Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle offers some of the most stunning views of London you’re likely to come across. Tear yourself away from those views though and turn your attention in the direction of the cocktail menu and you’ll be in for some equally breathtaking experiences but of the libation kind.
The ever-changing artisanal selection of drinks her is down to Richard Woods, Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development. Dedicated to giving drinkers new experiences, his cocktails feature the kind of ingredients you’d expect to encounter when dining rather than drinking: whole grain mustard, garden peas, roasted red peppers, not to mention blue cheese and chocolate – together. He’s even found a place for hay in one of his creations. Make no mistake though, these aren’t gimmicks. Each divine concoction is the result of obsessive research and driven by a desire to give people totally original flavours, aromas and sensations.
Given his particularly individual take on cocktails, it’s no surprise that Richard is embracing National Daiquiri Day in his own unique way. Here he tells us about his memories of this iconic drink and what makes it so special, as well as sharing the three variations Duck & Waffle will be serving up for one week only.
What’s your definition of the Daiquiri?
A light, effervescent sipping cocktail with the citrus element slightly overpowering the sweetness but allowing the buttery and fruity notes of the rum to run through.
What does the taste conjure up to you?
Summer. Warm and dry evenings alfresco and cards.
Do you remember the first time you tasted one? If so, what was it like?
When I first moved to London. And it was bad. Thankfully I moved on from that experience and ended up working in El Floridita – the cradle of the Daiquiri.
How do you like yours?
Light rum, slightly more citrussy, then sugar. Shaken hard and single stained so that little flecks of ice remain in the drink.
Why do you think it’s such a classic drink?
Championed by bartenders before everyone decided they prefer a Negroni, it’s also often a drink used by many brands to showcase the flavour and mixability of their rum as it’s such a simple drink.
Where would you most like to enjoy one?
El Floridita – Havana.
Tell us about the Daiquiri you’ll be serving for National Daiquiri Day?
We’ll be serving three variations:
1. Coco & Banana Mulata
A riff on a Mulata (which is itself a riff on a Daiquiri). Coconut washed rum, banana, dry chocolate and citrus.
2. Distilled Hemingway
The Papa Doble gets an elevated elegance being stirred. Bacardi Heritage, distilled citrus and maraschino.
3. Green Daiquiri
A fresh and vibrant twist on a classic. Bacardi Heritage, shiso, coriander, lime and sugar.
How does Bacardí 44.5% Heritage elevate the taste and depth of your Daiquiri?
The extra abv carries the flavours well through such a simple drink. Toasted fruits, pineapple and buttery notes are all in abundance.
Why should cocktail lovers raise their glasses to National Daiquiri Day in your bar?
Aside from the great views we’re offering a selection of drinks to celebrate this great day, so come with a small group and taste your way through them.
Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY. T: 020 3640 7310. duckandwaffle.com
Did you know?
The Snaiquiri is a miniature version of a Daiquiri, popular amongst the bartending community.
Tomorrow: Celebrate National Daiquiri Day at… Claridge’s.