When was the last time you had a daiquiri? We’re not talking about one of those sweet frozen slushes with an umbrella and a huge straw that you drank from a plastic cup at a poolside bar. A true daiquiri is a classic drink, served in a cocktail coupe. It is made using only three ingredients – light rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. We hadn’t had a daiquiri in quite a long time, and a brief spell of warm weather in the midst of winter made us want to step away from the whiskey and mix up something tropical.

The daiquiri's origins lie in Cuba. Its name comes from a small village near Santiago that became the focal point of the US invasion of Cuba in 1898 (during the Spanish-American War). One theory of the cocktail’s birth is that it was created by a group of American mining engineers around 1900, but honestly, we’re talking about a cocktail with three ingredients – all local to Cuba (and other Caribbean Islands). It seems unlikely that it took a group of American engineers to storm in and invent this drink. They did, however, help spread the word, so by 1909, a Naval officer brought the drink recipe back to the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC. The cocktail became such a huge hit that the Club’s bar was renamed “The Daiquiri Lounge”.

We can’t talk about drinking and Cuba without mentioning the world’s most famous daiquiri drinker – Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway Daiquiri is a distinct version that includes a bit of grapefruit juice and replaces the simple syrup with maraschino liqueur. Maybe it’s Hemingway’s fault that bartenders started tinkering with a cocktail that doesn’t need any embellishment. In this post we’re not messing with a good thing and just giving you the classic recipe. If you are looking for a variation using dark rum, try our Jamaican Rum Daisy

Since you don’t need much to make this cocktail, it’s important to use good rum. Unlike bourbon, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good bottle of rum. We like El Dorado Deluxe Silver 6 Year Aged Rum – its clean flavor works really well in cocktails. Another excellent choice is Plantation 3 Stars Rum. Then you just need some fresh limes and cane sugar simple syrup. Feel free to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to suit your taste. We tailored our recipe to work with the juice of one lime. Cut a wheel out of the center to use as garnish before you squeeze the two halves.

We’ve paired the daiquiri with some of the Cocktail Artist’s recent watercolors. The Artist has been experimenting with a series of paintings that involve overlapping shapes, and we thought they worked well as a colorful backdrop to this deceptively simple cocktail.



2 ½ ounces white rum
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
¾ ounce cane sugar simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake for 20 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lime wheel.

Tropical - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist

Bottles - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist

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