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Classic Daiquiri

Photo of a Daiquiri Cocktail
Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

Forget about the ubiquitous frozen drink served at swim-up bars and on cruise ships. This daiquiri recipe keeps it classy. When mixed properly, three simple ingredients—rum, lime juice, and simple syrup—can create a transcendent experience. The resulting classic cocktail is a light, refreshing, and even bracing (in a good way) sip for leisurely evenings spent alfresco. The drink has origins dating back to 1890s Cuba, but it really thrived in Havana in the 1930s during U.S. Prohibition. During that time, Ernest Hemingway spent much of his time drinking daiquiris at the El Floridita bar. He even earned a namesake version of the summer cocktail, a Hemingway Daiquiri, appended with grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur.

For this classic daiquiri, you’ll just need the basics. Most of the daiquiris you’ve had at bars were likely made with Bacardi white rum. Opt for a blended rum such as Banks 5 Island for a drink with greater depth, or choose an aged rum, such as Angostura 1919, for a touch of caramel-like richness. Fresh lime juice (squeezed, not bottled!) is essential, and we prefer our sugar syrup shaken, not boiled. Shake the drink vigorously in a cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled coupe glass or Nick and Nora, and garnish with a lime twist. (And if it is a frozen daiquiri you want, we’ve got a great version of that too.)


Serves 1

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. plus one tsp. fresh lime juice
  1. In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously, then strain into cocktail glass. 

    Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in July 2006. For more of our favorite rum cocktails, such as the Mojito, head over here→

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  • Delicious. Just delicious. I even experimented with leftover Malibu rum (been sitting in the back of the liquor cabinet for at least 8 yrs) and even that version was good. Go baby on the lime...

    • mtnmeye

    • Denver

    • 9/10/2020

  • Simple syrup is a bust. It waters down the drink, if you want the real Cuban Daiquiri experience use only powdered sugar, lime juice, rum and cracked ice. Shake and strain.

    • Julio65

    • Miami

    • 9/7/2020

  • This recipe is so darn good. I always have fresh lime juice cubes in the freezer (1 cube equals 1 ounce) and simple syrup in the refrigerator, so making this drink is a piece of cake. This recipe makes a beautiful daiquiri. It’s no wonder Hemingway loved them so.

    • ddinkler

    • Savannah, GA

    • 8/12/2020

  • Whoever’s buying their simple syrup needs to try this: take one part sugar, add 1 part water, heat until sugar dissolves, cool. Simple! (For recipes calling for “rich simple syrup,” make it 2 parts sugar to 1 part water.

    • bikebird

    • Peachtree City, GA

    • 7/20/2020

  • Nothing wrong with the recipe.......but I couldn't tell the difference when just using a good limeade and rum.

    • davidhalsted

    • Tucson, AZ

    • 10/6/2013

  • Trader Joes has simple syrup. I tend to prefer more of a one-to-one ratio of lime to rum. Really a great excuse to get out the old cocktail shaker.

    • ammercado

    • New York, NY

    • 7/13/2009

  • great summer drink! much better than the blender mixes out of a can. I increased the simple syrup amount to .75 ounce (or a little more). perfect!

    • Anonymous

    • madison, wi

    • 6/5/2009

  • everyone needs a simple summer drink recipe.

    • andiez1267

    • 11/22/2007

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