The daiquiri is more than just one of our favorite Happy Hour drinks; it’s a classic cocktail that made its American debut right here in the nation’s capital. Here, we take a deep dive to breakdown the history behind the drink , and, of course, let you know where you can find these classically classy libations on Happy Hour menus around the city.
Crushed ice. White Rum. Lime juice. Sugar.
Sometimes the best drinks require the simplest of ingredients. Born from necessity (forgive us for considering a refreshing cocktail a necessity for surviving extreme heat), the daiquiri is thought to have been created by an American engineer, Jennings Cox, who found himself working in hot and humid Cuba around the time of the Spanish-American War in the late 1890’s. According to cocktail lore, Cox substituted rum (which was found in copious amounts on the Caribbean island nation) when he ran out of gin while mixing up a cocktail to quench his thirst. He combined the liquor with lime juice (also plentiful in Cuba), mixed in some sugar and dubbed his concoction the Daiquiri after a nearby town. The drink was probably enjoyed by locals before his time, but Cox is credited by some with “inventing” the refreshing libation.
DC Daiquiri History:
Although the drink has roots in Cuba, most District denizens may not know that it also has a DC history. The daiquiri was imbibed locally for the next decade or so after Cox’s serendipitous mixing of ingredients and it eventually made its way stateside thanks to a navy admiral who introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in DC – making DC the first US city to enjoy the daiquiri.
The daiquiri was originally served over crushed ice, but the preparation has changed in modern times; now, all ingredients are added into a shaker, given a thorough shake and then poured into a chilled cocktail glass. Some purists will claim that there are a handful of daiquiri variations (none of which contain overly sweet strawberry puree or come out of an icee machine) – these include the Daiquiri #2 (with the addition of orange juice and orange curacao) and the Hemingway Daiquiri – so named after the famed author who was said to have ordered the drink with grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur; among others.
Happy Hour Daqs:
Whether you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway or simply in the mood to enjoy one of the classics, check out these happy hours serving up the timeless cocktail for a deal.
Service Bar: The all-day drink specials on the U Street cocktail bar’s menu highlights The Classics, which of course includes the Daiquiri. For $7 enjoy the original daiquiri with Angostura white rum, lime, and sugar – if you feel like switching things up, opt for the Menehune Overproof Pineapple Rum ($12).
Wicked Bloom: From 4-7pm, the BBQ bar and social club offers its daiquiris for $7 – made with Naked Turtle Rum, lime and sugar.
Teddy and the Bully Bar: We can’t think of a better place to sip on a daiquiri than at the Teddy Roosevelt-themed bar (his rough riders landed on Daiquiri beach during the Spanish-American War). Monday – Sunday from 3-7pm, order the Rough Rider for $9, a 26 day barrel aged cocktail made with rum, maraschino, grapefruit bitters and lime oil.