Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daiquiri de Pepino (Cucumber Daiquiri)


I love cucumber*.  I love sitting outside on a patio sipping a cucumber drink.  And it turns out that Dona Tomas, a favorite local restaurant, has an absolutely divine cucumber drink.  They call it the Pepe Pepino, and at the restaurant they serve it with Hendricks Gin and Cointreau, which I will need to make next.

However, in their cookbook, they boast a Daiquiri Pepino. 

*It pleases me that while I do love the cucumber, and this is a pretty heavy cucumber drink, I forgot to take any pictures of said cucumber for this post.  Oops.



What I want to talk about the most, though, is the daiquiri.  The daiquiri has gotten a bad rap.  You just don't hear of people saddling up to the bar and ordering a daiquiri.  I wonder if the daiquiri took a nosedive because of the pre-made frozen concoctions one can purchase at any large box store (I think that what is most disturbing about this link is the 96 ounce bucket of "master of mixes."  Yikes).  But a proper daiquiri is simply a cocktail with rum, lime, and sugar (or some other kind of sweetener such as agave). 



Further, the daiquiri also has a reputation of being a little frilly (see again, frozen concoction).  But here's what I love about the daiquiri.  Yes, you think of the master of testosterone Ernest Hemingway sipping a Pernod or something with bitters or maybe even a beer.  However, it turns out Papa loved the daiquiri.  But he liked his with no sugar and double the rum.  Which should come as no surprise. 

And in a Modernist move that would have disappointed Hemingway, I kept thinking of his frenemy, Scotty Fitzgerald.  Oh, the mounds of rinds in Chapter Three from The Great Gatsby:
Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb.

Such luxury.  Such waste. 




While, sadly, I do not have a butler to press a button hundreds of times, I do prefer to sit at Dona Tomas and sip my Pepe Pepino there (with gin), where some bartender juices crates of limes just for me.  I will take luxury where I can find it.

Finally, this little rum number was a delightful addition to our family feast last weekend, and perhaps, next time I am at a bar, I shall boldly order a daiquiri.  We'll see.



One Year Ago: Rutabiya (Tagine of meat with dates)

Two Years Ago: Tortino di Crespelle con Melanzane e Peperoni (Baked Crêpes Pie with Eggplant and Peppers)

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Daiquiri de Pepino
Adapted from  Dona Tomas

Yield:
6-8 Servings

Ingredients:  
2 cups Rum
1/2 cup simple syrup*
1/4-1/3 cup lime juice
2 cucumbers, sliced
Coarse Salt
Cayenne or Chile powder

Instructions:
1.  Pour the rum, syrup, lime juice into a pitcher. 
2.  With a muddler, mortar and pestle, or a wooden spoon muddle the cucumber slices with a little bit of rum or lime juice.  Put cucumbers in pitcher.
3.  Chill for an hour
4.  Salt the rim of a tall glass with the salt and the cayenne (or chili powder).  Pour the daiquiri into the glass.

*To make simple syrup. heat 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Cover and chill until ready to use.

You can also make these as individual servings, but I needed a pitcher's worth.  To do that, you can muddle the cucumber right in the glass with rum, syrup and lime juice with some ice.  Strain before pouring into a salted glass.  I also found that I fiddled a little withe amounts to make just the right tasting one for me.  You might want to fiddle with yours, too.  I like these a little heavy on the cucumber.

2 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to give this a try. Rum (I'm assuming light, not spiced?) is much easier to come by in Guam than good tequila, and I'm a fan of the lime and cucumber. Maybe I'll try Papa's version too. Thanks for the history.

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  2. Light. Not spiced. Not being a huge rum drinker myself, I forgot to note that.

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