No drink has suffered more abuse than the Daiquiri. In the roughly 130 years since its inception, the granddaddy of rum cocktails has gone from the pride of Havana to an unloved extra on the back of a Señor Frog’s table tent. Even today, as the craft cocktail movement reaches full tilt, most people too often associate the Daiquiri with adult slushies, the stuff of spring break blackouts and mind-splitting hangovers.
But in its purest form, the Daiquiri is simple and sublime, a delicate blend of rum’s sweetness with the raw freshness of sugar and lime juice. Whole lives have been dedicated to balancing the three. That each ingredient should be of the highest quality goes without saying, though even then the Daiquiri can throw you a curve. Choose a too-sweet rum, and you’re sipping liquid candy; overdo the citrus, and the cocktail drowns in a puckering pool of acidity.
Our recipe walks the knife edge with a mix of light rum and a darker demerara sugar syrup. The two bring out the best qualities in each other. One trick when juicing the limes: Use a hand-squeezer (or your own hands). The oils from the rind add an extra flash of intensity that gives the cocktail a nice, bright edge.