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Why the daiquiri is the one cocktail everyone should master



When you hear the word daiquiri, your mind might immediately wander to thoughts of cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts south of the border. This is wrong and offensive.

The humble daiquiri has been corrupted by these charlatans, who have transformed it into something unrecognizable. It's time to dispel the myth of the daiquiri, and raise it to its rightful place as the king of cocktails.

The daiquiri actually has quite a storied history dating back to the 1890s.

Though no one can confirm where it actually came from, a commonly accepted history is as follows:

An American mining engineer named Jennings Cox is credited with creating and popularizing the drink while working in Cuba, according to Bloomberg. It was named after a nearby beach town with the same name.

It gained popularity in the 1940s after rum became more fashionable and other liquor was harder to come by. In 1948, it was immortalized in "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks," an influential book that shaped modern cocktail culture in a major way. Author David A. Embury listed it as one of the "six basic cocktails." While some on the list — like the Jack Rose and sidecar — have fallen a bit out of favor, the Manhattan, martini, and old-fashioned have stood the test of time. So I submit the daiquiri has, too.  

When Cox brought his drink to America, it became a favorite of the Army & Navy Club in Washington, DC, where the lounge has since been renamed in honor of the drink. It was a noted favorite of President John F. Kennedy, who named it one of his favorite before-dinner drinks. It was also a favorite of macho author Ernest Hemingway, who subbed sugar for maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice.

So, the daiquiri has a pretty storied history. Kind of makes you a bit embarrassed to think they only came frozen with strawberry flavoring, doesn't it?

It also has a pretty masculine history — this clearly is a unisex cocktail. The daiquiri is too simple to really be gendered. It's just lime juice, simple syrup, and rum. That's it, and that's all.

Pour them into a shaker in the correct amounts with some ice, move it up and down a few times, and pour it into a glass. Garnish with lime if you're feeling fancy, and that's it. The perfect cocktail. It's sour, a little bit sweet, and, if you made it right, delicious.

That said, it's hard to really mess up. If you're off on any of the ingredients, it'll still taste pretty good. It's the perfect simple but still elevated cocktail to make at home to impress someone without actually doing anything all that impressive.

The International Bartenders Association lists it as one of their "unforgettable" cocktails.

Here's their official recipe:

  • 1 and a half ounces of rum (a shot).
  • Half an ounce of simple syrup.
  • The fresh juice from one lime, or about 3/4 an ounce.

SEE ALSO: 8 things every modern gentleman needs to stock the perfect home bar

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