The traditional story has this classic being invented in Cuba in 1905 by Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who was working in the town of Daiquiri.  The basic recipe involved pouring a teaspoon of sugar over a highball filled with cracked ice.  The juice of a lime or two was added, followed by white rum.  The drink was then stirred until frosty – basically, a simple swizzle.  This would evolve into a shaken drink with shaved ice.

It remained a Cuban drink until 1909, when U.S. Navy medical officer Admiral Lucius Johnson brought it to the States, to the Army & Navy Club in D.C.    Its popularity grew, particular in the Forties during wartime.   Rationing made most liquors like whiskey in short supply – but rum was relatively plentiful due to Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy liberalizing foreign relations and trade with Latin America.   Perhaps the biggest fan of the drink was Ernest “Papa” Hemingway – who would get his own version, the Hemingway Daiquiri or Papa Doble that added grapefruit and maraschino to the mix.  It wouldn’t take long before someone decided to toss one into a blender – which if you stick to fresh ingredients, isn’t a bad way to slurp your booze while sunning on a beach.

Personally, I prefer the base recipe – rum, sugar, lime.  Its hard to get much simpler than that.  (And amazingly, so easy to fuck up.)  If you stick to the basics, its easy to see why its a classic withs its clean, crisp flavor.  I’ve got a weakness for the family of drinks known as Sours – like the Sidecar, the Margarita, or the Whiskey Sour.  Cold, short, refreshing.  Use fresh lime and sugar, stay away from diesel fuel like Bacardi, and you’re in like Flynn.


Version 1

2.5 oz. aged rum
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.

Version 2

2 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Shake & strain into cocktail glass.


2 thoughts on “Daiquiri

  1. Kevin says:

    I first thought that Morgenthaler link was going to point to him f*ing up somehow. Thankfully, it did not. Still need to hit up Clyde Common sometime…

  2. Dave says:

    Version 1 is Morganthaler’s recipe – which is really just the recipe from Difford’s. It’s my preferred, but really needs an aged rum. Version 2 is from the PDT book – its the one I use with light rums.

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