We would be remiss if we celebrated these fancy races and their official cocktails without giving nod to the Sunshine State. We’re talking about the Florida Derby, a Triple Crown primer held at Gulfstream Park in late March. This year’s winner, Materiality will be headed to Louisville to try its hand at Derby glory, running against a projected field of 20. For this, we salute this superfast bay colt with Florida’s answer to the mint julep, the Derby Daiquiri.
Created in 1959 amid the cocktail culture’s golden age, the Derby Daiquiri was the creation of a South Florida original, Mai-Kai, a Polynesian-themed restaurant that opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1956 at the height of America’s tiki bar craze. The now iconic Mai-Kai is still standing, a local landmark that still holds true to its Polynesian-infused South Florida roots. The Derby Daiquiri recipe was originally submitted to a contest sponsored by the Florida Derby to find a signature cocktail. After winning the hearts (and taste buds) of race fans, the rest, as they say, is history.
We offer the original recipe as submitted to the Florida Derby, and as it appeared in the Miami News on Wednesday, April 1, 1959.
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 1 1/2 oz. light Puerto Rican rum
Mix in a blender with 1 cup crushed ice and blend to a smooth, liquid consistency. Serve in liquid state.
*Recipe courtesy of Mai-Kai.
*Image courtesy of SwankPad.org