The daiquiri is quite possibly the perfect introductory cocktail for any drinker young and old. It will delight and intrigue casual sippers with it’s simplicity and it’s wave of refreshing sweet and tart flavors. As enhancing as this cocktail is to the drinking experience, the bartender should take a special amount of pride in the quality of his or her daiquiri.
The daiquiri has innumerable variations in existence. Daiquiris have been made shaken, blended, stirred and tossed. In fact, if you were to visit 10 different bars and a order a “daiquiri”, the chances are that you will receive 10 distinctly different cocktails, both in taste and presentation. So which is the right one?
The answer isn’t quite that simple. Of course, many bartenders and rum aficionados will most likely say the simple rum-lime-sugar version is the correct mixture, there is no concession on exactly how that mixture is prepared. The ratios of booze to juice to sugar varies widely, as does the method of preparation.
At El Floridita Bar in Old Havana, a bar made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s earnest patronage and admiration, their daiquiris are prepared by the gallon in blenders. At my bar, and most other bars I have ever visited, it is shaken and served up and usually accompanied by several subsequent requests for refills.
No matter how far and wide you go to the find the perfect recipe for the perfect daiquiri, the cold frosty truth is that the perfect daiquiri is the one that tastes just right in that moment! Allow me to show with you my daiquiri recipe…
2.25 oz white rum (don't skimp out on a good, quality rum) 0.75 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz rich simple syrup Shake the absolute hell out of it with ice in a cocktail shaker, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish (optional) with a lime wheel.
Now as tasty as the above recipe is–in my humble opinion–I do like mine with a bit more depth and character. So, with the addition of an aged rum, used almost as equally as the white rum, I find it adds a nice amount of richness and warmth to the cocktail.
Daiquiri (my variation)
1.25 oz white rum (again, quality in = quality out) 1 oz aged rum (I go for Ron Del Barrilito or a flavorful Barbados rum like El Dorado) 0.75 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz rich simple syrup Shake, shake, and shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish (optional) with a lime wheel.
The above video shows a popular variation of the traditional daiquiri being prepared by Abel Oliva, bar manager of El Floridita Bar. He is making their eponymous cocktail, the Floridita Daiquiri. Imagine that!
Floridita Daiquiri (aka La Floridita [Daiquiri No. 4])
2 oz white rum (pick Havana Club to honor the Floridita tradition) 0.75 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz rich simple syrup 1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino liqueur Shake vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish (optional) with a lime wheel.
I love maraschino liqueur so if you feel so inclined (as I often do) you can add more to the recipe. I find with this pungent spirit made of marasca cherries (pits and all) that a little goes a long way so be careful.
Now for the grand finale daiquiri. The one that holds a very dear and very special place in my heart: the Papa Doble aka the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Hemingway Daiquiri (aka Papa Doble)
2 oz white rum (Papa's Pilar is a good choice for obvious reasons) 0.75 oz fresh lime juice 0.5 oz fresh pink grapefruit juice 0.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur 0.25 oz rich simple syrup (optional, added only for those with a sweeter palette) Shake very hard with ice, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish (optional) with a lime wheel.