What is a Daiquiri?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A daiquiri is a type of cocktail which is traditionally made with rum, simple syrup, and lime or lemon juice. Daiquiris can also be made with other types of liquor, in which case the liquor needs to be specified, as in a “tequila daiquiri.” Some people confuse a classic daiquiri with a frozen daiquiri, a version made with frozen fruits which is mixed in a blender to create a uniform consistency like that of a smoothie. This confusion can be especially frustrating when you attempt to order one or the other in a bar.

A jigger is used to measure alcohol to make a daiquiri.
A jigger is used to measure alcohol to make a daiquiri.

This beverage is named for Daiquirí, a village in Cuba. Allegedly, the daiquiri was developed by American contractors who were working in Cuba, taking advantage of abundant local supplies of rum, sugar, and citrus juice. The original daiquiri was made by pouring simple syrup over crushed ice in a tall glass, and then adding citrus juice and light rum. The result is a refreshing drink with a crisp bite and not too much sweetness. Over time, the drink began to be mixed in a shaker with shaved ice, which is the more common preparation technique today.

Daiquiris can be made with strawberries.
Daiquiris can be made with strawberries.

The frozen daiquiri is made by blending frozen fruit such as bananas, strawberries, or kiwis with the alcohol, ice, and a small amount of sugar. Any sort of fruit or fruit mixture can be used in a frozen daiquiri; some establishments specialize in a unique fruit or blend, although strawberry daiquiris are both common and quite popular. The fruit in this drink tends to mask the strength of the alcohol, leading some people to consider it a more feminine drink.

Frozen daiquiris are commonly made from strawberries.
Frozen daiquiris are commonly made from strawberries.

Making traditional daiquiris at home is very easy; if you do not have access to shaved ice, you can crush ice in a bag with a mallet to break it into small chunks. Ideally you should use a drink shaker to mix the beverage, although you can improvise with a jar or even two glasses held against each other. Use around a teaspoon of simple syrup to every ounce of lime juice, and an ounce and half of your rum of choice. You may find that small variations are necessary to tweak the drink to choice, and remember that there are numerous styles of rum available to play with.

The daiquiri is named after a village in Cuba.
The daiquiri is named after a village in Cuba.

For frozen daiquiris, you will need a blender and some frozen fruit of choice. You may find that it helps to break up the fruit into chunks before blending with a knife or by hand, and be sure to mix in some ice to keep the drink cool. Use the same ratios of rum and lime juice as above, and slightly less simple syrup, adding around two handfuls of frozen fruit. Since blending drinks is more labor intensive, you may find it easier to make a large batch of frozen daiquiris rather than mixing them individually.

A tequila daiquiri is made using tequila in place of rum.
A tequila daiquiri is made using tequila in place of rum.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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