Cilantro Daiquiri

It's like this: I go to a restaurant and after a couple "just one more minute!"s, I make my choices, ordering something that sounds like it will be incredible, but when it arrives is...well...

Kind of eh.

But the idea is perfect and so I file it away, and I go home and I get the ingredients and...well...

I fix it. 

Last weekend, my bestie Ilana--who lives in Scotland--was in town for a few days after a week in Hawaii that we're just not going to discuss. ::sigh::

We admittedly spent most of her stay on my couch, talking and watching Bomb Girls while cuddled under a blanket, glasses of melting frozen sangria leaving puddles on the coffee table. Eugene, who was off from work, napped in our bedroom, waking up around 4ish, when the sun shines brightest through our west-facing apartment.

He started howling about how it was a crime and that we were wasting the day, so we agreed to get ready and head somewhere for dinner. 4 hours later (we allowed a bit more time to laze about and then wash our hair) we headed down to AG Kitchen, where the food was wonderful, but the drinks didn't live up to the promise.

And that's how we got here.

This is my version of the Cilantro Daiquiri I ordered there. I'm a fan of classic daiquiris. Though most often found on poolside menus in outlandish frozen sugary variations, it's the simple original drink that I love. Invented in a Cuban bar back during the Spanish American War, the original daiquiri (named for a beach in Santiago) was a simple cocktail of rum, lime juice, and sugar served on the rocks.

It was a favorite of Havana-dwelling Ernest Hemingway--who preferred his stronger and without sugar (a variation known as the Papa Doble), and was eventually popularized in the US during WWII, when strict rationing of European spirits and the introduction of Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy--which opened up trade and travel with Latin America--made rum the hip go-to.

When I placed my order, I'd been hoping for something fresh, herbal, and sour; something reminiscent of hot days in the Caribbean sun.

What I got, tasted like barely-spiked limeade.

Not bad exactly, just not quite up to the potential I'd been promised. Too sweet, and the cilantro--which I'd been particularly excited about--was barely discernible.

But I was grateful for the inspiration.

The drink at the restaurant was made with cilantro-infused rum, but I lack patience, so I decided to muddle some cilantro into my shaker then strain most of it out to get the maximum amount of cilantro flavor.  I finally had what I'd been craving.

Due to a lack of limes, I only had enough to make two cocktails, which we downed along with our brunch, but I know this one will be on regular rotation around here come summer.

Warmer days practically scream for a drink like this. Especially when paired with salty chips and lazy afternoons in the sun. Clinking ice cubes. Perspiring glasses. A pile of books to read.

I can hardly wait.
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Cilantro Daiquiri Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail, multiply as necessary

1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
2 1/2 ounces white rum
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar dissolved)

Combine torn cilantro leaves, rum, lime, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass and serve with a lime garnish.

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