Monthly Archives: September 2014

Drink of the Week: Classic Daiquiri

Back in the late 1980s I used to throw a “Dacqueri” party at my house every summer when my parents were out of town. I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that I misspelled the word daiquiri on party invitations, or that my daiquiris — being too-sweet and neon-coloured and slushy — were, in fact, poor shadows of Cuba’s classic cocktail.

And don't get me started on the misplaced apostrophe!

And don’t get me started on the misplaced apostrophe! (But I love this invite and the fact that I drew my dad serving beer from a keg.)

Of course, my high school pals drank my “dacqueri’s” anyway and didn’t seem to care that they were abominations. I blame it on the 80s. And my poncho from Mexico. And also those frozen Bacardi mixer canisters you could buy at Safeway (just add rum!).

Contents of the yellow cup? Neon-pink Strawberry "Dacqueri" of course.

Contents of the yellow cup? Neon-pink strawberry “dacqueri”. (Please excuse the photo resolution — it’s what happens when you take a photo of an old Kodak print with your iPhone.)

The good news is I finally have a chance to redeem myself a quarter century later through the written word. I’m writing about real daiquiris for an upcoming issue of up! magazine, and it’s given me a grand excuse to learn about the tropical tipple and try my hand at making this simple sip.

And simple, it is. Lime juice, granulated sugar (or simple syrup) and aged white rum. Since I love sours I took the liberty of adding egg white to help bind the ingredients and smooth out the flavours. Not only is the resulting daiquiri sour perfectly balanced between strong, sweet and sour, it looks much better served in a martini glass.

In my opinion, adding egg white to the classic daiquiri smooths out its edges and helps the flavours co-mingle.

In my opinion, adding egg white to the classic daiquiri smooths out its edges and helps the flavours co-mingle.

Classic Daiquiri Sour

  • 2 oz Havana Club 3-Year-old white rum
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz egg white

Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with two ice cubes and shake until ice has dissolved and shaker feels heavy. Pout contents into a coupe glass or martini glass.

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Big Hill Springs: great family hike for fall colours

It had been exactly three years since we hiked the 2.3-kilomtre loop trail at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park near Cochrane. September is a wonderful month to hike here, as the foliage is changing colours and provides a beautiful golden backdrop to the main attraction: a series of waterfalls that cascade over rocky terraces.

Avery said, "Wow, look up!" Gorgeous.

During a rest stop along the trail Avery said, “Wow, look up!” Gorgeous.

We like to hike the loop backwards so we're rewarded with the waterfalls at the end of the trail.

We like to hike the loop backwards so we’re rewarded with (read: the kids can play in) the stream and waterfalls at the end of the trail.

Back then, the kids were six and four, and it took much longer for their little legs to tackle the trail. Now, at ages nine and seven, we seemed to effortlessly crest the hill and zoom through the groves of aspens and stands of spruce trees in no time, ending the hike at the spring-fed stream and falls for which the park is named.

Avery (then 6) and Bennett (then 4) at hike's end in 2011.

Avery (then 6) and Bennett (then 4) at hike’s end in 2011.

Avery, 9, and Bennett, 7, at hike's end.

Avery, 9, and Bennett, 7, at hike’s end this past weekend.

Really, this is the perfect hike for children: it’s close to Calgary, it’s not too long and the total elevation gain is only 20 metres. What’s more, there’s plenty to keep kids interested including giant tufa boulders to clamber upon, a couple of wood ‘tepees’ to explore midway along the trail and lots of opportunities for water play.

This wood fort 'tepee' was a new addition along the trail.

This wood fort ‘tepee’ was a new addition along the trail.

My favourite part of the hike was walking along the leaf-littered path through the aspens as new yellow leaves floated down to join the seasonal carpet, with Avery exclaiming, “It’s so pretty!” It’s seems amazing how much more the kids can do — and how much more they appreciate hiking — in three short years.

My how they've grown.

My how they’ve grown.