August 21, 2014

The frozen daiquiris of New Orleans

Neon daiquiris are a delicious summer treat.Fruity, boozey and slushy, the frozen daiquiri is a summer staple in beach bars across the country. However, it is New Orleans in particular that demonstrates a staunch devotion to the icy cocktail. A town that is constantly under assault by the baking southern Louisiana sun, The Big Easy is one of the few places you can go and buy a frozen daiquiri from a ┬ádrive-thru vendor. And it isn’t just one quirky chain that is selling alcohol to passing motorists, but many independently owned and operated drive-thru daiquiri joints that are giving the good people of New Orleans a brief respite from the balmy heat.

For daiquiri purists the frozen iteration of the cocktail is a bit of an aberration, for lack of a better term. Traditionally, a daiquiri is made from rum, lime juice and simple syrup, though the concept has undergone quite a revitalization since it was first introduced in the 18th century. The frozen version is heavy on the sugar and artificial flavoring, resulting in a syrupy concoction that is sure to appeal to your inner-child.

Liquor laws in New Orleans have a curious loophole which has allowed for the explosion of the drive-thru daiquiri industry. Frozen alcoholic beverages in to-go cups can be in the car as long as they have a lid on them and the straw-hole in that lid has not been punctured. This allows individuals to purchase a daiquiri at a drive-thru and then drive off and drink it somewhere else. While drinking and driving are still very much illegal, grabbing a cool daiquiri on your way to the park is very much allowed.

While it may not be the daiquiri that Ernest Hemingway was said to have enjoyed, the New Orleans take on a classic has a devout following all its own.