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Daiquiri: 3 Variations & 4 Similar Cocktails (+ Recipe)

If you’re looking to learn more about classic cocktails, add a new drink to your repertoire, or just find a recipe for a really good daiquiri, you’re in the right place. Even if you’re already an enthusiast, there’s likely a lot about the daiquiri that you don’t know. Read on to learn everything about the famous cocktail.

Don’t worry though, that won’t be true for long. That’s what we’re here for – to help you find out everything you need to know about daiquiris and other amazing drinks. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including:

  • What a Daiquiri Is
  • Time & Occasions for Drinking a Daiquiri
  • Perfect Pairings
  • Best Glass to Serve a Daiquiri
  • Variations of Daiquiri
  • Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy

Let’s get right to it.

What a Daiquiri Is

What a Daiquiri Is

So what is a daiquiri anyway? In short, a daiquiri is a simple and popular cocktail made from rum, citrus juice, and a sweetener. It’s a well-known drink that is sweet, tart, and strong, with surprisingly intricate flavors despite its few ingredients.

To really appreciate the daiquiri, it’s important to learn about its rich history as well as what you need to make it to perfection.

Brief History / Origin

Brief History / Origin

The daiquiri has its origins in Cuba in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. It is said that the drink was invented by Jennings Stockton Cox Jr., an engineer visiting front the United States.

As the story goes, Cox was hosting American guests when he ran out of gin. Wary of the quality and flavor of the local rum, he added in lime and sugar – and the resulting drink was a hit.

The drink spread quickly and was very popular, especially among sailors who were accustomed to citrus-based drinks as a preventative for scurvy.

By the 1940s, the rationing of whisky and vodka during the Second World War made rum a popular option, especially as it was cheap and readily available imported to the U.S. from Central and South America.

To this day, the daiquiri is well known and loved all over the world – but especially in the Americas.

Ingredients

Ingredients

To make a daiquiri, all you essentially need is rum, a sweetener, and citrus juice as well as ice for shaking the cocktail. Traditionally, white cane sugar, either loose or cubed, was the go-to for making daiquiris.

However, today you’ll generally get this drink made with ultra-fine bar sugar at high-end cocktail lounges and with simple syrup at your run-of-the-mill bars and pubs.

While variations of this drink using all types of citrus juice exist, lime juice is the most traditional. If you can get it, freshly squeezed is always best.

Best Rum Brands for Daiquiri

Best Rum Brands for Daiquiri

However, like with most cocktails, the most important ingredient in a daiquiri is the base spirit – in this case, rum. Daiquiri’s are made using white rum, which is only slightly aged or not aged at all.

Compared to other, darker rums, it has a lighter and milder flavor that is simple with an edge of sweetness. If you want to make a delicious daiquiri, try out one of our go-to rum brands below:

1. Bacardí Carta Blanca: Bacardí is one of the biggest names in rum for a reason. This white rum is light, fruity, floral, and great for mixing

2. Diplomático Planas: This high-end white rum is aged for longer than some; up to six years, in fact. This is partially to comply with Venezuelan standards of export quality, which require all rum to be aged for at least two years before it is bottled.

However, the aging process also adds a depth and complexity of flavor to this rum that is very unique. It also undergoes several rounds of charcoal filtering to ensure that this rum remains perfectly clear despite the richer flavors

3. El Dorado 3 Year: This award-winning rum is aged in bourbon oak barrels for three years before being filtered and purified. It has an intricate yet delicate palette of coconut and fruit, with scents of orange and vanilla

4. Havana Club Original Añejo 3 Años: This Cuban rum is also aged for three years, but it’s strikingly different in flavor to El Dorado. It has a brighter, bolder flavor, with notes of tropical fruit, banana, caramelized pear, spice, smoke, chocolate, and vanilla.

5. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum: This strong rum is the most popular selling rum in Jamaica. We mean it when we say strong; Wray and Nephew White tend to sit around sixty-three percent ABV. Enjoy, but adjust your cocktail proportions accordingly unless you’re a fan of a kick.

Recipe – How to Make a Daiquiri

Recipe – How to Make a Daiquiri

To prepare a classic daiquiri, you’ll need sixty milliliters of white rum, twenty milliliters of freshly squeezed lime juice, and two bar spoons of superfine sugar. Before prepping your drink, place your glasses and shaker in the freezer to keep the beverage as cool as possible.

