In my travels, I keep hearing this term, ““DTO”, which stands for Daiquiri Time Out. There is a website dedicated to it, mixologists and bartenders across the U.S. have designed coins and coasters that say it, and it was even referred to in the movie “Wedding Crashers”! This year was the “Year of the Daiquiri” at Tales of the Cocktail there was a happy hour called DTO in which over 30 rum brands showcased their twist on this classic cocktail.
What is a daiquiri? By definition it is rum, fresh lime juice, and sugar. There are many historic references to this cocktail, some dating back to the late 1800’s. During the Spanish-American war, Americans landed on a beach called “Daiquiri”, a short distance from an iron mine in Santiago. An iron worker by the name of Jennings Cox is often credited with creating the first daiquiri. The story goes like this: Cox was entertaining friends one night and ran out of the gin he was using to make cocktails. He ran out and purchased the easiest thing he could f ind, which was rum. He added limes, lemons, mineral water, and ice, and made it into a punch. He named it after the nearby beach, and so was born the daiquiri.
In the 1930’s the daiquiri became a very popular cocktail in the United States largely due to a few very famous writers. F. Scott Fitzgerald mentioned it in This Side of Paradise, written in 1920, and Ernest Hemingway not only wrote about it but considered it his cocktail of choice! He had his own variations which are popular still to this day, especially the “Hemingway Daiquiri ”, or “Papa Doble”. This version includes grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. Hemingway was a diabetic, so incorporating the grapefruit juice balanced out the sweetness without the use of sugar.
He helped create this cocktail while imbibing at El Floridita, and during his years of living in Cuba he became well known for his love of the daiquiri. He even wrote on the wall of La Bodeguita del Medio, “My mojito in La Bodeguita, My Daiquiri in El Floridita.”
3 oz White rum
1 oz Lime juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit juice
1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur
During the 1940’s and 1950’s,rum continued to be in the forefront of American cocktails as the Tiki craze began. Soldiers were traveling back from WWII with bottles of rum and stories of tropical drinks in exotic locations. The daiquiri continued to ride this wave. In the 1970’s, frozen drink machines were all the rage and the overly sweet fruit y daiquiri was born. For many years if you ordered a daiquiri what you received was something poured out of a plastic jug, into a big machine, and served as a slushy. Sometimes it was even topped with whipped cream!
Fortunately the craft cocktail movement began in the 1990’s and never stopped. We in the mixology world got our hands on any old cocktail book we could find and re-discovered the classics, and put our own spin on those precious recipes. You can now find different styles of daiquiris on most cocktail menus throughout the world.
Which brings us to DTO. The Daiquiri Time Out is a way of life. It is the belief that no matter what is going on in your life- - - whether it be work, travel, tragedy,celebration- - - there is always time to stop and enjoy a Daiquiri. Bar tenders all over the country are embracing this concept, and you should too! Go grab a bottle of your favorite rum, fresh fruits and sugar, and take a time out to enjoy this wonder fully classic cocktail.
-Article written by Cris Dehlavi-
My name is Cris Dehlavi and I am a native of Arizona, but have lived in Columbus, Ohio for the past 13 years with my daughter, Desi. I have been running the bar program at “M”, of the Cameron Mitchell Restaurant group since 2005. I am currently the President of Columbus USBG as well as a consultant for bars and restaurants nationally. In 2013, I attended the rigorous B.A.R. 5 Day Spirits Certification and have been recognized as one of the top mixologists in the U.S.A. I am one of the senior managers of the prestigious apprentice program at Tales of the Cocktail and work as a mentor to many bartenders around Ohio.
My contribution to Got Rum? magazine will include everything from reviews of national cocktail events, articles on mixology, garnish trends, recipes and techniques, to interviews with some of the leading bartenders in the industry.