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Cocktail Class: Simon Moorby makes a daiquiri

Blender? Nope.

Sickly sweet-tart pre-made mix that comes in a plastic bottle? Abso-freakin’-lutely not.

You need few ingredients to make a daiquiri, a classic combination of citrus, sugar and – of course – rum.

The history is a bit muddled, but the daiquiri is believed to have been invented – or at least written down – in the late 1890s. Probably, it – or something very much like it – was already being mixed in Cuba, where the drink originated. There was an ample supply of all of the ingredients: rum, sugar, limes.

Ernest Hemingway helped make the daiquiri famous at El Floridita in Havana, where he was a regular. A statue of him still sits at the bar. And a photo of him with a daiquiri in hand graces the homepage of its website.

“This is one of those perfect cocktails,” said Simon Moorby, manager and head bartender at Hogwash Whiskey Den in downtown Spokane.

He garnishes his version with a lime wheel – not a lime wedge. That way customers don’t need to fight the urge to squeeze it into their cocktail.

“It should be balanced already,” Moorby said. “There’s no need to add more citrus. It’s like adding salt and pepper to a chef’s dish. We cringe a little bit.

This recipe is “not too sweet, not too tart.

“I find it refreshing any time of the year.”

No matter where you are – a bar in downtown Spokane, at the lake, in front of a fireplace in the dead of winter – “this’ll transport you. You’ll be on a beach in no time.”

What’s your favorite drink to mix at work? The Old-Fashioned.

What’s your favorite thing about working behind the bar? I like having the sense of facilitating a good experience. I like creating memories for others.

What’s your desert island drink? I like coconut water. A lot.

What’s your favorite in-front-of-the-fireplace winter warmer? Hot apple cider.

What’s something you wish people knew about bartending? I wish they would all realize it’s much more of an art and craft. It’s not about pouring drinks. I could be forever learning about this.

What’s the best piece of bartending advice you ever got, who gave it to you, when and under what circumstances? Andrew Bohrer. He said something along the lines of experience – or the tools – needed to do this job are vast and they are far. You want to have a well-rounded history. So don’t be ashamed of your sports bar or dive bar or barista gig because those skills come into play. And they do – all of the time.

What’s your bartending superpower? Creating on the fly. I’m always coming up with new cocktails. The hard part is remembering them.


From Simon Moorby of Hogwash Whiskey Den

2 ounces silver rum

3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Lime wheel, for garnish

Shake all ingredients except garnish on ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a coupe. Garnish with a lime wheel.