It all started in Cuba
The classic Daiquiri originated in Cuba. Daiquiri is both the name of a beach and the mine where the lore of the drink suggests it was invented. The Daiquiri is considered one of the 6 primary categories of cocktails. (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David Embury, 1948)
The term Daiquiri is of Taino origin. The Taino people were the original inhabitants of Cuba, as well as Jamaica, Haiti and most of the other islands in that region.
The drink was a local favorite, customarily being served in a tall glass with crushed ice, until 1909 when it made the jump within naval circles to Washington, DC. During World War II other spirits became rare due to rationing of supplies. It was rum’s time to shine. The simple but perfect combination of lime, rum and sugar in the Daiquiri made it an unstoppable hit.
Fun fact: The name Cuba and Havana are both of Taino origin, too.
The Daiquiri diversified
Over time the simple drink took many variations – some good, some great, some god-awful. The Daiquiri Mulata is good. The Floradita and beefed up Hemingway variation is a must try. The blended strawberry daiquiri, while possibly good in some iterations, kind of ruined most people’s perception of the classic during the dark ages of cocktails.
This drink has a tart refreshing base and a sweet foam cap. The inspiration for the Post Opium came from a desire to honor the daiquiri as a style and create a variation that suits the taste of many imbibers during the chilly months. A winter Daiquiri.
Researching ideas for a winter daiquiri, I visited many high-end chocolatiers. I noticed a recurring theme of passionfruit and chocolate. Feeling that there would be a delicious way to marry those flavors with the refreshing notes of lime and the grassy boldness of Havana Club 3 year rum, I grabbed some Zephyr white chocolate and tart passionfruit purée. The Post Opium was born.
I struggled to find a level of tartness in the base that complimented the silky sweet foam on top. Thankfully, I was able to collaborate with Dom Kearton to find the balance that the drink has today.
Post Opium Daiquiri
45 ml Havana Club 3 Year Rum
30 ml Passionfruit Puree
15 ml Fresh Lime Juice
15 ml Gomme (2:1 Sugar Syrup)
1 dash Ms Betters Lime Leaf Bitters (Sub by infusing Kaffir Lime Leaves into Rum)
Combine ingredients into shaker. Add ice. Hard shake and fine strain into a chilled coupé.
The foam cap:
200 g High quality White Chocolate
200 g Coconut Milk
20 ml Pisco Gobernador
15 ml St. Remy VSOP Brandy
1 lemon peeled (no pith)
Garnish: Express lime hairs over drink.
Combine ingredients in pot and simmer over lowest heat setting until chocolate melts. Strain peels. Pour warm liquid into a siphon. Double charge the siphon. In between uses, keep the siphon in a warm water bath as the chocolate will become firm at room temperature.
*White Chocolate will burn in seconds at any temperature higher than the lowest setting*
A year later
Thanks to my compatriots Dominic Kearton and Dylan Williams behind the bar, at Bambudda, the Post Opium has evolved to be the number one selling cocktail by an incredible margin. We sold 6500 in 2015 alone, in a 70 seat restaurant bar.