When it is time, add all of your ingredients into a cocktail shaker, then stir or muddle thoroughly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is uniform.

Add ice, and shake well until the shaker frosts up and the drink is sufficiently chilled. Then, double strain through a fine mesh strainer, and serve garnished with a twist of lime peel.

Time & Occasions for Drinking a Daiquiri

Time & Occasions for Drinking a Daiquiri

Daiquiris are often seen as a summer drink, due to the refreshing citrus and the tropical vibes of the rum.

Try serving daiquiris at your next cocktail party on a warm evening, for a fancy barbecue party, or even by the poolside. There’s nothing like the cold kick of a daiquiri to cut through the sleepy heat.

Daiquiris are also strong and easy to drink. This makes them a great option for when you’re not wanting a larger drink like a beer. This cocktail won’t leave you bloated, and won’t have you dipping to the restroom as often as a pint would.

Some daiquiris, especially fruit-based variations like the strawberry daiquiri, are sometimes seen as “girly” drinks. This means they are sure to be a popular option if you’re hosting a bachelorette party, spa day, or girls' night.

However, we don’t believe that cocktails have a gender. Remember, the daiquiri was first popularized by sailors and soldiers, and there’s nothing “unmanly” about enjoying a delicious beverage.

Perfect Pairings

Perfect Pairings

The ultimate paring for daiquiris (and other rum and citrus-based cocktails such as mojitos) has got to be seafood. The fresh, zesty, flavors pair so perfectly with the brightness of the daiquiri, making the ultimate palate-exploding combo.

Try serving this cocktail with shrimp, mussels, scallops, white fish, or even lobster.

Daquiris also go very well with South and Central American foods. If you’re not super familiar, you could even pair this cocktail with more available Mexican flavors. Try serving your daiquiri alongside tacos, chips guac, salsa – or even a hearty burrito.

Best Glass to Serve a Daiquiri

Best Glass to Serve a Daiquiri

The first daiquiris were likely served in a cocktail glass (if that) to keep them cool and aromatic. The shape of the traditional cocktail glass, with its separate, elongated stem, prevents heat from your hand warming the drink while also keeping your hand comfortable.

Additionally, the wide brim and shallow shape of the bowl make the drink very aromatic and sippable.

To take it to the next level, however, many modern Daiquiris are served in a coupe glass. The rounded sides of this glass shape keep the cocktail from sloshing and aerating or spilling unnecessarily. This is something that’s key in small cocktails like a daiquiri

Variations of Daiquiri

Variations of Daiquiri

Like many classic older cocktails, there are many variations on the daiquiri. While almost nothing can beat the classic drink, if there are parts of its flavor profile you’d like to tweak or enhance, try these alterations before striking out on your own. After all, they’re popular for a good reason.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri

The strawberry daiquiri is definitely the most well-known variation of the cocktail. While the original has the sour, tangy citrus and the complex, warming rum, many people thought that the sweetness aspect of the daiquiri could be enhanced. The berry flavors complement the existing taste perfectly.

To make a strawberry daiquiri, first place your frozen strawberries in a blender, then add in sugar, lemon juice, and lime juice, followed by white rum, a lemon-lime soft drink of your choosing, and pure ice. Blend the mixture until close to smooth or to your preference.

Then, serve in a wide-brimmed glass or hurricane glass, garnish with fresh strawberry, a lime twist, or a sprig of mint, and serve immediately.

Banana Daiquiri

Banana Daiquiri

The second most popular variation of the daiquir is definitely the banana-flavored version.

The addition of this beloved fruit enhances the tropical flavor palette and makes for a beautifully bright, fruity, and sweet treat. This is a frozen variety of daiquiri similar to the strawberry version, so it’s sure to refresh despite the added sugar.

To make this indulgent drink, first add your banana, coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, rum, and ice to a blender, and mix until smooth. Then, pour the mixture into a tall glass, and garnish with a circle of lime.

The addition of the coconut milk makes the drink take on an almost sorbet-like texture and flavor. While quite different from the original daiquiri recipe, it’s definitely an enhanced indulgence.

Hemingway Daiquiri

Hemingway Daiquiri

While there are many lovers of the daiquiri worldwide, there might not be anyone as famous as Ernest Hemmingway. The well-known author and journalist lived in Cuba for quite some time and developed a fixation on the classic daiquiris served in the region.

