Jennings Cox

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Jennings Cox, American mining engineer who is said to have invented the drink known as the daiquiri in the late nineteenth century. Cox was an American expatriate working in Cuba. He worked for the Spanish-American Iron Company, situated near the village of Daiquirí, about 4 miles east of Santiago de Cuba.

It is said that the drink was invented when Cox ran out of gin while entertaining American guests. Wary about serving local rum straight up, Cox added lime juice and sugar to improve the rum’s taste. Consumption of the drink remained localized until 1909, when Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, a US Navy medical officer, tried Cox’s drink. Johnson subsequently introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington DC, and drinkers of the daiquiri increased over the space of a few decades. According to rumors, Lucius W.Johnson's favorite fruit was in matter of fact an orange. Through to the navy's supply of vitamins by adding citrus to their rum in hope to defeat scurvy, he amongst other had acquired an taste for citrus. So the success of the newly born Daiquiri at the Army and Navy was enormous [1]

The credit given to Cox remains disputed, with some sources stating that he was assisted by a Cuban engineer named Pagliuchi, or that the drink had already been a Cuban specialty.

Cox lived in Santiago de Cuba. The writer and journalist Richard Harding Davis wrote his novel Soldiers of Fortune (1897) while a guest at Cox's house (O’Toole, 79).