Boozehound 101: The daiquiri

The classic daiquiri may look a little different than the slushy version that has become quite popular. — photo by Kenn Wilson

Quick, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a real, genuine daiquiri? And I’m not talking about one made in a blender! The classic daiquiri is one of the simplest, most elegant cocktails.

Supposedly hailing from Cuba, the drink was invented at the turn of the last century and eventually became the favorite drink of Ernest Hemingway and President Kennedy. Hemingway even invented a variation of his own, called the Papa Doble, which uses twice the amount of rum than a regular daiquiri.

But wait, you say, why do I need to make my own? Isn’t it just easier for me to go out to the grocery store and by a mixture in a bottle, throw some ice in my blender, add rum and go to town? I cannot deny that the appeal of frozen daiquiris is that they’re fast, they’re tasty and they’re sweet, and it’s the perfect balance between that feeling of gut-rot from excess sugar and total inebriation. However, that’s the easy way out — and it misses the essence of what the daiquiri is all about.

The classic daiquiri is quite simple. There are three ingredients — rum, simple syrup and lime juice — and all you need is cocktail shaker, ice and a glass to make it. (Oh, and a slice of lime if you want to be really fancy with a garnish.)

The recipe calls for two parts unaged Cuban rum, but there’s nothing in the rulebook that says that you can’t use aged or spiced rum. I recommend unaged because it balances better with the lime and the sugar.

Add ice, rum, one part lime juice to your cocktail shaker. The recipe tastes best with fresh squeezed limes and a half part simple syrup. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled glass and enjoy.

If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to try making one on your own, the Clinton Street Social Club offers a classic daiquiri (along with many other classic cocktails).

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