Both sweet and tart, the daiquiri is a straight up cocktail ready to take on any occasion. The perfect thirst quencher for a hot summer’s day.
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Place the rum, lime juice, simple syrup and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until combined and well chilled.
Strain the rum mixture evenly among chilled serving glasses. Serve immediately with a slice of fresh or dehydrated lime.
Root to tip: Always zest your limes before juicing and store the zest in a sealable bag in the freezer. Stir it through sour cream to serve with tacos or use it to add an extra layer of flavour to a classic lemon curd.
In recent years, the term daiquiri conjures up images of bright and fruity drinks blitzed with ice known as frozen daiquiris. The original recipe, however, had a more serious edge to it. Made from just white rum, lime juice and sugar, the classic daiquiri was the drink of professional bartenders as well as the literati (both Fitzgerald and Hemingway were big fans). While the fun and fruity slushie version has its place, so too does the original. Give our classic version a go – you’ll find it’s just as at-home sipped at an elegant summer party, served as an aperitif, or enjoyed poolside in a lounge chair.
Daiquiris belong to a group of cocktails known as ‘sours’, meaning they contain a spirit, some form of sugar, and citrus juice. Other members of this group include margaritas, mojitos and cosmopolitans. With only three ingredients, the secret to the drink is balancing the rum, syrup and juice to achieve the perfect palate-pleasing combination.
Unlike other cocktails, daiquiri history is undisputed. Its invention is attributed to an American engineer living in Daiquiri, a small village in Cuba, at the turn of the 20th century. After he ran out of gin while entertaining, the only alcohol available was the local rum. The foreigner mixed it with juice and sugar to hide the unfamiliar taste. Slowly it made its way to America where it became the base for other, more colourful concoctions.
While some cocktails include a couple of different spirits or liqueurs, the daiquiri cocktail relies on one spirit alone. Both white (or silver) and dark rum are made from sugar cane. While dark rum has a more complex flavour, white rum may have fruity, coconutty, herby or grassy notes, depending on how long it’s been aged. Choosing a less expensive rum will give you a drink close to the original, whereas pricier aged rums provide more complex daiquiri flavours. The other daiquiri ingredients are sugar and lime juice. Some recipes ask for granulated sugar that dissolves upon shaking, but we prefer the ease of a sugar syrup. While sugar syrup can be bought commercially, you can make your own. Keep it chilled in the fridge. Make sure you squeeze your own lime juice for a brighter, fresher, and more authentic-tasting cocktail.
With our daiquiri cocktail recipe you’re only five minutes from gathering the basic ingredients to having a drink in your hand. Traditionally, a coupe glass is used. These are small, delicate long-stemmed glasses with a wide shallow top and are used when a drink is served straight up, meaning there’s no ice. No need for fancy umbrellas to adorn your daiquiri glass: just a simple slice of fresh lime. You could also use dehydrated citrus or edible flowers (if accessible) for an even more elegant tipple. Remember to chill your glass first to keep the drink frosty.