Daiquiri: The classic sour cocktail that you need to rediscover


Classic cocktails never go out of style. The daiquiri is a classic sour cocktail that you need to rediscover.

Rum, lime juice and sugar are the common ingredients of a simple daiquiri. While the classic sour cocktail can be a delicious drink, the daiquiri has lost its luster over the years. Frozen concoctions with fruit garnish have become the norm. While these fruity drinks are great for a beach vacation, the original daiquiri should be forgotten.

Mixologists and historians agree that the daiquiri was created in Cuba. Named after a local beach, the cocktail was invented by Jennings Cox. An Iron miner in Cuba, Cox created the original daiquiri while entertaining guests. Without enough gin, he substitute rum, which was plentiful in Cuba. He added sugar, limes and ice to create a punch. His guests were impressed and the cocktail was born.

Daiquiri, the classic sour cocktail, photo by Cristine Struble

A daiquiri is considered a sour cocktail. Basically a sour is liquor, lemon or lime juice and a sugar. The standard for a cocktail ratio is 2 parts liquor to 1 part sour (citrus) and 1 part sweet (sugar/simple syrup). While some drinkers prefer slightly different ratios, this method will create a consistent cocktail every time.

One key to a better daiquiri is the ingredients. Creating your own simple syrup is quite easy. By dissolving sugar in water, you can create simple syrup. The flavor difference in a homemade syrup and a store bought option can be quite dramatic. Try a taste test and see. You may always use homemade simple syrup going forward.

Choosing a rum for your daiquiri is a personal preference. Some drinkers enjoy a robust, aged rum with its nuanced flavors. Some aged rums are best enjoyed neat, but a few can be used in cocktails. Other mid-aged rums can be quite delightful in a daiquiri.

Two personal favorite rums are Don Q or Appleton Estates. These two rums are very different because of their origin. Don Q is a Puerto Rican rum and Appleton Estates is a Jamaican rum. The Don Q rums are quite flavorful with hints of vanilla. Appleton Estates rum has more spicy notes to its finish.

With all your ingredients set, the next key to a great daiquiri is the cocktail shake. A vigorous shake to the cocktail shaker helps to chill the cocktail, mix the ingredient and slightly dilute the cocktail’s strength. Weak shaking doesn’t get the job done. Think of the cocktail shaking as your pre-drinking exercise.

A daiquiri can be served in a coup glass or even a martini glass. No one will fault you for the wrong style of glass. The cocktail is served without ice. It was chilled during the shaking. A lime garnish, a twist or a wedge, can finish the cocktail.

Next time you are looking to change your cocktail, consider a daiquiri. The classic sour cocktail just might surprise you.