The Daiquiri is more than just a refreshing slushy summertime cocktail.
It is a beach in Santiago, Cuba…..
There is also an iron mine there….
Translated from Spanish to English, it simply means Beverage.
How do you pronounce Daiquiri? Dack-er-ree? I always did. I’ve been corrected. Properly, it is Dye-ker-ree.
Jennings Cox, an American engineer, labelled the mix of rum, lime juice and sugar The Dacquiri around the year 1900 but the mixture itself has been used long before.
It is a Taino Indian word believed to reference this drink made up of rum, lime juice and sugar. The Taino people made up the indigenous communities of the Caribbean.
There were different variations using different rums but the Carta Blanca, a Cuban aged and filtered rum, transformed the flavour of the cocktail and became the preferential choice.
Ernest Hemingway, living in Cuba beginning in 1940, enjoyed his Daiquiris with 4 ounces of rum. The Cubans labelled them as Papa Doble. His record in one sitting: 16 Papa Dobles.
The variations of a daiquiri are endless: Banana, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry. Choose any frozen fruit, toss in the rum, ice and lemon juice and call it a daiquiri but remember to follow the format of the classic.
When ordering a daiquiri out on the town, choose your establishment well. Not every bar has a blender. Even the ones that do, you may hear it’s “broken”.
Take it from a former waitress and bartender, some servers would rather not put the extra work in to make those slushie drinks so you’ll get the “Our Blender’s Broken” story. So opt for places that specialize in fancier drinks or they contain slushie type drinks on their menu.
Regardless, you can still get a daiquiri by asking for it shaken. Same ingredients, different blending method.
If you plan to be in Santiago, perhaps you prefer to stay at an AirBnb, if you’re not the all-inclusive resort type, where you can get the true flavour of the region.
In addition to things to do in Santiago de Cuba, I thought I would provide a list of things NOT to do in Cuba.
Don’t wear expensive bling – you’ll be a target to pickpockets.
Don’t take pictures of the police, military or airport personnel -it’s illegal.
Don’t blow your nose in public – it’s very rude – go somewhere private.
Don’t spit in public – for the same reason.
Do I need to mention the water?
Don’t bother bringing your American Express card – it may not be accepted.
Don’t use unlicensed taxis – they’re illegal, so find the licensed ones.
Did you know Canadians can bring back 20 Cuban cigars without documentation?
Don’t get hustled – whether it’s for directions, restaurant ideas or story-telling, you may get asked for payment.
Don’t order a papaya daiquiri – papaya means a ladies ‘private part’ and is considered quite vulgar. Order a fruta bomba.
Don’t forget to tip your hotel staff – money is always good but practical gifts are great too. Bring extra toiletries: toothbrushes and paste, shampoo and conditioner, mouthwash even pantyhose.
Don’t watch the clock – everyone is on Island Time.
Any tips or warning from your experiences you would like to add, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
Enjoy your day with your favorite flavour in a Daiquiri. Cheers!
Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on July 19, 2017