Posted On: 05/01/2017
Aside from the margarita, the humble daiquiri may be the most abused member of the classic cocktail pantheon. Quaffed on the regular by cultural giants like Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy, the daiquiri has since been adulterated by commercial sour mixes and all manner of secondary flavors, whipped into sugary, frenetic frozen concoctions better suited to the carnival midway than the barroom.
The original is a study in simplicity with just three ingredients: rum, lime juice and sugar. Named for the town in Cuba where it was reportedly invented (or at least officially named) in the 19th century, it’s at once elegant and refreshing – at home being sipped at a swanky society affair or poolside by the pitcher.
This judicious balance of spirit, sugar and citrus also lends itself to subtle variations. Take the Hemingway, which adds grapefruit juice and a bit of maraschino liqueur to the mix (though Papa supposedly liked his with rum, lime and no sweetener whatsoever – not recommended). While the daiquiri was probably first made with light rum, switching to an aged version can give the drink newfound depth. Subbing a darker sugar like demerara can have a similar effect. And while the consistency of a daiquiri shouldn’t be that of an adult slushie, gently combining the base ingredients with crushed ice in a blender can yield deliciously frosty variants like the classic Daiquiri No. 4, created at the famous Havana watering hole (and Hemingway haunt), La Florida.
2 oz. rum
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
(equal parts sugar and water)
Lime wheel for garnish
• Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
2 oz. rum
½ oz. grapefruit juice
½ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
Cherry for garnish
• Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
Just because it’s light doesn’t mean it has to be flavorless. Try Plantation 3 Stars. $22. The Wine & Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.727.8788, wineandcheeseplace.com
Learn more than you ever wanted to know about daiquiris and other Caribbean cocktails in Jeff Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean. $28. Intoxicology, 4321 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.3088, intoxicologystl.com
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