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Food and Drink

All mixed up! Summer time and the sippin’ is easy

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The classic mix is three tablespoons of gin, juice of half a large lemon, a teaspoon of sugar, and top it up with soda water. Serve it with a slice of lemon and enjoy.

Mark Kingwell insists that you not fiddle with a Tom Collins mix — too sweet. But I don’t know. Every time I try it, it reminds me of sipping out of my mom’s cocktail glass when we gals were all decked out in pouffy party dresses back in Edmonton.

 

Daiquiri: We went to Cuba a few years ago and, yes, we made the obligatory stop at El Floridita, the Havana bar Ernest Hemingway graced so regularly. But it was so depressingly velvety inside that we fled gratefully back into the glare of the mid-day sun as quickly as we could. Oh well.

The drink that “Papa” made so famous in Cuba was not the mojito (the classic: four parts light rum, two parts fresh lime juice, a teaspoon of sugar, five or six bruised fresh mint leaves, and a dash of Angostura bitters). Regardless, we had one at a state-run hotel, and the mint was so dirty it made the drink murky.

But not to disparage Cuban drinks, the finest of which I think is a good, golden 25-year-old rum simply served neat. And the second finest? An authentic daiquiri. Hemingway would agree.

Sorry, but modern daiquiris, and 99 per cent of margaritas for that matter, just don’t cut it, made as they are from the slushy concoctions that are close cousins to 7-Eleven Slurpees. The real daiquiri is white rum and fresh citrus juice. That’s it. The “Papa Doble” — Hemingway’s famous double daiquiri, in Spanish — was eight parts Bacardi white rum, the juice of two limes and half a grapefruit, and two dashes of maraschino liqueur. Legend has it that he downed 16 of them in one sitting at El Floridita. Olé!

 

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer with a half-finished bottle of crème de cassis straight from Dijon in her cupboard right now.

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