Today is the last day of this series, so what better way to celebrate the official last day of summer then with a bottle of champagne.
Depending on which cocktail book you examine there are a wide variety of recipes for the Airmail. They include different proportions of ingredients, type of rum, and type of Champagne. There are even disagreements on the type of glass to serve it in including the coupe glass, the collins glass as recommended by David Wondrich in Esquire, and even a variation from Jim Meehan which is served in a glass teacup over a sphere of ice.
Despite the many variations of the recipe there is little to be found in the way of history on the cocktail. According to David Wondrich, cocktail historian, “It simply turns up, as if by spontaneous generation, in our 1949 Handbook for Hosts.” On the other hand Payman Bahmani stated that in a conversation with Greg Boehm, owner of Cocktail Kingdom, the “Airmail was actually first created by the folks at Bacardi (or at least their corporate mixologist) and was featured in a Bacardi recipe pamphlet published in the 1930′s.”
Airmail 2 oz. añejo rum (Rhum Barbancourt 8 year) .75 oz. lime juice 1 oz. honey syrup (1:1) 1 oz. Brut Champagne/Cava/Sparkling Wine (Freixenet Brut) Combine the first three ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and top with champagne. Notes:
This is a rich and effervescent cocktail with a delicious backbone of orange blossom honey. A perfect way to wave goodbye to the long warm days of summer and usher in the cool crisp days of fall.
If you missed yesterdays post on the Look Normal and the Freshman Daiquiri you can find it here.
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The original drink appears in Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide from 1972 and is sometimes referred to as the Floridita Cocktail. The La Florida Cocktail is the creation of Constantine Ribailagualt and was one of the signature drinks of the La Florida bar in Havana, Cuba.
It’s name is strikingly similar to the Floridita Daiquiri but they are two different drinks. The daiquiri contains maraschino liqueur while the cocktail uses crème de cacao, sweet vermouth, and grenadine as the sweeteners. This particular version of the drink appears in the PDT cocktail book and is the creation of Jack McGarry.
La Florida Cocktail 2 oz Banks 5 Island Rum .75 oz Lime Juice .5 oz Crème de Cacao (Marie Brizard) .25 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano) 1 barspoon Grenadine (Hibiscus Grenadine) Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
The drink is well put together and despite the .5 oz of Crème de Cacao the chocolate flavor is still subtle and interwoven with the herbal qualities of the vermouth. The final flavor is not one you would except but its delicious and well worth exploring.
7 Daiquiri’s in 7 Days continues tomorrow with the: Royal Daiquiri