This is the daiquiri unplugged. No frills, just a bracing blend of good white rum, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. There's no fruity masquerade available for poor-quality ingredients, so do it up right—and make this classic cocktail all summer long. —Erika Kotite
Test Kitchen Notes
When I go home to visit Florida during the summer months (or any month, really), there are few things I'd rather drink than a simple, freshly shaken daiquiri. No, I'm not talking about those sugary-sweet, frozen strawberry daiquiris most commonly found at beachside bars and on cruise ships. I'm talking about the classic cocktail, made with just rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, invented and made famous in Cuba; it's said that the drink was invented in the mining town of Daiquiri in southeastern Cuba in the late 1980s as a way to stave off yellow fever, and made famous at the Hotel Venus in Santiago de Cuba in the 1930s.
Ernest Hemingway also became a fan while spending time in Cuba, though he preferred his with a splash of grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur (you can order it as the "Hemingway Daiquiri"). But the original version of the drink is still my favorite—and arguably one of the easiest cocktails to make at home. You'll need just the three ingredients I mentioned before (simple syrup is just water and sugar boiled down), plus ice, a cocktail shaker, and a martini or coupe glass (I prefer a coupe glass). There are two tricks to pulling off this cocktail: use good-quality white rum and fresh-squeezed lime juice; shake the ingredients vigorously in the cocktail shaker so that everything is velvety smooth; and pre-chill the glass you're going to serve the drink in. Aside from using a couple glass, my other favorite way to serve this drink, is with an oceanfront view and breezy palm trees (but that's definitely not required). —Erin Alexander
I spend about an equal amount of time behind the laptop and behind the stove. In between preparing and writing about food, I love to hang out with my husband, three children, big shaggy dog and two cats. History is also my thing, especially the Regency period, U.S. Westward expansion and World War II. Favorite drinks: good pinot noirs and classic martinis. Favorite book: Pride & Prejudice. Favorite obsessions: Laura Ingalls Wilder and South Dakota