WELCOME to summer! It might not feel like it, but in my head, I am sitting in the garden, the barbecue is on, and I’m listening to The Undertones’ Here comes the summer. In reality, this year, it’s more like The Saw Doctors’ Will it ever stop raining. In any case, I’m sure the summer sun is on its way and the smell of cut grass will be in the air very soon.
I can’t wait because I love the summer. As an adult there’s nothing more I like than catching a few rays with a cold drink, but as a kid it meant something completely different. Summer meant long drives—mostly to visit family—going to Gaelic games and, being from Derry, we had a great team in the 1990s. Back then we got more than one game a year unlike the last 10 years. I remember fondly the long drive to St Tiernach’s Park in Clones. The minute you passed through Cookstown there would be trailers, vans and sometimes tables selling the most amazing strawberries. We always stopped between Castlecaulfield and Aughnacloy and the taste of those strawberries, to me, was summer.
In the drinks industry if you think strawberry, you possibly think cider, however for many it can only mean daiquiri. It is a classic, but sometimes people confuse it with a frozen daiquiri. Although similar they are not the same.
If you have been reading my columns the past few months, you’ll know that I always connect the drink with Ireland. How is it possible to connect the two here? Well, first of all a strawberry daiquiri is red. For a proud Derryman, that should be enough, but I will take it a step further and use Irish rum. Yes, you read that right, Irish rum! And to take it further still, Irish Cask Strength rum.
So, not only does it taste great, but at 55 per cent ABV it helps me forget how bad Derry have been playing for the last 10 years. The rum I prefer to use is Killowen Dark Rum from County Down, but you can use any rum you like for a daiquiri. Traditionally, though, it is white rum that is used. As always, I like to support the Irish drinks industry, so if you like rum, I would highly recommend you give Killowen a try. Here’s this month’s recipe:
—25ml lime juice
—25ml sugar syrup
—Add two strawberries and sugar syrup to a Boston glass.
—Muddle into a paste then add lime and rum
—Add ice and shake!
—Double strain into a coup glass
—Garnish with a strawberry
Mickey Mullan is a proud Derryman, an award-winning spirit enthusiast and the Manager of Malones Bar in Glasgow