Key Lime Daiquiri


Key Lime Daiquiri

2 oz Key West First Legal Rum
0.75 oz key lime juice
0.75 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a lime wheel.

I was in Key West on business last week and was thrilled, after a long day of working in a place ill suited for such, to find myself at a rum tasting. Key West Legal Rum Distillery bills itself as “chef distilled”, 100 % hangover-free rum. While I have my doubts about the latter claim, a culinary influence is readily apparent in its product line. I was delighted by the coconut rum that tasted like real coconut, not sunscreen, and the spiced rum with its strong overtones of cardamom that lacked the cloying aftertaste of added sugars. Their Key Lime Rum was excellent, as well, but when it came to lugging a bottle home, I had to go with the Original. My bar is jam-packed. Newcomers need to be flexible.

Copper stills at the Key West Rum Distillery. Photo by Susan Whitney.

After ending the last full week of summer in the Keys, I’ve returned home to grocery stores stuffed with pumpkins and Halloween candy. Still, it’s humid, and the highs are in the eighties. So, before I dig my boots and favorite jacket out of the closet, I’ll post one last dance with summer. A key lime daiquiri seems the ideal celebration of my delicious souvenir, a rum made in Key West from Florida sugar cane and distilled six times.

A true daiquiri isn’t frozen and dispensed from a machine, although that magic has its time and place. I’m looking at you, New Orleans.  It’s a finely calibrated balance of rum, lime juice and simple syrup capable of issuing you through a tropical evening or, perhaps, reminding you of one. The key to making a good one is vigorously shaking your ingredients over ice until a thin layer of frost forms on the outside of the shaker (about 30 seconds).

So, here’s to you, summer, season of swimming, swatting, sweating, frolicking, mowing, growing, grillin’ and chillin’. It’s been great. See you again next year.


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