Don't be nervous. You don't need a blender to make a Daiquiri. The classic Daiquiri is simple, easy to make, and even easier to drink. Named for a Cuban beach, this mixture of lime, sugar, and rum is a pre-Prohibition bar staple.

Daiq It Out

The most widely accepted story behind its invention is that Jennings Cox, an ex-pat American mining engineer living in Cuba, created the Daiquiri in the late 19th century. As the story goes, he was hosting a party to celebrate the American victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill, but ran out of gin while the shindig was still going. He went to the store and bought the cheapest booze they had: rum.

When he got back, he whipped up a quick rum punch. The resulting tipple was so delicious, he thought it deserved a less generic name. To differentiate it, he called it the Daiquiri after the nearby beach. Later, Admiral Lucius Johnson is said to have brought the Daiquiri into the U.S.

But the Daiquiri likely existed for many decades before it was named. During the British navy's heyday, sailors were given daily rations of rum or gin (depending on their location), sugar, and citrus. Several navy officials, including Admiral "Old Grog" Vernon, campaigned for soldiers to mix their rum rations with water, sugar, and citrus to keep them relatively sober and healthy for combat. The Daiquiri's recipe is thought to mimic the proportions of the sailors' draughts, so it's very possible that Cox may have had some inspiration.

After its introduction, the Daiquiri fell out of favor for a while, but reemerged in the 1940s and again in the 1970s and80s. Its most widely known variation, the artificially flavored, super sweet slushie drink, was probably developed in the 1970s to fit drinkers’ progressively sweeter demands.

Hit The Lab

In an article about the Daiquiri, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the author who gave his name to two drinks: the Hemingway Daiquiri (originally recorded as the Henmiway Daiquiri) and the Papa Doble. Though these two names have come to be synonymous for the Hemingway Daiquiri, their original recipes were not. 

The Hemingway Daiquiri is rather delightful, and adds grapefruit and maraschino liqueur to the traditional Daiquiri. The Papa Doble, on the other hand, is an almost unpalatable concoction that doubles the rum and grapefruit, but cuts out the sugar and decreases the amount of maraschino liqueur to six drops. As Hemingway got older, he believed that he might have had diabetes, so he cut out sugar from his diet and his drinking.

Daiquiri
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz rum
Lime wedge for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice, and strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the lime wedge.

Hemingway Daiquiri
1 tsp maraschino liqueur
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz rum
Lime wedge for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice, and strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the lime wedge.