When a cocktail calls on just three ingredients, make no mistake, quality counts. Take the Daiquiri for instance. On the face of it, there couldn’t be an easier drink to make – grab some rum, add sugar and lime juice, shake all three over ice and hey presto!, it’s Daiquiri o’clock!
That said, everyone’s had a bad Daiquiri. We know we have. Too sweet, too sour, overly diluted, not diluted enough, too warm – ugh! For something so simple, there are myriad ways to get it wrong. Get it right though and you’ll be the proverbial Daiquiri Don.
Take 2 parts spirit: RUM
Fanfare please for the star of the glass – rum. First things first: there’s a time and a place for breaking rules and messing around with this beauty isn’t one of them. Sure you’ll find recipes using golden or even dark, full-bodied rums but for a 100% bona fide Daiquiri only white rum will do. No, strike that. Consult any book, talk to any historian and whatever theories they have on the origins of this champion of a drink, they’ll all agree on one thing: Bacardí is the rum that goes into it. Period.
The crisp, light, tropical Bacardí Carta Blanca with its smooth vanilla spice notes works a treat. But if you want to be authentic, and why wouldn’t you? – we’re counting down the days to National Daiquiri Day here – seek out a bottle of Bacardí 44.5% Heritage.
This is the daddy, the real mccoy, the one the Daiquiri was made for. And originally made with. Do a taste test and you’ll understand why. That extra strength makes for a fuller, more intense flavour, exactly to the same profile as it was in 1909 when US Admiral Lucius Johnson first introduced the recipe at the Army & Navy Club in Washington DC and the Daiquiri went from being a Cuban secret to becoming a global favourite.
+ 1 part sour: LIME
We’re talking fresh, fresh, fresh here – none of your off-the-shelf stuff and let’s not even go there with the sour mixes…
Top tip: where possible, the juice should be squeezed directly into the cocktail shaker. There is a reason for this – citrus juice degrades and start to lose its zestiness as soon as it’s exposed to the air.
+ half part sweet: SUGAR
Actually, make that just a little over half – 15mls in fact. Some people use sugar syrup, nothing wrong with that but the real deal calls for caster sugar: two teaspoons to be exact. Why? Undiluted sugar gives the drink that beautiful, delicate sherbetty texture that all good Daiquiris call out for.
Shake it baby!
Method: Place sugar and freshly squeezed lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar has been dissolved. Pour in the Bacardí 44.5% Heritage rum and fill the shaker with half cubed ice, followed by half crushed ice. Shake hard until thoroughly chilled. Fine strain into a chilled coupette. Smile and enjoy.
Did you know?
The limited edition Bacardi Heritage rum, bottled at the original strength of 44.5% abv, was inspired by the original packaging and strength of the rum used by early cocktail pioneers.
Tomorrow: The first of 10 great bars to enjoy a Daiquiri on National Daiquiri Day: Scarfe’s Bar at Rosewood London.