Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri (credit: Thinkstock)
The bright, summery combination of rum, fresh lime juice and sugar is said to have been conceived as a daiquiri in Cuba more than a century ago and perhaps first introduced to America at Washington D.C.’s Army & Navy Club in 1909. Five basic versions, Daiquiri #1 through #5, are your standards, with variations galore. Practice makes perfect, so be sure to experiment to find your favorite daiquiri before National Daiquiri Day comes around on July 19.
1700 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
A seasonal spice-driven bar menu at DOSA (in two locations, also in the Mission at 995 Valencia St.) is designed to complement the authentic South Indian cuisine. Bar Manager Chris Lukens has created a Spice Route Cocktail menu to include a version of a tall ginger lime daiquiri. Called Ginger Ante (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger-jaggery nectar, fresh lime, ginger ale), it pairs perfectly with Dosa’s tasty bar bites served in the lofty space with floor-to-ceiling windows. Also, check out best-selling bourbon-based Steph Curry (an irresistible name to accompany Indian food) and the gorgeous, refreshing gin-based Peony (the famous rose-colored one). Weeknights feature generous happy hours.
650 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
A waterfall and pond enhance the tropical paradise interiors where the drinks are every bit as remarkable as the décor. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove, have literally written the (brand new) book, “Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki.” Making a regular annual appearance on the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, and with an inventory of more than 500 rare rums, loyal devotees from all over the world head for this tiny, renowned Hayes Valley spot. Serious about your rum drinks? Join The Rumbustion Society for an educational tour leading from disciple (rum tastings, basics and a quiz) to guardian (name emblazoned forever on the bar wall) to master (a private distillery trip is in your future).
355 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Get great cocktails at a place named for one of the best rums (governed by an Appellation d’Origine Controllé, the French official label of origin) from Martinique, Rhum Agricole. Owner Thad Vogler imports exclusive spirits from small producers directly to the US for his establishments, Bar Agricole and Trou Normand. There’s always a rum-based drink on the rotating menu at this SoMa spot which has been a national nominee for Outstanding Bar Program for the James Beard Award for five years running. Singled out by Imbibe Magazine as the place for one of America’s best daiquiris, try the Hemingway Daiquiri when you see it on the menu, as a tribute to the famous cocktail’s most famous fan.
1075 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
To do the rounds of San Francisco’s posh hotel bar scene is to do the piano bar at The Big 4. Embrace this 19th century throwback to the Golden Era of California, noting the establishment’s polite request to tuck your mobile away. Enveloping a cozy, dimly lit space of hunter green leather upholstery and dark wood paneling, walls are hung with framed sepia photos and portraits of San Francisco’s first entrepreneurs. The Hemingway Daiquiri features Don Q Anejo Rum, served in good quality stemware. With a separate entrance, the bar and restaurant is adjacent to The Scarlet Huntington atop Nob Hill.
495 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
During Decompression Hour on weeknights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Clift Hotel’s century-old Redwood Room is a soothing space for winding down with a classic drink carefully prepared at the impressive etched glass bar. In this chilled-out sophisticated lobby lounge with 25-foot ceilings, the buzz actually comes from elsewhere on the property. The latest drinks menu features homegrown herbs and honey produced from the 10,000-strong bee colony installed last year on the rooftop of the building. Art deco interiors are crafted from the wood of one tree, according to some claims.