It’s National Daiquiri Day on 19th July so obviously it’ll be glasses of the delicious rum, lime and sugar libation all round. Sure you can order yours from your favourite bar but if you want to have a go making one at home, who better to advise on the perfect recipe than Alejandro Bolivar of El Floridita in Cuba?

Alejandro Bolivar of El Floridita, Cuba

Alejandro Bolivar of El Floridita, Cuba


Having worked at what Ernest Hemingway described as the ‘home of the Daiquiri’ for the past 20 years, he and his smartly-dressed red-jacketed team mix up around 450 of the cocktail a day – that’s 36 to 48 bottles of rum and 30 litres of freshly-squeezed limes every 24 hours. “You can’t visit Havana without coming to El Floridita,” he says during a recent, rare visit to London. “People travel thousands of miles to try one of our Daiquiris.”

Or one of the Daiquiris created by Constantino ‘Constante’ Ribalaigua Vert to be more precise. It was he, a former Spaniard who created the recipe for the blended Daiquiri at El Floridita in the 1930s. Hemingway loved them and was a regular customer – so much so you’ll find a life-sized statue of the author, hand-on-hip propping up the bar.

Recreate your own Havana moment on National Daiquiri Day with Alejandro’s recipe below:


45ml Havana Club 3 Year Old rum

1 teaspoon of white sugar

Juice of 1/2 a lime

5 dots of maraschino

Scoop of crushed ice

Alejandro Bolivar’s top tips for making the perfect Daiquiri:

1. “Use Havana Club 3 Year Old Cuban rum, this is the rum used at Floridita and Bodeguita for the last 60 years.”

2. “Always use freshly-squeezed lime juice.”

3. “The sugar must be completely dissolved in lime juice for the perfect balance.”

4. “Add 5 drops of maraschino and some rum to your blender.”

5. “For the perfect amount of crushed ice – fill your martini glass with crushed ice and that is the perfect amount per drink

6. “Start blending and add the rest of the rum.”

7.  “The perfect consistency should be light with small bubbles on the surface of the drink.”

The Cocktail Lovers say:

Rum not your thing? Try this summery cocktail to cool you down when the heat is on: Svenska Cup (serves 1; 1.45 units)

2 strawberries (quartered)

4 cubes cucumber

8 mint leaves

10ml fresh lime juice

10ml elderflower cordial

30ml Absolut vodka

100ml Strawberry & Lime Rekorderlig cider

Add cubed ice into a large wine glass. Add strawberry, cucumber and mint. Pour in vodka, elderflower, lime and Rekordelig cider. Stir gently and garnish with a mint sprig.

This week we’re loving…

Cocktails on tap at the recently opened Soho Diner. Choose from a Mojito, Cosmo, Mule, Collins and a Negroni, all ready to go for a reasonable £6 each.

Soho Diner, 19-21 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JJ.

Written for The Independent Dish of the Day blog 19/7/2013

The Independent

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