The Daiquiri. A brilliant concoction that we’re all familiar with.
Whether you first had it in a bar, at a nightclub, on holiday, or just at your friend’s garden party, you were likely wowed by the brilliant tropical flavors, and the warm punch of the rum.
If you’re looking to try your hand at making your own, but have no idea where to start with strawberries and bananas and frozen and all those other things that are synonymous with the Daiquiri then relax!
I’m here to clear up the confusion surrounding a really simple, easy-to-make drink and give you the perfect recipe (plus a few variations) to make you the perfect party host.
So dust off the sun lounger, don the ray bans, and put your feet up: this is how to master the Daiquiri!
What Is a Daiquiri: The Classic Daiquiri Ingredients
You’ve probably tried plenty of Daiquiri and Daiquiri variations across the years without ever really knowing what’s in it so it’d probably be a surprise to find out it consists of just three simple ingredients.
Before we find out what those are though, let’s just take a quick look at the history of this famous rum cocktail.
The topical, Caribbean nature of this cocktail comes as less of a surprise when you discover the Daiquiri was invented by American miner Jennings Cox in the town of, well, Daiquiri in 1898.
A decade later, a US naval officer brought the drink back to Washington DC and the cocktail’s ascension to mixology mainstay began.
Don’t be deceived by its reputation as some college kid’s boozed-up slushie, the Daiquiri has as much class as its Cuban cousin: the Mojito.
The combination of the three simple ingredients of white rum, lime juice, and brown sugar syrup creates a strong cocktail with a serious alcoholic kick, and a palate balancing on a knife edge between sweet and bitter.
The best rum for a Daiquiri? Anything light.
A dark or a spiced rum like Kraken or Captain Morgan’s just isn’t going to do the job here. Havana Club and Santiago de Cuba both do amazing white rums if you’re wanting to keep it authentic, all while keeping the price accessible for the everyday buyer.
If you’re just looking for a simple, cheap white rum that’ll do the job, however, Bacardi is going to be on the shelves of every supermarket or corner shop and you really can’t go wrong with the industry standard choice.
If you’re making mainly frozen Daiquiris, Bacardi won’t let you down but if you prefer the classic serving then maybe go for the Havana Club and let the taste of the rum really shine through in your cocktail.
How To Make a Daiquiri: The Original Daquiri Recipe
I’ll cover how to make a classic Daiquiri, a frozen one, and a few variations in this article, so keep reading if you want to see that. Starting simple, here’s the classic three-ingredient Daiquiri:
Step 1: Demerara Sugar Syrup
You’re going to want to use demerara sugar for a Daiquiri instead of your normal white sugar syrup. It balances perfectly with the lime juice to create a counterpoint to the white rum, taking the cocktail from just a strong, straight spirit to a classy, late-night staple.
It’s the same as making normal sugar syrup, just use a 1:1 ratio of demerara sugar and water, stir in a simmering pan until mixed into a consistent syrup and leave to cool for a few hours.
Once cooled, transfer into a container where it’ll keep for a few days ambient, or up to a month refrigerated.
Not just a one-trick pony, this sugar syrup can be used in a few cocktails, or even to sweeten up your morning cup of coffee!
Step 2: Shaker
Add 2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, and ¾ ounce of your sugar syrup to your shaker.
Fill with ice and give it a good shake until chilled.
You can afford to shake this for a little bit longer than other cocktails as the dilution from the ice is a key part of balancing the delicate flavors of the Daiquiri.
Step 3: Strain and Garnish
A simple finish, just finely strain your drink into your chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime twist. Done. You’re ready to sip on a beautiful drink like you’re Ernest Hemmingway, John F. Kennedy, or even Fidel Castro, whatever suits your fancy.
How To Make Frozen Daiquiris
If you’re not here looking for the classic Cuban cocktail, but instead an iced-up boozy smoothie, then don’t click off just yet. Now we’ve tackled the classic, here’s how to nail a Frozen Daiquiri:
Step 1: Not the Shaker!
Assuming you’ve already made the sugar syrup, as shown above, the first step for making a frozen Daiquiri is to add your ingredients (in the same quantities as above) to a blender along with 150g of ice.
Step 2: Blend and Serve
Easy enough. Just blend your drink and pour it into a chilled coupe glass. It’ll be easier to garnish this one with a lime wedge rather than twist as it’s going to be quite a thick mixture.
It’s also best drunk through a straw. If your drink is a little too watery for your liking, just add less ice next time and vice versa: if it’s a bit too thick add some more.
Where to start with this one? The Daiquiri has been riffed on more than a Led Zeppelin album and I could give you enough variations to fill a book.
Let’s stick to a few crowd-pleasing favorites and you’ll feel like you’ve got so many options out of just one drink before you even know it!
You knew it was coming, and you knew it was coming first. Just add frozen strawberries to your blender (and a fresh one to your garnish) and you’ve got a cocktail that it’s going to be almost impossible to beat on a hot, sunny evening.
The Strawberry Daiquiri has become so popular in fact, it’s actually what most people think of when they hear the word Daiquiri.
It’s not quite as clean or classic as the original, but it’s just as boozy and just as Instagrammable!
For Whom the Bar Tolls: The Hemingway Daiquiri is an ode to the great author created for him in the El Floridita bar in Havana.
Replacing the sugar syrup with a ½ ounce each of maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice retains the sweet balance of the classic recipe, with an added tart.
It’s an intriguing and genius mix, both words which describe the Nobel Prize-winning author perfectly and it’s one that just has to be tried.
Just keep this one to the classic style, it loses its taste and edge when blended.
These two have been grouped together because they’re very similar to both each other and in fact the Strawberry Daiquiri.
Whether using frozen or fresh fruit, just add a couple of slices to your blender and watch it wizz!
The key to enjoying either of these is to add ½ ounce of Cointreau, Triple Sec, or any other orange liqueur you may have to accentuate those tropical flavors that make the sweeter Daiquiri variations so popular.
f you really want to push the boat out, pop down to your local supermarket and pick up one of those tropical smoothie mixes that typically contain a mix of frozen pineapple, mango, and banana to give your cocktail a real burst of tastes and sensations to back up the kick of the white rum.
It’s amazing what adding just one ingredient to a cocktail will do to its flavor palate. Just an ounce of peach schnapps into your shaker is going to round off the finish of your Daiquiri and leave it with a pleasant, sweeter, and fruitier edge than the classic lime and rum cocktail.
Peach schnapps is affordable and easy to get hold of as the best-selling schnapps in America and it’s the perfect way to change up the classic Daiquiri recipe without doing anything too radical.
I started bartending in 2017, just 4 days after my 18th birthday, at a cocktail bar in my hometown. I immediately fell in love with the art and science of mixology and have since worked in bars across Yarm, York and Liverpool in England.