However, as his stay there carried on and his knowledge of the drink grew to expertise, Hemingway actually developed his own variation of the cocktail which is known and ordered to this day.

Initially, the Hemingway Daiquiri was based simply on his specific order: no sugar and double rum. This strong and sharp variation of the cocktail is popular among rum lovers.

Since his time, Hemingway’s drink has evolved further and a rum and grapefruit juice-based drink is dubbed the “Hemmingway special” in many bars across Central America and the Southern United States.

Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy

Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy

If you loved the daiquiri but want to mix it up slightly, why not try out a similar (but distinct) cocktail? These drinks all have at least one aspect similar to the daiquiri, but they are still very much their own beasts. We hope you’ll love these cocktails just as much as (if not more than) the daiquiri.

Margarita

Margarita

Of course, the margarita is the classic citrus, sweetness, and spirit-based cocktail. Much like the daiquiri, it’s popular in Central and Southern America, is zesty, tangy, and refreshing and is often served frozen. However, there are many differences between the two cocktails.

The exact origins of the margarita are unconfirmed, likely due to the popularity of the cocktail leading many to claim knowledge. One leading theory is that it is a twist of the brandy daisy, a British cocktail that also uses triple sec and citrus juice.

However, this drink could just have easily originated in Baja, California, as a tribute to the beautiful Mexican dancers who came to the city and had a liking for tequila-based cocktails.

To make the perfect margarita, you will need fifty ml of tequila, twenty ml of triple sec (an orange-flavored liquor originating in France but now popular worldwide), and fifteen ml of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Add all of your ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, and agitate briskly until the outside of the shaker frosts up and the drink mixture is completely chilled. Then, strain and serve in a cocktail or coupe glass with a lime wedge and salt rim as garnish.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is perhaps the most iconic cocktail of tiki culture – a Western movement of inspiration from Polynesian, Melasdian, and Micronesian culture. It’s a fruity, tropical, indulgent cocktail that just tastes like vacation, summer, and fun.

Like the daiquiri, it features rum, sweetness, and citrus, but the cocktails themselves are surprisingly different in flavor.

The mai tai was invented by Vic J. Bergeron at Trader Vics, his own Californian restaurant. Bergeson was seeking to capitalize on the growing trend of tiki culture and invented a classic cocktail in the process.

Today, the mai tai is known around the world and is particularly popular at resorts and on cruises.

To make a mai tai, first combine one and a half ounces of white rum, a half ounce of fresh lime juice, a half ounce of orange curaçao (or triple sec in a pinch), and a half ounce of orgeat (almond, orange blossom, and rose petal) syrup in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass.

Then, add in ice and shake or mix until chilled and completely combined, then strain into a chilled glass. Float dark rum on top by pouring it over the back side of a spoon to rest at the top of the mixture, then garnish with pineapple, lime wedges, mint sprigs, and/or a maraschino cherry, and relish.

The Piña Colada

The Piña Colada

Do you like Piña Coladas? We sure do. The cocktail is a super popular choice for a reason. They’re refreshing, creamy, tropical, and make you feel good, all at the same time.

While technically this drink only has the rum in common with daiquiris, the pineapple juice acts similarly to the citrus and certainly makes the two comparable.

The Piña Colada is said to have originated in tantalizing circumstances: from a true, blue pirate. Roberto Cofresí, a Puerto Riccan buccaneer, is said to have first invented the drink in the early 1800s to boost his crew’s morale (and perhaps prevent a mutiny) to great success.

However, a competing version of the story claims that the drink was invented by a hotel bartender in Puerto Ricco as late as 1944.

Whatever the origins of the drink, it remains popular to this day. To make a Piña Colada of your own, you will need coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum.

All you need to do is combine these ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and frothy, strain, and serve. However, feel free to add in a little citrus or bitters if you prefer more depth of flavor.

Additionally, Piña Coladas are often garnished with a slice of pineapple, desiccated coconut, or a marchino cherry.

Sababa

Sababa

Finally, this nutty, fruity, intricate cocktail is the perfect example of a great idea being shared worldwide. This drink originates in Yemen and is typically served around Hannuka, but it is still eerily similar to the daiquiri.

Sababa is made from white rum, pineapple juice, tahini, simple syrup, lime juice, and zhoug (Arabian hot sauce.) If you enjoyed the base flavors of the daiquiri (but are looking for something completely different and much more intricate), give Sababa a try.

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