This is the drink I find myself ordering the most, and also the one which I so often suggest to the indecisive drinker. Its simplicity, yet perfect balance is just sublime. Here I’ll show how to make the perfect daiquiri, and a few twists on the classic, but first we’ll start with the history…
The man behind the creation of the daiquiri was an American engineer named Jennings Stockton Cox. Cox was working in the Sierra Maestra Mountains in south-eastern Cuba, leading an exploration for Iron-ore in 1898, near a village called Daiquiri. Well paid, with good rations of tobacco and Bacardi Carta Blanca, Cox started to experiment, making drinks with what ingredients Cuba had to offer- rum, lime, and sugar. Another account suggests that cox made the drink while entertaining American guest and ran out of gin, not wanting to serve straight rum he created the mix of rum, lime and sugar.
The first print of the Daiquiri was in Basil Woon’s 1928 book titled When It’s Cocktail time in Cuba, and documents the christing of the Daiquiri…
‘The boys used to have three or four every morning. Most of the worked in the Daiquiri mines, the superintendent of which was a gentleman named Cox - Jennings Cox. One morning in the venus Cox said; “Boys, we’ve been drinking this delicious little drink for some time, but we’ve never named it. Let’s christen it now!” The boys milled around a bit and finally Cox said: “I’ll tell you what, lads - we all work at Daiquiri and we all drank this drink first there. Let’s call it a Daiquiri.”’
The original recipe can also be found in Cox’s personal dairy, a rarely well documented origin one of today’s classic cocktails. It calls for “The juice of six lemons; Six teaspoons full of sugar; Six Bacardi cups (‘Carta Blanca’); Two small cups of mineral water; Plenty of crushed ice”. This serves six. The fact that Cox calls for lemons is due to the fact that in Cuba limes are named `limóns. In 1898 lemons in cuba were almost unheard of, yet limes abundant.
In 1948 David A. Embury released his seminal Book Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, in which he produced a superior method of mixing a Diaquiri using a ratio of 8:2:1 of rum,lime and sugar respectively. Embury also suggests using a sugar syrup as caster sugar does not readily dissolve in alcohol, and to add dilution he suggest to ‘Shake vigorously with plenty of finely crushed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glasses’. This makes a great daiquiri, but not perfect…
More recently Simon Difford suggested ‘a small increase in the lime but in proportion to a similar small increase in the rum’ leads to a more balanced daiquiri, a ratio of 10:3:2 (however he still prefers Embury’s ratio when using aged rum). Difford also prefers a more precise dilution which he obtains by shaking ‘with large cubes of double frozen ice taken from a freezer with the addition of 1/2 shot iced water’. Shake vigorously.
So there you have it, the Daiquiri, created by Cox, perfected by Difford
- 2 1/2 oz Bacardi
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz sugar syrup (2:1)
- 1/2 oz chilled mineral water (only use if you have the luxury of double frozen ice)
Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with a lime wedge
Click the links below to see a few daiquiri twists.
Bella Donna Daiquiri
Grilled Pineapple Curacao Daiquiri