Above: Bar Manager Giovanni Spezziga at Scarfe’s Bar
There are many reasons why we love a bit of Scarfe’s Bar action. And cosying up with a well made Daiquiri is just one of them. The room itself is a big hit in our book too – not only because it’s grown up and elegant without being stuffy or remotely intimidating; we love the fact that despite its five-star credentials there’s an ever present playfulness about the place. Where else can you find a permanent as well as a changing gallery of bright, beautiful and whimsical, one-off paintings by Gerald Scarfe? Where else can you find a bar named in honour of this great British artist and caricaturist?
Grown up and elegant, Scarfe’s Bar
Scarfe’s Bar speaks in just the right tone to everyone, whether you’re all dressed up and ready for a night on the town or in more of a reclusive mode, just wanting to kick back in one of the many comfy chairs with your nose in a good book and your hands curled around a great drink.
Giovanni Spezziga and his team haven’t let their exacting standards slip for National Daiquiri Day. Here Spezziga tells us why the Daiquiri is such an iconic drink and why you should be celebrating National Daiquiri Day in his bar on 19th July.
Giovanni, can you share your thoughts on the Daiquiri?
It’s the perfect summer cocktail – it’s simple, elegant, and refreshing. In my opinion, the Daiquiri is up there with the Martini, the Manhattan, and a select handful of others – in the pantheon of drinks that perfectly reflect the spirit and character of their base liquors without introducing needless complexity or requiring excessive preparation.
How do you define the drink?
The Daiquiri is one of the most important classic cocktails as it really demonstrates the perfect balance between sweet and sour. It can be served both frozen and on the rocks, depending on the time of year and weather. I prefer a classic Daiquiri but you can also combine it with different fresh fruit flavours that complement the base liquor.
What does the taste of the Daiquiri conjure up for you?
With the first sip of a Daiquiri, you are transported to the warm, white-sand beaches of the Caribbean. I think of Cuba right away which is the birthplace of the Daiquiri.
Do you remember the first Daiquiri you tasted and if so, do you remember what it was like?
It was back in the 1990s on the beautiful island of Sardinia, it was the perfect cocktail to enjoy on the beach.
The taste of summer in a glass: the Daiquiri on the menu at Scarfe’s Bar
How do you prefer yours?
60ml Bacardí Carta Blanca, 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 15ml sugar syrup.
In your opinion, why is it such a classic cocktail?
The venerable Daiquiri is more than 100 years old and has stood the test of time.
Where would you most like to enjoy one?
Well I can make a great Daiquiri so I guess I would say at my ‘casa’ Scarfes Bar!
Tell us about the Daiquiri you’ll be serving for National Daiquiri Day?
It’s difficult to improve on perfection, but I recommend using a bottle of 1950’s Bacardí Superior, freshly squeezed lime juice and sugar syrup – this keeps the spirit of the original while adding a new refreshing spiciness.
How does Bacardí 44.5% Heritage elevate the taste and depth of your Daiquiri?
Heritage Blend adds more flavour of muscovado sugar as well as more body and crispness to the drink.
Why should cocktail lovers raise their glasses to National Daiquiri Day in your bar?
A few month ago, I popped into the Rum Shack, a local tiki bar in Nassau, Bahamas while I was visiting the new Rosewood at Baha Mar which will be opening this autumn. I ordered a Daiquiri to celebrate my time there. After a few Daiquiris, I told the bartender that every year we celebrate National Daiquiri Day he gave me an odd quizzical look. I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy. I just sat there with a smile on my face thinking, “No sir, you’re the crazy one for not paying homage to a classic cocktail!”
Scarfes Bar, Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN. T: 020 3747 8611. scarfesbar.com
Open Monday -Sunday 12pm-late.
Did you know?
If you want to say ‘Daiquiri’ like a Cuban, start practicing: they pronounce it dye-ker-ee not dak-er-ree. You have been told!
Tomorrow: Where to enjoy a Daiquiri on National Daiquiri Day – Trailer Happiness.