One of my favorite summer cocktails is a rum daiquiri (recipe below). With only three ingredients, it is clean, cold, fresh, and simple. Buy a bottle of rum, a few limes, and some sugar to make simple syrup, and you can make one anywhere you have access to ice.
Or so I thought.
Our first night on vacation I went to make myself one – I had prepped simple syrup earlier in the day and was all ready to go – and I realized I didn’t have a shaker. Cocktails with citrus should be shaken in order to get a fresh bubbly flavor, but you know, vacation rentals don’t always have all the tools you’re used to having at home. I banged around in the cabinets to be sure I couldn’t rig something, then shrugged my shoulders and resigned myself to stirring.
The drink served as a rum, lime, and sugar delivery mechanism, which isn’t all bad, but it tasted flat and I didn’t make another.
The following night my husband and I both wanted daiquiris, but we wanted them to have the zing we craved – the zing you can only get from shaking, not stirring. So I banged around in the cabinets some more, double checked where the wine glasses were stored, triple checked the cupboard with the blender. No cocktail shaker. I wandered back into our bedroom to brainstorm with my husband, and then I saw our solution.
A few months ago I received some WordPress swag after guest hosting a writing challenge on The Daily Post. The box included a tee-shirt, a copy of The Year Without Pants, some stickers, and an insulated Klean Kanteen bottle with a sealable sippy lid (aka “Cafe Cap”). I love this bottle. It keeps my water icy in the summer and my coffee steaming in the winter.
And with a screw top cap that can be mostly closed off, on vacation it serves as our cocktail shaker. I forgot to close off the sippy hole the first shake and I flung sugar-lime-rum everywhere, and when you do close the sippy hole it doesn’t seal perfectly for vigorous shaking, but the minimal drink loss was worth it: the daiquiris were fresh and not flat, shaken and not stirred. Sometimes you have to improvise.
Rum Daiquiri recipe (makes 1 drink)
- 1.5 – 2 oz rum
- juice of 1/2 large lime
- 3/4 oz simple syrup*
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or Klean Kanteen bottle with lid closed) and shake vigorously for ~ 10 seconds. Strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
*To make simple syrup, heat equal parts water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved (we use a lot of simple syrup in our house so I usually mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water per batch). You do not need to stir constantly, nor do you need to bring it to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool. If you are in a hurry to use it in drinks, cool it in an ice bath to avoid melting the ice in your drink and watering it down.