The Classic Daiquiri: Proof That Fresh Really is Best

The Original Daiquiri Cocktail
S&C Design Studios
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Ratings (75)

The original daiquiri is an extremely simple recipe that requires just three common ingredients. It is also one of the freshest drinks you can make and an essential rum cocktail everyone should know and taste. 

You'll find that a well-made daiquiri offers a perfect balance of sweet and sour in your glass and this can be adjusted to your personal taste. Once you find your ideal mix, you will become a believer that those sugary-tart bottled daiquiris have no place in the bar.

The daiquiri has also developed—much like the martini and margarita—into a sort of sub-family of drinks. There are many variations that take on a variety of flavors and it's often blended as well. And yet, they're all inspired by this basic recipe of rum, lime juice, and sugar. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 ounces rum (light)
  • 3/4 ounce ​​lime juice (fresh)
  • 1/4 ounce ​simple syrup

How to Make It

  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, pour the ingredients.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

If your drink is a bit too tart, add more syrup. If it is too sweet, add more lime. Though it's not garnished often, a good option would be a lime wedge or twisted lime peel.

Mix Up the Best Daiquiri

This is a very transparent cocktail, so quality ingredients really do matter. You'll find that the best daiquiris are made with premium rum and fresh lime juice.

Also, you can save some money and make the simple syrup from scratch. It is so simple that there is no need to buy it.

Like many other classic cocktails, the original daiquiri is designed to be a short, neat drink. That's why the final volume is only 3 ounces, far less than many of the tall drinks we're used to making today. This is not a bad thing, though you can certainly double the recipe or serve it on the rocks if you like.

Keep in mind, though, that it's not the lightest drink. With an 80-proof rum, the average daiquiri has an alcohol content of 20 percent alcohol by volume (40 proof). One too many can easily sneak up on you.

A Little Daiquiri History

The Daiquiri is thought to have been developed in the late 1800s in Cuba. It was either created as a medicinal treatment or in a "there's no whiskey or gin around here...time to doctor up the local rum" type of scenario. As is often the case with cocktails, we do not know for sure which is the truth and it is likely that both renditions have some element of the truth.

Probably the most famous daiquiri lover was Ernest Hemingway. He also happens to have a variation named after him. The aptly named Hemingway daiquiri adds grapefruit and maraschino liqueur to the mix and it is another fantastic drink worth trying out.

For a very thorough history of the Daiquiri, read Wayne Curtis' book, "And a Bottle of Rum."

Daiquiri Variations

Almost every daiquiri will include rum, lime, and a sweetener. From there, anything can (and does) happen.

For instance, it might take a trip through the blender, include an extra fruit, or take on unusual flavor combinations.

The frozen lime daiquiri is the most basic variation of the original cocktail. It simply takes the same three ingredients and tosses them into a blender with ice. It's very simple and you can add whatever fruits you have on hand to give it a quick twist.

One of the most popular frozen daiquiris is the delicious strawberry daiquiri. It's a perfect use of the sweet berries and will quickly become everyone's favorite. It is also a great shaken cocktail if you're not in the mood to fire up the blender.

The banana daiquiri is another timeless favorite that is a lot of fun at summer parties. It also serves as inspiration for the tasty banana daiquiri jello shot.

While all of those are basic daiquiris and tried and true recipes, don't stop there. You can do some amazing things with a daiquiri base and a few extra ingredients. The rhubarb-rosemary daiquiri is a perfect example. It adds rosemary syrup and fresh rhubarb juice to the mix and is a fantastic way to enjoy early summer produce.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 139
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrates 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)