. Relatively quickly we decided on a Watermelon Daiquiri.
The history of the daiquiri is rather interesting! The name ‘Daiquiri’ is a Taíno word that comes from the indigenous people of Cuba and is also the name of a local beach and iron mine. Origins of a drink similar to the daiquiri can be traced back to the 1740s. A drink call grog was made at the time that British Navy sailors would drink. By the end of the century, the sailors had as part of their grog rations, the key ingredients to the drink now known as the daiquiri; rum, water, lemon or lime and sugar. The drink became common across the Caribbean where it reappeared in Cuba in the late 1890’s.
It is likely that the drink was an established Cuban speciality when it was introduced to the Americans. An American expat called Jennings Cox who ran out of gin whilst entertaining and created something similar to the drink. It wasn’t until 1909 when a US Navy officer tried Cox’s drink and introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington where its popularity grew. It was also thought to be a favourite of Ernest Hemingway and JFK. Variations of the drink have become popular over the last few years with frozen and fruit versions.
For this weeks cocktail you will need;
- 1 cup of watermelon, sliced into inch cubes and frozen
- 1 measure of rum
- 2 teaspoon of sugar syrup
- 1 teaspoons of lime juice
- Zest of half a lime
- 1 watermelon slice with the rind for garnish
To make the drink, place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until you have a smoothish liquid and pour into a glass. Garnish with the watermelon slice and you have a Watermelon Daiquiri.
Its great to think that a drink started by the British Navy with the rum rations, popularised in the Caribbean and adopted by the American Navy and Army is still going today. Sadly (or rather sensibly), as the rum rations were ended in 1970 on a day known as Black Tot Day, we probably won’t have the British and American Navy for another interesting cocktail.