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 of the daiquiri 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 freshly squeezed lime juice; shake the ingredients vigorously in the cocktail shaker so that everything is velvety smooth; and pre-chill the glass that 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
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Serves 1
light (white) rum
fresh lime juice
Lime wedge, for serving
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, then strain into a pre-chilled martini glass or coupe glass. Garnish with lime wedge.