This is one of the all-time classic cocktails. Three ingredients in perfect balance. It’s a drink we have repeatedly used to explain the beauty and simplicity of the ‘Sour Based’ cocktail to professionals and amateurs alike. Giving them the understanding that a drink can be greater than the sum of its parts, and the absolute importance of balance!
Like many other of the great Classic Cocktails, it’s what this recipe teaches you about how to make cocktails that’s so important. Being able to make a three ingredient drink like a Daiquiri in perfect balance is a real skill and will give you an understanding of balance that’s so pure and fundamental that it will improve all the cocktails you make.
It’s also another example of the classic ‘Sour’ ratio of 2.1.½ which you can use as a base to endlessly play with. It’s a simple and natural progression from the Classic Daiquiri to then incorporate additional flavours such as fruits, spices and even coffee as long as you understand the fundamentals of balance.
There are some drinks that, no matter how cliche it may be, you should try and go and drink in a specific place in the world one day. Such as sipping Japanese Whisky at the bar on the roof of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo where Lost in Translation was filmed, (sure, there are better bars in Tokyo, but it’s still worth it) or in this case, drinking Daiquiris in the iconic El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba.
Is it full of tourists? Yes. Do they serve their Daiquiris in large, dated, v-shaped cocktail glasses with brightly coloured straws, cut in half to fit the glass? Yes. Does any of this matter? No! It’s awesome. Their Daiquiris are all served frozen (blended with ice into a slushy) and are perfectly balanced, brain-freeze inducing, glasses of life reviving manna from heaven. Havana is hot, humid and busy, so stepping into El Floridita and being given a glassful of refreshing, ice-cold, rum and citrus is a near euphoric experience.
Although not invented in El Floridita, and to be honest, no one person, or story, can truly lay claim to be the first to combine such common ingredients and happy bedfellows as rum, lime and sugar! In the 1920s and 30s El Floridita did however help to popularise the drink, ensure its place in history and turn it into a frozen cocktail too.
Although probably not first invented by, the name Daiquiri was likely given by “Jennings Cox” in 1896. The story goes that he ran out of gin for a cocktail party and so subbed in Cuban Rum. This is actually highly believable, as the light and dry style of Cuban rum easily replaces gin in almost all its cannon of recipes. Cox was an engineer living and working in Cuba and decided to name his ‘new’ creation after the nearby port of Daiquiri, made famous by the fact that this was where the Americans had first landed during the Spanish-American war.
This is another Cuban Classic and therefore should be made with a Cuban Style Rum. Sadly, that’s a tall order if you live in the US! So, if you can’t get hold of genuine Cuban Rum, pick something light and dry if you want a crisp, classic style Daiquiri.
However, the formula of these ingredients works with any good quality rum. So, although it might not be classic, this recipe will suit any rum you love to drink. As always, just remember that the better quality ingredients that go in, the better the drink will come out!
Fresh Lime Juice
Squeeze it fresh, a good guide here is 1/2 a lime per serve. You can buy fresh juice these days more easily if you are making a lot of drinks, but do make sure it’s for drinking, not for cooking. Also check that it’s not pasteurised and it’s not on a shelf at room temperature…because that’s NOT fresh juice!
Bakers / Caster Sugar will work here as it’s fine enough to dissolve during shaking. However, for ease make yourself a Rich Simple Syrup and just keep it in the fridge for whenever you have an urge to mix cocktails!
Rums to make a Daiquiri – Read more