When it comes to how to make a cocktail with rum, one option to have in your arsenal is the daiquiri. First notably crafted in the 1800s, the original daiquiri recipe brought together rum, lime juice, and brown sugar.
These days, the recipe is mixed up with different cocktail ingredients. You can mix it with simple syrup, or another sort of citrus. You can bring in other types of rum. Learning about the history of rum can enhance your enjoyment of the drink. Flavors are optional and well-suited to this option for summer cocktails.
In this BinWise blog post, we’ll walk through the classic daiquiri you can order at any bar–it’s perfect for National Cocktail Day. We’ll also take a look at the history of the daiquiri, and how the drink changed through the years. Overall, it’s a colorful history to enjoy as you sip on this delicious drink.
Classic Daiquiri Recipe
When you read about the classic daiquiri, in terms of how it used to be made, it’s a simple mix. The first true recipe was light rum, brown sugar, and lime juice. These days, when you order a classic daiquiri, you’ll get something slightly different in composition due to mixology creations. The flavor, however, is a throwback to that original drink that maintains a place among the great cocktails.
Today, the classic daiquiri standardized recipe combines:
- 2 oz. light rum
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
Simple syrup is a quality switch for brown sugar because it brings the sugary flavor without the work of mixing up the original recipe. If you want a classic daiquiri with an easy way to mix it up, simple syrup does the trick.
"Key Takeaway: However you mix it up, the daiquiri is always a good drink choice."
The history of the daiquiri cocktail starts in the town of Daiquiri, on the southeastern tip of Cuba. Rumor says it was Jennings Cox who first crafted the daiquiri. It happened when he ran out of gin for a punch he was mixing for a party. There is a cocktail recipe card with his signature on it from 1896.
However, there is speculation that–since rum was so plentiful–someone else could have crafted the daiquiri, and didn’t take credit for it. Wherever the drink came from, it boiled down to a delicious mix of limes–lemons weren’t in Cuba–brown sugar, and of course, rum.
After finding success in Cuba, the daiquiri came to America in 1909 with Admiral Lucius W. Johnson of the U.S. Navy. Johnson brought the drink to Washington, D.C.’s Army and Navy Club, where it rose up as one of the most popular cocktails.
Four years later, as the daiquiri continued to draw crowds, a bartender of Havana's Hotel Plaza, Emilio “El Maragato” Gonzalez mixed up the recipe. Gonzalez started serving the daiquiri up, and shaken and strained into a coupe glass.
This mixed up the flavor from when it was served shaken and poured into an ice-filled flute. Additionally, he mixed it up with white sugar instead of brown sugar. These changes made the flavor of the rum even more pronounced.
Within the 1920s and 30s in Cuba, the daiquiri was mixed up even more. Constantino “Constante” Ribalaigua Vert, of the Floridita in Havana, mastered the art of shaved ice and an electric blender for the drink. The frozen daiquiri took shape.
When you mention the daiquiri, Ernest Hemingway’s name is soon to follow. Hemingway was living in Cuba. When he visited the Floridita, he requested the drink without sugar and double the rum to account for his diabetes.
The regularity with which Hemingway would drink a large number of these drinks granted the drink popularity as the Hemingway special. These days, the Floridita has the Papa Hemingway on its menu. That drink–also known as a Hemingway daiquiri–is a mix of Havana Club rum, grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur.
The 1940s and 1950s
The daiquiri continued to grow in terms of when it was enjoyed in America. The frozen daiquiri became a favorite drink for lounging by the water–be it the pool or the beach. Around this time, the tropical treat began to take on new flavors. All manner of fruits were included, and the daiquiri became a slushy type of drink, dispensed from a machine.
These days, the daiquiri is everywhere from chain restaurants like TGI Friday’s to home bars with instant daiquiri mix. From cocktail parties to craft bartender specials, the daiquiri has a following across the range of ways to enjoy alcoholic beverages.
The daiquiri has even been mixed into a shot option. In Boston, Andrew Dietz of the Thirst Boston cocktail fest, with some bartender friends, came up with the Daiquiri Time-Out (DTO) drink ritual. The DTO has been distilled down to a shot of light rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and Peychaud’s bitters–or make your own bitters. Hemingway would be proud.
Daiquiri Food Pairing
The daiquiri, in any form, is best paired with seafood options. Some of the best choices for restaurants, home setups, or bar business spots, are:
- Shrimp or prawns
- Fish tacos
- Scallop pasta
- Scallop skewers
Of course, the most important factor of any drink and dish mix is that you enjoy it. If you find another dish that you love to pair with a daiquiri, reach out to us on BinWise socials. We’d love to learn a new pairing option.
Frequently Asked Questions About Daiquiris
The daiquiri is a drink that draws in many folks who enjoy alcoholic beverages. Heck, a daiquiri can even be enjoyed as an option for mocktails if you get creative with the flavoring. If you’re looking to mix up some daiquiris or learn more, our answers to these frequently asked questions will help you along.
What Makes a Daiquiri a Daiquiri?
A daiquiri is a unique drink because it’s named after the town of Daiquiri in Cuba. Additionally, it brings a unique flavor to the world of rum cocktails. The base ingredients of a classic daiquiri are easy to manage for any bartender, and the drink itself is perfect for any summer evening.
Do Daiquiris Get You Drunk?
Don’t let the sweet flavor fool you–any drink with rum as the main ingredient has the potential to get you drunk. Even when you’re enjoying a summer party, drink responsibly. Either save your drinking for a home event, have a designated driver, or be prepared to order a ride.
Can Margarita Mix Be Used for Daiquiris?
Yes, you can use a margarita mix to add some flavor a daiquiri recipe. On that note, you could also use a Piña colada mix. Rum is a liquor that pairs well with many flavors, so any drink mix has the potential to go well with a daiquiri recipe.
What Is the Difference Between Rum and Tequila?
The main difference between rum and tequila is the main ingredient: blue agave for tequila and sugar cane for rum. Most types of tequila are typically made from 100% blue agave. Rum is made from sugar cane, with the different types of rum coming from different ways of processing sugar cane.
Daiquiris: That’s a Daq Good Drink
However you mix it up, the daiquiri is always a good drink choice. If you’re mixing it for a bar or plan to after learning how to open a bar, visit the BinWise site when you're ready. Our software, BinWise Pro, and the mobile app, BinScan, can help you manage your inventory. That leaves you free to master the perfect classic daiquiri recipe.