Tomorrow is National Daiquiri Day. Are you ready?
Like many of the world’s classic cocktails, the origins of the Daiquiri are mysterious. It appears to have taken its name from a beach located near the Bacardi hometown of Santiago de Cuba, and gained international fame at a bar named La Floridita, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering hole during his years in Havana. It’s curious to note that the Daiquiri bears a close resemblance to the drink served to sailors by the British Imperial Navy from the mid-19th century onward, which consisted of rum, water, sugar, and lemon or lime juice.
The Daiquiri is essentially a rum sour. The basic recipe calls for 1.5 ounces light rum, 3/4 ounce lime juice and 1/4 ounce simple syrup. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass. Hemingway’s version, invented by legendary bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, was supposedly the first frozen Daiquiri; served in an outsized glass, it contained no sugar and double rum. As with other drinks of this type, feel free to experiment—the key is finding a balance between sweet and sour that works for you.
While Bacardi may be closely associated with the history of the Daiquiri, there are other interesting choices when it comes to rum. Give Brugal a try—founded in 1888, it’s a family owned distillery located in the Dominican Republic. Brugal is currently the most popular rum in the Caribbean and #3 in sales worldwide. The rum is aged in white oak casks before being filtered and bottled, and production is closely monitored by the fifth generation of the family’s master distillers.
In terms of price, Brugal is comparable to Bacardi, with the Blanco Especial selling for $18 and the Anejo retailing at $25. Anejo (a blend of rums aged between three and five years) makes an excellent Daiquiri, with the rich, buttery texture of the spirit adding another dimension to the drink. There’s also an Extra Viejo ($30), consisting of rums aged for 5-8 years, but its nuances and complexity almost mandate that it be served neat in a snifter.
Enjoy National Daiquiri Day, and practice safe consumption—don’t drive, and make sure you put the top on the blender before turning it on.