There’s a good chance that unless you work in Boston’s hospitality industry, you’ve never heard of a Daiquiri Time Out. At this point, it could be a mid-binge break from a night of one-too-many. Or perhaps it’s just a type of daiquiri you might be served if you’ve misbehaved.
Neither are right — really. But a Daiquiri Time Out is truly a real thing — and in fact, it’s a cocktail. Island Creek Oyster Bar’s general manager Vikram Hegde says the origins of the drink are a little hazy, but he traces its roots somewhere within Boston’s bartending scene.
“It’s one of those things that it’s kind of nebulous, like the history of every cocktail,” he tells us. “This was subject to interpretation, but the story I had heard was that a bunch of bartenders getting into a heated argument about politics or how to stir a cocktail or something, I don’t know, but then someone was like, ‘OK, well everyone needs a daiquiri time out.’ And then that phrase just caught on with the Boston restaurant scene.”
Hedge says the drink has become synonymous as a sly wink from one industry insider to another. “It’s really just a mini version of a daiquiri,” explains Hedge. “But I think what’s cool about the DTO is that it’s a more inclusive part of restaurant culture. There’s a subculture, where you want to throw out the flag when you go to a restaurant and tell them, ‘I’m in the business, as well.’ People used to order shots of Fernet to signify, ‘Hey, I’m one of you,’ but the DTO is more accessible to everyone. They’re delicious and a much less aggressive to way include people.”
There’s even a mention of “Daiquiri Time Out” in 2005’s “Wedding Crashers” — but Hedge is unsure where he heard the phrase first and whether the context is the same. “I feel like I’ve heard of it before that movie came out,” he adds.
Hedge thinks the DTO is more likely than not a “Boston” thing, but ties it to Andrew Deitz, a rep M.S. Walker and a co-founder of Thirst Boston, may have spread the drink elsewhere. “[The concept of the DTO] has traveled, but a proponent [has been] Deitz,” he explains. “Anywhere he goes, someone always greets him with a Daiquiri Time Out.” The drink has become so popular, bars have adopted the recipe into their regular repertoires — and Eater Boston even mapped them out in 2013.
So what is a DTO anyway? Well, it’s just a mini daiquiri. Unlike a Hemingway Daiquiri — named for the esteemed author who preferred his daiquiris slightly sweetened with maraschino liqueur and balanced with grapefruit juice — or your every day daiquiri (rum, lime juice and sugar), the Daiquiri Time Out, like its predecessors, is sweet and refreshing but a fraction of the size of your regular order.
And now the DTO makes an appearance for us regular folk on the menu at Island Creek, where Hedge will shake up a Cabot’s DTO (named for Andrew Cabot, the founder of Ipswich’s Privateer Rum, $13) as part of the restaurant's tastily reformed cocktail menu.
“I took a lot of liberties on [the recipe] and because it’s on crushed ice, you can’t take it down too quick,” he explains. “The ice will slow you down.”
But don’t worry, you’re still getting a full size drink — while Hedge says if he serves the drink at home for a party, he’ll portion it out in shot glasses for an authentic feel when greeting guests at the door. “As the saying goes, ‘There’s always time for a daiquiri — even if it’s just a sip.”