Like many classic cocktails, the Daiquiri has contracted a rather severe case of semantic drift, conjuring a variety of fruit-laden icy smoothie concoctions made with a blender. While that may be something you enjoy on your beach vacation, it is not a classic Daiquiri. The original is a simple, tart, and refreshing cocktail that absolutely belongs in your summertime repertoire. It is easy to make just one, or a whole pitcher, and all you need is rum, limes, and sugar or simple syrup. It turns out that they are just as easy to consume.
Our Preferred Daiquiri Recipe
- 2 oz White Rum
- 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
- Lime Wheel for Garnish
Add the rum, lime juice, and syrup to a shaker half-full of ice, and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe and cut the lime wheel so you can install it on the glass. It is not normally served on the rocks.
- White rum brands are fairly difficult to tell apart, but we have a fondness for New England craft rums. Rums have been distilled in New England for over 350 years, after all. Feel free to use other craft rums, we find them more flavorful than the widely available and more popular versions.
- Citrus juice should always be fresh squeezed just prior to making the cocktail. A large lime will yield enough juice even with a narrow slice removed for the garnish.
- Stirrings Simple Syrup is reasonably priced and keeps longer than home-made; however, simple syrup is easy to make.
The Daiquiri is an aperitif, but it also goes well with lunch or as a cooler in the afternoon heat. Depending on your purposes and preferences, you are likely to want to adjust the ingredient ratio. Our preferred recipe (8:3:2) is a relatively strong variation that has the additional benefit of being easy to measure; the IBA ratio is 9:5:3 which is a little weaker and might be preferable with food; David Embury uses his famous sour ratio of 8:2:1, in which the rum really pops but the drink loses much of its refreshing quality, and might be better for cooler weather.
This cocktail belongs generally to the Sour family, which also includes the Whiskey Sour and the Gin Sour. These substitute for the base liquor as well as lemon for the lime. The family also includes the Margarita, White Lady, and Sidecar, which further substitute triple sec for the simple syrup. None of these are Daiquiri variations, but you may find that the ratios for which you enjoy Daiquiris apply well to these other cocktails.
A Rum Sour simply substitutes lemon juice for the lime, and optionally replaces the white rum with dark. The Floridita Daiquiri just substitutes half of the simple syrup with maraschino liqueur. Based on the Floridita, the Papa Doble was Ernest Hemingway’s hardcore go-to, with 4 oz rum, 2 oz lime juice, half a grapefruit, and a few drops of maraschino liqueur. The Hemingway Daiquiri is a more civilized 8:3:2:2 rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur, but either one “makes other people more interesting,” as Papa would say. The Darquiri is not a widely known variation, but is a great drink that uses dark rum and brown sugar syrup in an 8:3:1 ratio. A Rum Sidecar, with dark rum, lemon juice, and triple sec, is more of a family resemblance, but is certainly a good combination.
A Frozen Daiquiri begins the slide down the smoothie slippery slope, but if you simply add fresh fruit (banana or strawberry are particular favorites) and ice to the standard Daiquiri ingredients above, and mix it all in a blender, you will surely find the result drinkable.
Why You Will Like The Daiquiri
The classic Daiquiri is cold, tart, refreshing, and extremely easy to make. What’s not to like?