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It's National Daiquiri Day!

Jennifer Chandler

For the scoop on this famous summer cocktail, I turned to Harold Cook, bartender extraordinaire at Sweetgrass Restaurant.

No one really knows where the daiquiri came from but they do agree that it originated in Cuba in the early 1900s. “In Cuba there are the Daiquiri Mountains, Daiquiri Beach, there’s a Daiquiri family, and there’s a Daiquiri mineral mine. Apparently an American engineer came up with the name Daiquiri for what they were drinking down there.”


Most folks think of daiquiris as super sweet, fruity libations … but there is a sour version now in vogue that actually has it roots from a famous early 20th-century author.


The original daiquiri recipe called for white rum, lime juice, and sugar. Thanks to Earnest Hemmingway, we now also have a sour version. “Hemmingway being a diabetic couldn’t use sugar in his daiquiri so he used a maraschino liquor from Italy which would make the daiquiri sour instead of sweet.”


Hemmingway was the inspiration for Harold’s version of this cocktail. “I was always interested in Hemmingway’s life … they way he hunt, the way he fished, the way he fought and drank in bars … so when I needed to use up some good grapefruits the first thing I thought of way to make a sour daiquiri and name it The Floridita after the bar he hung out in in Cuba.”


The key to any drink is to use the best tasting ingredients ... as well as the right kind. “In this drink I would use a silver rum because it absorbs all the flavors a lot better than an aged rum will.” An aged rum would add a wood flavor that would take over the maraschino.


This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Cheers!


For more information about Sweetgrass Restaurant, visit www.sweetgrassmemphis.com.

The Floridita Daiquiri at Sweetgrass Restaurant


  • Splash Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver rum
  • 1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • Splash of lime juice
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit zest, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add a few drops of oranges bitters to the ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the grapefruit zest and shake well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a freshly peeled piece of grapefruit zest.


Serves 1.


Recipe printed with permission from Harold Cook of Sweetgrass Restaurant.


Jennifer Chandler graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the top of her class. She is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks.