Mark this on your calendars: July 19 is National Daiquiri Day!
In South Florida, with such close proximity to the Caribbean, the daiquiri holds a special place in the drinking hierarchy, yet over the years, the daiquiri has taken on many forms and meanings. When stepping up to the bar and ordering a daiquiri there is no telling what you might get: frozen, strawberry, nectary sweet…it’s a toss up. Yet, at its core, the daiquiri is simple: silver rum, sugar, and lime juice.
The name itself stems from a beach bar called Daiquirí that was located near Santiago, Cuba during the Spanish-American War. An American mining engineer who frequented the bar supposedly crafted the cocktail, yet it did not reach critical acclaim until the 1940s. In Havana, a bar called El Floridita and barman Constante Ribailagua introduced the tipple to none other than Ernest Hemingway. Ribailagua’s twist on the cocktail, now known as the Papa Doble, included a splash of maraschino liqueur and some crushed ice.
Now, the daiquiri has multiple meanings; the result of blender-happy mixologists looking for a cool libation on hot summer days. Which means every home barman or woman worth their salt needs to have a handful of daiquiri recipes in the arsenal. For National Daiquiri Day, we’re offering three such recipes: the original, Hemingway’s fave, and a frozen strawberry concoction for the pool. Enjoy.
With such basic construction, the key to making a properly balanced cocktail is proper ratio. Depending on your palate, you might enjoy a more tart, or sweeter sip; fiddle with the ratio to nail down your favorite. And while the daiquiri is traditionally served without ice, rather shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice and strained, add some rocks to the glass if you prefer extra dilution.
Photo provided by Basil & Co.
- 2 oz. Silver Rum
- 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup*
- Garnish: Lime wedge or wheel
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass without ice.
*To make Simple Syrup, heat equal parts of baking sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool before use.
Also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri or the Hemingway Special, this sip first concocted at El Floridita has garnered international acclaim. In fact, it is an official cocktail of the International Bartenders Association. Here, we share the sip that slaked Papa’s thirst.
- 2 oz. Bacardi white rum
- 1 1/3 oz. (shot glass) grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously; strain into a doubles glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Frosted & Blended
National Daiquiri Day is a summer type of holiday, and in South Florida, that means it is hot. Try this recipe for a blended strawberry daiquiri, a great way to cool off while joining the rum party.
Ingredients (makes 4 to 6 drinks)
- 1/2 pound of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 cup of white rum
- Juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
- 1 cup of ice*
Combine strawberries, rum, and lime juice to blender; pulse until thoroughly blended. Add ice and pulse until smooth and even.
*Depending on how thick you want your frozen daiquiri, you can vary the amount of ice used. Start with a cup, blend and check. If you want a slushier consistency, add a half-cup until you find your happy medium. But be careful, the more you blend, the more watered-down the drink will become.
Tools of the Trade
Become a master mixologist, or at least look like one, with the tools that make the trade.
Available at Williams-Sonoma
- Muddler: This little tenderizing stick is a godsend and a must for any home bar. If fruity cocktails are in your future, the muddler is the only way to unlock fruits’ flavor.
- Handheld Citrus Juicer: Nothing beats freshly squeezed juice, but it can be a pain. Invest in a handheld citrus juicer; they are cheap and do the trick tout de suite.
- Cocktail Shaker: Don’t be a chump stirring your martini like a noob; purchase a nice shaker and become a master home barkeep.
- Jigger: This little apparati will make mixing the perfect drink as easy as pie. It's equipped with 1½ oz. and 1 oz. cups for perfectly measured pours every time.