Its reputation may have been unfairly tarnished by package-resort imitations, but the daiquiri deserves better.
Has any cocktail been so unfairly maligned as the daiquiri? In the minds of many, it’s a frozen drink that emerges pinkish-red from the blender and is passed directly into the hands of someone wearing a too-loud Hawaiian shirt.
But this package-resort imitation is not the genuine item. A real daiquiri is as refreshing as it is simple, composed of three ingredients yet infinitely tweakable, and is a better companion to a slouchy waffle-knit polo or a wrinkled linen shirt with at least two buttons undone.
All that’s required is freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and rum. Those first two components, providing the sour and the sweet, never change. Rum, a more diverse spirit category than it gets credit for, provides the fun part.
If you’re just dipping your toes into daiquiri making, the lighter body of a silver rum provides an excellent starting point. A simple template of three parts rum, two parts lime juice, and one-and-a-half parts simple syrup produces a fresh-tasting cocktail that’s a little more tart than sweet.
Once you’ve mastered that, try the same recipe with an amber rum to create a richer, rounder drink. Get funky with a pot-stilled Jamaican rum, whose famously earthy “hogo” flavour opens yet another door. Or perhaps you’d prefer the grassy notes of a rhum agricole from one of the old French colonies, or wish to go full-bore with a navy-strength rum.
There’s no limit to what your daiquiri can be—but please, keep the lime juice fresh.
30ml fresh lime juice
20ml simple syrup
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled, about ten seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass and serve.