Serious Eats: Recipes

Time for a Drink: Daiquiri

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Two things you'll probably notice about this daiquiri:

1. It's not frozen.

2. It's not laden down with strawberries, bananas, mangoes or what have you.

No, this is the daiquiri at its purest, its original, its most authentic. True, there are perfectly tasty variations on this theme (we'll ignore the flavored glop that you see tourists gulping from bucket-size go cups on Bourbon Street), and a frozen daiquiri, made with all due attention and respect, is not a bad thing.

But an old-school daiquiri is an exercise in purity, as beautiful in its unadorned simplicity as a well-made martini or Manhattan. Of course, "well made" is a big factor here, as well: to fully realize the daiquiri's inherent beauty, be sure to measure your ingredients; free-pouring, while easier and cooler-looking than eyeballing a measuring cup, frequently leaves you with an odd-tasting drink. And while you can mix the daiquiri with different rums or in one of its fruit-enhanced variations, the use of fresh lime juice is absolutely essential; those little green plastic limes and day-glo bottles of Rose's should stay as far from your daiquiri as possible.

The daiquiri achieved timeless-classic status for a reason; take a moment this weekend to see what all the original fuss was about.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

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