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Beverage

The daiquiri gets real

Fresh ingredients redefine a classic island cocktail.
strawberry rum punch

The bar follows the kitchen’s lead at True Food Kitchen, says Mat Snapp, beverage director of the Phoenix-based casual-dining chain. “Alcohol accounts for 16 to 17 percent of our sales—respectable but not huge—but we want to make our cocktails as fresh, transparent and approachable as our food,” he says. True Food’s menu promotes anti-inflammatory ingredients, and many customers have dietary restrictions. So, when Snapp reworked a classic daiquiri last spring to add to the cocktail list, it was important to conform to the better-for-you theme.

Instead of using commercial syrup or flavored rum, he infused white rum with organic strawberries and vanilla beans. Snapp menus the drink as Strawberry Rum Punch (a name that historically has been used interchangeably with daiquiri) to disassociate it from the overly sweet, artificially flavored frozen daiquiris popularized by island resorts.

True Food Kitchen's Strawberry Rum Punch

It took a few tries to get the timing right to flavor the infused rum, Snapp says. The berries soak for 24 hours and the vanilla beans for 36 hours. Bartenders then use a centrifugal juicer to extract juice from whole pineapples; it’s mixed with lime juice and the strawberry-infused rum in a cocktail shaker instead of a blender. “We vigorously shake it to activate the pineapple juice and make the drink froth up naturally,” Snapp says.

Smart Swaps

Instead of...Try this...
Strawberry syrupRum infused with vanilla beans and strawberries
Canned pineapple juiceFresh pineapple juice
Sweet-and-sour mixFresh lime juice

 

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