Sunday, July 5, 2009

Daiquiris - The Best Rum Cocktail?

How to Make the Best Daiquiris

To really enjoy a Daiquiri you need to love the balance of sweet and sour that the lime juice and sugar syrup bring out. The way that these two ingredients mellows out the harshness of the rum and allows you to experience it's background flavors is wonderful.

Let's delve into the world of Daiquiris and learn how to get the balance of flavors perfect in your daiquiri as well as experimenting with some of the delicious daquiri recipes we've found.

A daiquiri is a very simple cocktail it is merely rum plus a sweet and sour combination.

In the classic daiquiri the sweet and sour is added by the sugar syrup and lime juice.


3 parts Cuban white rum
1 part lime juice
1 1/2 parts sugar syrup

Combine all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds before straining into a cocktail glass.

Daiquiri recipes, the history of the daiquiri and more
Daiquiri Poster

The History of the Daiquiri

Daiquiris are named after a beach near Santiago in Cuba however after this the story is split into two Daiquiri legends.

Daiquiri Legend #1

This legend is by far the most commonly heard of story and credits an American by the name of Jennings Cox with creating this divine drink.

Jennings Cox was the Managing Director of a company of mining engineers that were working at an iron mine near Daiquiri beach. The legend goes that Jennings was entertaining at a bar in Santiago named Venus bar when they ran out of gin.

Jennings looked at the best ingredients that were available which just happened to be Cuban rum, limes and sugar syrup and thus the Daiquiri was born.

Daiquiri Legend #2

The other legend is that the Daiquiri was a local secret until a man by the name of Admiral Lucius Johnston tasted it and fell in love with it. He managed to get the recipe and took it back to Washington DC where he introduced it at the Army and Navy Club. From Washington to the world it would seem as the Daiquiri started attracting fans around the globe.

Rum, The Main Ingredient

Daiquiri's Flavor Key

It is always important to use good quality ingredients in your cocktails, but especially when making Daiquiris. The lime juice and sugar syrup not only mellow out the rum but also allow the background flavors to rise to the fore.

A good quality rum will have vanilla flavors and caramel flavors coming through. Try to experiment with different rums to see what one you prefer. I personally find that the Jamaican rums have more of a caramel flavor (which I love) than some of the other rums.

Sugar Syrup

How to Sweeten Your Daiquiri

Making your own sugar syrup is an easy process. Basically you need to dissolve 1kg of caster sugar in 2 litres of boiling water. Once the sugar has dissolved you can store it in the refrigerator until required.

You can use ready made sugar syrups that are available on the market such as Grenadine. Grenadine is a sugar syrup made from pomegranites which has a very distinctive red color, it is used to make the Pink Daiquiri.

Pink Daiquiri

3 parts Cuban white rum
1 part lime juice
1 part grenadine

Combine all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.


Another option is to use a natural sweetener like honey to replace your sugar syrup. There are so many different varieties of honey available that the different flavors it can impart to your daiquiri are seemingly endless.


Cuban Honey

3 parts Cuban anejo rum
1 part lime juice
1 part honey

Combine all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

You can also flavor your sugar syrups with vanilla or fruit which can add another delicious element to your perfect daiquiri.

Vanilla Syrup

500g sugar
1 ½ litres water
2 vanilla pods, split

Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the vanilla pods to the water and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and scrape the seeds into the liquid. Cool and store in the refrigerator until required.

If you want to try a fruit syrup simply replace the vanilla pods with the fruit of your choice.

Essential Daiquiri Equipment - Tools Needed to Make Perfect Daiquiris

Daiquiri - Photographic Print
You can't make a great Daiquiri unless you have the proper equipment and that includes something to squeeze your fresh lime juice with. You also require a cocktail shaker and for some a muddler.

First up is a citrus juicer while not essential I wouldn't be without one myself. Although I have a big juicer in my kitchen when it comes to my bar I go for a manual one. A wooden reamer was the first type I tried before I discovered the metal citrus press. Now you can get a lemon one and a lime one (they're yellow and green respectively), but to be perfectly honest I only have the lemon one and it squeezes my limes just fine.

When it comes to juicing limes I always roll them first before cutting them to put them in the juicer. I read somewhere that it releases the flesh from the skin and you get more juice that way, I don't know if it's true, but it's how I do it!

When it comes to daiquiris (or cocktails in general really) you do need to use fresh lime juice. If you try and use the lime juices that come in bottles then the balance will be off in your drink right from the start as the bottled juice is sweetened.

A muddler is an essential bar tool, it you're going to stick with a classic daiquiri then you don't need to worry about getting one. However if you want to explore some of the recipes we've compiled then you'll need a muddler.

This muddler looks like the closest to the one I've been using at the moment (I have a different brand that I can't find online).

When it comes to making cocktails you really do need to buy a cocktail shaker of some description and they're really not very expensive these days. The biggest decision is whether to get the type of cocktail shaker I've featured below for you or what is called a Boston shaker.

I would really recommend this type of shaker, although it is a personal preference.

I am, at the moment, using a Boston Shaker as I received one as a gift (I don't know what I keep getting cocktail related gifts!), but I'm not very comfortable with it. A Boston Shaker is basically a mixing glass and a (usually steel) 'glass' which fit together for you to shake, you then tap one end and twist to pull them apart.

Boston Shaker enthusiasts will say that their favorite shaker has a mixing glass as well, but I'm here to say you can muddle in the bottom of one of these shakers just as easily and it works just as well for mixing cocktails in as it does for shaking them!

Daiquiri Glassware

Daiquiris can be served in a number of different types of glassware, but the most common one seems to be the cocktail or martini glass.

In some cases such as the Frozen Daiquiri and the Derby Daiquiri it is conventional to serve them in champagne flutes.

The Banana Daiquiri is another daiquiri that is not traditionally served in a cocktail glass instead they are usually served in a balloon glass.

How to make the perfect daiquiri - daiquiri recipes, history and more

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