Originally prepared as the simplest mixture of three basic ingredients—rum, lime, sugar—over the past century the daiquiri has been saddled with all kinds of baggage, from strawberries, bananas and mangoes (all too often in the form of artificially flavored knockoffs) to imitation lime juice and massive slurpy machines.
While it's easy to dismiss the many adaptations of this classic drink as unnecessary tinkering or as outright heresy (depending on how worked up you tend to get about these kinds of things), that's too simplistic. Properly handled, a daiquiri made with a couple of fresh strawberries tossed into the cocktail shaker or prepared with a little crushed ice in a blender can be a beautiful thing.
And even the bartenders who made Havana a haven for thirsty Americans during Prohibition added occasional flourishes to the daiquiri. Here's one that's particularly worthwhile: El Floridita Daiquiri.
Named for the Havana bar that hosted thousands of daiquiri drinkers back in the day, with the notable example of Ernest Hemingway (he had his own version of a daiquiri that the Floridita bartenders prepared for him in bulk), El Floridita Daiquiri takes the basic template for the original daiquiri and adds one slight, though flavorful tweak with a touch of aromatic maraschino liqueur. It's a small change to the daiquiri, but one that gives an already exceptional drink a bit of depth and gravity.
- 2 ounces white rum
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar or simple syrup (or less, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker (if using granulated sugar, stir to dissolve it in the lime juice before adding the other ingredients) and fill with ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime.
cocktail shaker and strainer