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 And originally made with.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.
Hate to play Devil’s Advocate (who am I kidding – it’s awesome!) but if you’ve dissolved the sugar in the lime juice before you finish making the cocktail then mightn’t you just as well use sugar syrup?
Hey Johnny Pedantic, of course you can use sugar syrup! Like we said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – most people do anyway but it’s good to mix things up every now and again, non? Try it and see!
I would say that the water in the syrup dilutes the drink. Caster all the way for me!
The best, most authentic rum isn’t Bacardi – not even close. It’s Havana Club 3-year. By that I mean the real Havana Club – not the Bacardi version. As it’s a bit difficult to obtain in the states, I’d suggest either Ron Matusalem Platino or Plantation 3 Star. Of course, I’d also add a dash of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur – but only a dash.
Nice Bacardi advert in disguise.
I have just made a daquiri with bacardi to put it to the test and I can say with absolute conviction that it is NOT the best rum to use. It has nothing on Havana Club.