A daiquiri is a fantastic cocktail that has been finding its way back into the spotlight over the past couple of years. Though it was absent from cocktail bar menus for a couple of decades, the drink has a very long history. The drink was supposedly invented in Cuba around the turn of the 20th century, then brought back to New York by American fans, where it gained popularity in local nightclubs and bars. The basic recipe combined sugar, lime juice and rum with crushed ice for a drink that was slightly sweet, slightly tart and very refreshing. The classic way to prepare a daiquiri is to shake the trio of sugar, lime and rum, then then strain it into a (chilled) cocktail glass to serve.
So, what about frozen daiquiris? Blended drinks, often flavored with other fruits, served in tall hurricane glasses? That style of drink really took off in the 1970s, but there definitely is some history to a blended daiquiri, though the classic cocktail is generally shaken and strained into a cocktail glass these days. In the 1920s, drink mixers (a.k.a. blenders) began to achieve popularity in bars as a way to easily crush ice and chill drinks. The drinks produced with these blenders were not generally the consistency of smoothies or of the poolside pina coladas you’ll find at tropical resorts, but did definitely contribute to the origin of the frozen drink.
I’m a huge fan of the three-ingredient classic daiquiri. You can use any kind of rum to make a daiquiri, though many consider a Cuban-style white rum to be the best choices, both because the rum is light in flavor on its own and because it is the style of rum used in the “original” recipe. The 86 Co’s Cana Brava rum is a good example of this style, as is any Havana Club white rum (if you can get it). You can also use aged rums, though I recommend making the classic recipe with a good white rum before starting to experiment. I’m not going to list more white rums here, but there are lots of good quality white rums out there to choose from. IF you want some more recommendations, leave a comment on this post.
When you’re making a daiquiri, you should taste the mixture before you shake it up. Depending on where you buy your limes and what time of the season it is, some seem more acidic than others. If your limes are especially tart, you may want to increase your simple syrup to a full ounce. Simple syrup is a staple ingredient that you should keep in your fridge for sweetening all drinks, both hot and cold, and it is made by dissolving together equal parts sugar and water.
2 oz white rum (pref. Cuban-style rum)
1 oz lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Fill with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into a coupe or other cocktail glass and serve.