It's Time for a Daiquiri Time Out
In this excerpt from his book about Boston cocktail culture, Frederic Yarm interviews the founder of "Daiquiri Time Out."
In my book, Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told, I wanted to get at the heart of the Boston-born (or re-born) phenomenon of the Daiquiri Time Out (DTO). I asked DTO founder, Andrew Dietz, if I could ask him a few questions to nail down its curious history. Here's an excerpt of the full interview that appears in Drunk & Told:
What year did the DTO start for you? What were the circumstances?
The DTO started in the summer of 2010. A group of like-minded friends and myself were out on Martha's Vineyard (specifically Chappaquiddick) discussing some historical situations and how they may have played out differently had the people involved stopped, taken a moment, and had a well-made Daiquiri to pontificate upon. We didn't make a decision for the following week without a Daiquiri in hand.
Are DTOs full-sized drinks? Are they split?
A DTO is a celebration of the act of taking a moment through one of the most simple and versatile cocktails of all time. Everyone's DTO is different. It can be a shot or large format. It can be classic, blended, or an obscure rift — just as long as time slows down.
The Daiquiri has a tremendous amount of history here in Massachusetts. Starting with the storied history of rum production, to the favoring of the cocktail by the Kennedys, to the modern resurgence of classic cocktails, this was bound to be a cocktail we aligned with. I got back from Martha's Vineyard that summer and grabbed all of Boston's best bartending talent including Jackson Cannon, John Gertsen, Pat Sullivan, and many others, and lobbied that this is the way we should greet one another and celebrate our industry, and it took hold. The Thing was an event to celebrate Boston's best bartending talent, so it was only fitting that we stopped in the middle to take a collective time out. As for Tales, the DTO has spread across the country and even the globe, so given that Tales of the Cocktail is our national/global cocktail festival, Ann figured this was a good way for everyone to take a moment and celebrate what it is we all do.
Where does the Daiquiri fit into the cocktail craze?
The Daiquiri fits in beautifully for a couple of reasons. It is one of the simplest cocktails to make well while providing an incredible canvas for improvisation. I think the Daiquiri will be an important cocktail for many years to come.
What have you learned about bars from their Daiquiri theory and quality?
Watching the different variants of the DTO has taught me a lot because the DTO is as much about hospitality as it is about quality. I have seen bars create DTO-only cocktail lists, mail DTOs via FedEx, make frozen DTO popsicles, dehydrate DTO into powder, [use] DTO-filled squirt guns, and many more. It has taught me all of the different ways that we can celebrate and collaborate in this industry and have a great deal of enjoyment doing it. As for the Daiquiris themselves, I have seen an endless amount of variations at this point, so honestly it has only challenged my understanding of just how incredibly versatile a drink like this can be.
Who else would you credit for building up the DTO as we now know it?
The list goes on and on and there are too many shout-outs to mention. I will say it truly calls home here in Boston, so I would have to give particular love to Patrick Sullivan, Ted Kilpatrick, John Gertsen, Jackson Cannon, Kevin Martin, and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. That is barely even scratching the surface just for Boston, but it's a start. Outside of Boston, the satellite offices of DTO seem to be in Denver as a result of Sean Kenyon, Seattle because of Jim Romdall, and Nantucket because of Clinton Terry. I've heard of DTOs being taken in Montréal, Vancouver, Taipei, Munich, London, and Paris, but I'm not totally sure whom to credit.
The full interview, along with about 20 essays, bartender spotlights, and 850+ drinks from 100+ bars and restaurants in and around Boston can be found in Yarm's book Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told.