Not to be confused with fruity frozen drinks served at beach resorts and party bars around the world, a proper Daiquiri is a classic cocktail suitable for sipping at a swanky lounge or intimate speakeasy. And, with just three ingredients, it’s also one of the easiest drinks for amateur mixologists to craft at home.
Our history of the Daiquiri involves drinking the colorful concoctions in flavors like mango and purple voodoo in New Orleans. However, the cocktail’s real history traces back to Cuba and involves one of the world’s greatest literary giants.
The Daiquiri is one of Cuba’s three signature cocktails along with the Mojito and Cuba Libre. All three of these Cuban cocktails feature white rum.
History of the Daiquiri
Although the Daiquiri originated in Cuba, cocktail lore attributes the rum sour’s creation to Jennings Cox, an American mining executive working near Daiquiri, Cuba at the turn of the 20th century. The exact details of the drink’s origin are as cloudy as a blended cocktail but the recipe has stood the test of time.
Over the years, countless drinkers have succumbed to the charms of the simple Daiquiri both within Cuba and beyond the Caribbean country’s shores. Ernest Hemingway, no stranger to a good drink, imbibed so many double Bacardi Daiquiris at El Floridita in Havana that the prolific writer acquired the nickname Papa Dobles and inspired a variant known as the “Hemingway Daiquiri.”
After making the short journey from Cuba to the United States, the Daiquiri’s popularity spread across America. The drink’s sweeter, slushier frozen counterpart may have overshadowed the original but true cocktail connoisseurs prefer the gentile charm of the original concoction.
The brightest teetotallers know how to craft a Daiquiri at home.
Legend has it that Cox used white Bacardi rum, granulated sugar and fresh lime juice to craft his original Daiquiri recipe. We use the same ingredients, purposefully choosing sugar over simple syrup. Besides ice, these are the only three ingredients you’ll need.
If you don’t have access to Bacardi, you can use another white rum like Appleton Estate or Havana Club. We bought a bottle of Bacardi Carta Blanca superior white rum for €15 at our local Lisbon liquor store. This rum’s ABV is 37.5%.
You can buy Daiquiri mix from Amazon or at your local store. Don’t do it! Instead, follow our easy Bacardi Daiquiri recipe and craft a quality cocktail without preservatives in just five minutes.
How To Make a Bacardi Daiquiri at Home
Making a Bacardi Daiquiri is as simple of squeezing, mixing, shaking and pouring. These are the only steps in our recipe. In other words, you’ll be drinking your crafted cocktail in just five minutes.
Beyond the three necessary ingredients, our recipe requires a few bar tools – a jigger, cocktail shaker, strainer and spoon. You probably have these at home if you’re a cocktail drinker. Otherwise, they’re not expensive.
Although the Bacardi Daiquiri is one of the most refreshing cocktails to drink during the warm summer months, you may want to modify the formula to adjust the sweetness and tartness levels. Experimenting with the amounts of sugar and lime juice will allow you to find your sweet (or tart) spot.
Another option is to doctor the recipe by adding fruits like strawberries, peaches, melon or even avocado. Better yet, add maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice to create a Hemingway Special, the version inspired by Papa Dobles.
Or, if you’re in the mood for a ‘girly drink’, ramp up your cocktail in a blender with strawberries and ice. Boom! You just made a frozen strawberry Daiquiri.
Try our classic Bacardi Daiquiri recipe first. Who knows? Maybe it will hit your cocktail sweet spot.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.