Editors' pick

Happy Birthday, Mr. Daiquiri

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Editorial Review

Pity the poor daiquiri. The simple Cuban cocktail - a mix of rum, lime juice and sugar - was wildly popular in the first half of the 20th century, when Cuba was new and exotic. The drink was then favored by men such as John F. Kennedy and Ernest Hemingway. (The latter loved the daiquiri so much that he lent his name to a variation at Havana's La Floridita bar, made with maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice.) Then the slushie-like, neon-colored, frozen daiquiri arrived, and ordering the old version just became uncool. But now that high-end rums are arriving by the boatload, it's time to rediscover the classic drink, and Washington has a special claim: Though the daiquiri was invented in Cuba in 1905, it was introduced to the United States at the Army-Navy Club by Adm. Lucius W. Johnson in 1909. Celebrate the momentous centennial with "Happy Birthday, Mr. Daiquiri" at the Occidental, where cocktail historian Jeff "Beachbum" Berry - author of essential tropical drinks guides "Intoxica!" and "Beachbum Berry's Grog Log" - joins local bartenders Jon Arroyo (Founding Farmers) and Derek Brown (the Passenger) to sip daiquiri variations, while the Occidental provides snacks.