Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Watermelon Daiquiri; Summer in a glass!

Ever since we came back from our 8 month trip to South & Central America last year we have been wanting to make cocktails at home.
Before that we actually never really drank cocktails; I prefer wine with food and my husband can appreciate both wine or a good beer. In South America that was not a problem; especially Argentina and Chili have great quality wines. But when you're travelling on a budget, once moving north to Central America we started drinking cocktails since they were cheaper than wine or beer! So while back home in the Netherlands we would never think about ordering a cocktail in a bar or restaurant, at the end of the trip we were enthusiastic cocktail drinkers.

It took us about a year before we gathered the basic stuff we needed; a cocktail shaker, cocktail glasses and a blender which can also crush ice.  No more excuses for not making these delicious drinks by ourselves.

We started with the Daiquiri; a mix of light rum, lemon juice and a sweetener like sugar or syrup.
Sitting at the bar of El Floridita in Havana, known as 'the cradle of the Daiquiri' (in Spanish: "la cuna del daiquiri"), it looked very simple. The bartenders were making all the different orders really fast without measuring. They make them so often that they know it by heart and told us they use an average of 40 bottles of Havana Club 3 years old every day. ( Bacardi is not sold in Cuba today, although the Daiquiri probably was born with that brand of rum).

Pictures of the El Floridita bar in Havana Cuba
There are a lot of variations on the original Daiquiri recipe and we are still in search of our own perfect mix.
With the beautiful summer weather of the last few weeks we started experimenting with the strawberry Daiquiri and the Watermelon Daiquiri
Especially for the last one there are tons of different recipes to be found on the Internet.

I was first triggered to make a watermelon Daiquiri after seeing Annabel Langbein making a big can of it on an episode of The Free Range Cook. She mixes the pieces of watermelon, lime juice and sugar in a blender and then pours it in a can with ice cubes. 
Nigella Lawson recipe brought me on the idea of freezing  watermelon cubes and then mix all the ingredients in a blender. This is a great way but you really need a good quality blender for it to crush the frozen watermelon. 
Then there are a lots of recipes which use already crushed ice. 

From all of the above mentioned methods I prefer Nigella's way because there is no more ice needed to cool the drink. If you do use extra ice it immediately weakens the flavour of the rum.
But if you don't own a special blender to crush the frozen cubes, you can mix all the ingredients together and then put the mixture in the freezer for a few hours. This method takes a bit longer but also makes it perfect to prepare these summer cocktails in advance! 

Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri

I wrote down the recipe the way we like to make it, but you really have to adjust to taste! So add more sugar if you like it more sweet, or a bit of rum for a stronger alcohol flavour.

Ingredients for Watermelon Daiquiris

Makes 2 cocktails

  • 350 grams watermelon (without the seeds)
  • 60 ml white Havana Club rum 3 years old 
  • 60 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar (this dissolves easily)
Extra equipment: blender or mixer

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and put it in the freezer for a few hours before serving.

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