From Cuba comes the Daisy de Santiago:

  • 1.0 ounce lime juice
  • 1.5 teaspoons SC Demerara Syrup
  • 1.0 ounce seltzer
  • 0.5 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1.5 ounces blended lightly aged rum

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add cracked or cubed ice. Shake and strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

This recipe is from the Smuggler’s Cove book but it is adapted from The Gentleman’s Companion: Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask by Charles H. Baker, Jr. Baker was a food and drink writer who traveled the world and told stories. It sounds like my dream job. The Daisy de Santiago he discovered in Cuba, and referred to it as a “lovely thing, indeed”.

I am hoping to be able to visit Cuba toward the end of the year, so I am studying up on both my Spanish and the amazing world of Cuban cocktails. Of course, the most famous is probably the Daiquiri, but being in the Caribbean there are a number of wonderful drinks, mainly based on rum, to come out of that country. I am eager to drink where Hemingway once did.

This cocktail basically uses a Daiquiri as its base, but adds in the unusual ingredient of Yellow Chartreuse (as well as seltzer). Chartreuse is an herbal liqueur made for hundreds of years by monks in France. It comes in two varieties, Green and Yellow. My first exposure to Chartreuse of any sort came in December of 1984. I was living in Los Angeles dating a young woman from Palos Verdes. She invited me, along with a few other friends, over to her parents’ house for a meal. I don’t remember much about the meal, but I do remember her father offering us an after dinner drink. Since we were all under the age of 21 at the time we jumped at the chance, but our attitudes quickly changed when we drank the Chartreuse. To say that it is an acquired taste is a vast understatement. I can’t remember if I had the Green or the Yellow, but I remembered not liking it at all.

Which is funny, now, since I go through a lot of Green Chartreuse in the Last Word cocktail, which is a favorite. This was the first time I used Yellow Chartreuse. It is milder than the Green and adds an interesting herbal note to this cocktail without overpowering it.

Which I believe would be easy to do, since this whole drink is mild and refreshing. Everything is well balanced, and while it didn’t “grab” me it was welcome on a hot day.

I do want to emphasize the garnish, here. Due to it being summer, mint is now more plentiful and the smell of the fresh mint as you drink the Daisy de Santiago adds a lot to the experience. It is required Рlike the Cuba Libr̩ without the lime becomes just Rum and Coke.

Rating: 4/5

Notes: I used some of my Banks 7 rum in this drink, and I think it worked out well.