This post is part of our Rum Hub.
When most people hear the word “Daiquiri” these days, what comes to mind is a blended, fruity, often overly-sweet concoction you’d order at an all-inclusive beach resort (although, as our resident mixologist has shown, Frozen Daiquiris can still be things of beauty). Back when I was a neophyte bartender, I figured the same thing—the Daiquiri was a “girly” drink that I’d never touch unless I lost a bet.
As with most things, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The classic Daiquiri is an exceedingly simple cocktail consisting of white rum, lime juice, and sugar. That’s it. It’s as classy and old-school as they come, but for some reason (likely due to confusion with its frozen siblings) it always seems to get left off of people’s shortlists of essential drinks. As far as we’re concerned, it should live squarely up in the pantheon with the Old-Fashioned, Martini, Manhattan, and Negroni.
It’s my firm opinion that every home bartender should know how to make a Daiquiri, if for no other reason than that it’s way, way easier than people think it is. Plus, like the Mojito, it’s another one of those recipes that seems to satisfy total noobs and veteran cocktail snobs alike. Every skeptical guest I’ve made one for has ended up sucking down three or four more, so be prepared to make a lot!
Unlike a lot of rum drinks, the Daiquiri is classically shaken and served up in a cocktail glass. As this can be a bit unwieldy, especially after drinking a few (and boy, do these go down easy), you can feel free to strain it into an Old-Fashioned glass over ice instead.
White rum is the standard choice for a Daiquiri. It’s light, fresh, and not the least bit syrupy, like a lot of dark or spiced rums can be. Once you master the classic recipe, though, it can be fun to experiment with various aged rums to mix things up a bit.
While it may be tempting to just buy bottled lime juice at the grocery store, you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Take an extra 30 seconds to juice some limes yourself, and the result will be worth your effort and absolutely noticeable in the finished product.
As with most recipes, we like to use simple syrup instead of sugar for our Daiquiris. It blends better, and you don’t have to worry about little grains of sugar collecting at the bottom of your glass (unless that’s what you’re into, in which case, go for it). Also, it’s important to use the sugar sparingly. A Daiquiri can easily be too sweet, so use a restrained hand, and you’ll achieve a balanced and delicious Daiquiri.