DAIQUIRI RECIPE: WHAT EVEN IS A DAIQUIRI?
A lot of people probably think of frozen Daiquiri when they see this cocktail’s name (a frozen strawberry Daiquiri is a summer staple at poolside bars, after all). But we’re actually talking about the classic, non-blended version here. So put away that blender and grab your cocktail shaker! (I may be biased, but I do truly think ours is the best around.)
Like its frozen counterpart, a classic Daiquiri still incorporates rum and lime juice, but it is shaken rather than blended. While the taste is similar, it may be easier (and quieter) for cocktail parties and for bartenders at busy bars.
Then, of course, there is the “Hemingway Daiquiri,” a variation of the classic, adding maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice– inspired by Ernest Hemingway. But that’s a whole ‘nother post with a lot of history… and perhaps some urban legend.
DAIQUIRI COCKTAIL HISTORY
Like most cocktail mythology, there are a couple different origin stories of the Daiquiri. The two most acceptable theories both begin in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War with mining engineer. Jennings S. Cox arriving in Cuba.
The first story suggest that Cox served this light cocktail to miners after work. The second story is that he was serving Gimlets at a party or perhaps even was serving straight gin but ran out of gin– so he replaced the it with rum and added extra lime and sugar. Thus, the Daiquiri was (maybe) born.
However, it’s also argued that this delightful cocktail was already popular in Cuba before Cox’s arrival. Whatever the true origin, the Daiquiri was first seen in print in 1914, so we know it existed by then.
The first version was more focused on the lime juice, but the modern version flips that and puts more emphasis on the rum, including only one ounce lime juice for a nice, bright flavor without too much acidity. This modern version is the Daiquiri recipe we’re making today.
HOW TO MAKE A DAIQUIRI: A CLASSIC SOUR, A BIT UNREFINED
Rather, I like to think of the Daiquiri as the Margarita’s somewhat unrefined little brother. Both classic cocktails are types of sour cocktails, and both use lime + sweetener + spirit. Where they differ is the classic Margarita includes triple sec (or in the case of Tommy’s Margarita, you’ll skip the triple sec and swap that sweeter for agave nectar.)
The Daiquiri, on the other hand, skips the fancy orange liqueur and sweeteners and gets straight to the point. It’s a very simple rum cocktail using white rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup, offering a tart flavor with a bit of sweetness.
SIMPLE SYRUP: SUGAR AND WATER
Like many classic cocktails, this recipe calls for simple syrup. While you can buy this in a bottle, we honestly believe that’s a waste of your money! You can make your own simple syrup at home with a 1:1 ratio of water and granulated sugar plus a little prep time:
- Boil 1 part water.
- Add 1 part sugar.
- Stir until dissolved while boiling. Once the sugar has dissolved, set the syrup aside to cool.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks to add to your favorite drinks.
POPULAR VARIATIONS AND OTHER SOUR COCKTAILS
This sweet drink is a classic sour cocktail, meaning it follows this formula:
- Base spirit (light/white/silver rum)
- Acid (citrus juice, limes)
- Sweetener (white sugar simple syrup)
Replace the rum with gin, and there you have a Gimlet, which follows the same formula.
What’s the difference between a Margarita and a Daiquiri, you ask? Well, the Margarita is in a subsection of the sour family called the daisy family, which includes liqueur. Knowing these formulas & cocktail family structures allows you to easily switch in and out various ingredients to change your cocktail recipe.
- Replace the plain simple syrup with fresh strawberry syrup for a delicious strawberry Daiquiri.
- Try mint cardamom syrup for a really unique, luscious flavor.
- Use a basic blender to make it a frozen cocktail instead (although we really love the shaken version). Serve this one in a hurricane glass or other tall glass rather than a coupe cocktail glass.
If you want to learn more about how custom syrups can completely transform your cocktails, check out our brand new Crafting Cocktail Syrups Workshop!
SHAKE THIS CLASSIC DRINK, DON’T BLEND
So the next time you want something a bit sweet, a little unrefined, and a lot delicious… Consider the Daiquiri. It’s not just for slushy machines anymore!
Ready for yours? Grab the recipe below and get shaking. Definitely let us know in the comments how you like this classic version of the Daiquiri– and stay tuned next month for our Strawberry Daiquiri recipe, too!
- 1 Citrus Peeler optional, if garnishing with lime peel
- 2 oz White Rum
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 3/4 oz Simple Syrup