This is a month for sparkling cocktails, which we usually make the old-fashioned way: adding something already bubbly, like soda water or beer or ginger beer or sparkling wine or…you get the idea. But we decided this week to skip that step and go straight to the source, using science! We made our own Sparkling Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail recipe, and it’s easier than it sounds. –Andrew
Sparkling Strawberry Daiquri
2 oz Silver Rum
1 oz Strawberry Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
To make the strawberry syrup: combine a cup each of demerara or raw sugar, water, and strawberries, hulled and quartered, in a sauce pan. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the strawberries have softened into a pulp. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove all the solids, then bottle and refrigerate.
To make the Daiquiri: combine the rum, syrup, and lime in a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice and shake well. Strain into a hand-held carbonator – we used this one by Hamilton Beach – and, following the carbonator’s instructions, pump some CO2 into that Daiquiri until it’s sparkling. Strain into a chilled flute glass and enjoy!
When we decided to try carbonating our own cocktails, we did a bit of research. Turns out that you can build your own rig to finely control the carbonation process, if you’re willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks and set up CO2 tanks, regulators, the whole works. We figured out pretty quickly that this was not for us. But there are plenty of relatively inexpensive, hand-held carbonators designed to make small batches of soda water. Since these are designed for water, and not for cocktails – with all their sticky sugars – there’s a risk of gumming up these carbonators and, you know, explosions. What with using gas under pressure and all. But we decided to go for it and give it at least one shot. It was even easier than I expected it to be. (Ed Note: I shared a little behind the scenes peek at the process over on Snapchat if you’re interested – I’m @beautifulpaper over there! –Nole)
The result is a wonderfully peppy version of a Daiquri, bright and effervescent. Carbonating a drink this way gives you all that fun fizziness without any of the dilution that you’d normally get by adding in a carbonated ingredient, like soda water. Just remember: carbon dioxide interacts with water to produce carbonic acid, so carbonating a drink makes a drink a bit more acidic. We used just a bit less lime juice than normal to balance out the effect.
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Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper