Creating Your Signature Daiquiri

Howdy y'all! I'm Home Bar Girl, "just a grrrrrrl making fabulous cocktails" and today I'm pumped to write about one of my all time favorite drinks, the immortal Daiquiri! 

Why am I so excited? Cause not only is it an easy and refreshing cocktail, it's also very customizable, giving every Home Bartender the opportunity to create their own unique version. 

The Daiquiri is a drink of Cuban origin featuring the "holy trinity" of the Caribbean: Rum, Sugar, and Lime juice. The earliest printed version of the Daiquiri comes from the drinks section of "Chicago: The Hotel Monthly Press" in 1914 where the recipe is listed as:

Daiquiri Cocktail

  • 1 1/3 oz Lime Juice
  • 2/3 oz White Cuban Rum
  • 1 barspoon superfine sugar
  • Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Now, to the modern eye, this recipe is a mess. Way too much lime juice and not nearly enough Rum. 

Fortunately, in the 1930s bartenders from Bar La Florida in Havana adjusted the recipe and created several variations. The most common Daiquiri we see today has ratios similar to the following recipe:

Home Bar Girl's Classic Daiquiri

Ahhh, much better, not too much Lime juice, not too much Sugar, just the right amount of Rum. 

Now that we've got a classic Daiquiri template to work with, we can have loads of fun creating our own versions. Let's start with best part of the drink, Rum. 

Typically, a Daiquiri uses Light Rum but you definitely don't have to. In fact, every time I buy a new bottle of Rum (no matter now dark, funky, or grassy it may be), I make a Daiquiri with it. Pictured above are Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple Rum (yeah, y'all incredible stuff), the aforementioned Denizen Aged White Rum, and Denizen Merchant's Reserve 8 Year Rum. All three of these Rums make sublime Daiquiris but for each one, I make minor adjustments to better suit the drink and put a unique spin on the flavors. 

Which leads us to the sweetening agent: I tend to have different types of sugar and spices in My Home Bar and have created simple syrups with them to give variety to my drinks. 

For example: if you were going to use Plantation Pineapple Rum in a Daiquiri, I'd recommend using Cinnamon Bark Syrup because Pineapple and Cinnamon go very well together. If you were going to use Denizen Merchant's Reserve, I'd go with Demerara sugar syrup to compliment the Rum and give your Daiquiri more depth. For the Denizen Aged White or Havana Club Rums, I'd suggest Cane sugar syrup so it doesn't overpower the Rum. 

*The "1:1" means that I used a ratio of 1 parts sugar to 1 parts water. Sometimes I make the syrups with 2:1 ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Both work really well in a Daiquiri but you obvi want to use less of the 2:1 in a drink.

Now for some real fun: modifiers! One of the things I love to play with most in my Daiquiris are fruity/tropical liqueurs. Pictured here are Berentzen Peach, Rothman & Winter Apricot, Kalani Coconut, and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao. The best part is, you only have to add around 1/4 oz to make a world of difference! 

For example, I just created this Daiquiri for my birthday and am loving it:

The Birthday Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/4 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Cane Sugar Syrup 1:1 
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 8 drops of St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Sounds tasty right? Definitely! And the best part is that you could swap a different liqueur into the drink and/or omit the Absinthe to create your own version of the cocktail!

Lastly, fresh Lime juice. There is no substitute, though I will say that you could definitely add other types of tropical juice in addition to Lime. Pineapple, Passionfruit, and Guava make excellent Daiquiris when used as a split with Lime Juice. 

Alright y'all, hope you have tons of fun experimenting with your Daiquiri recipes! Once you've perfected your drink, show if off to friends and family for an End of the Summer or Labor Day party! 

Cheers and may all your Daiquiri dreams come true!

About the Author

Dani DeLuna is Home Bar Girl, "just a grrrrrrl making fabulous cocktails."