The elegant combo of lime and rum in a classic daiquiri has nothing to do with the syrupy mixed drinks you’ll find tumbling in a drum at swim-up bars. “The original version is an import from Cuba,” explains writer, bartender, and cocktail consultant Al Culliton. “A proper daiquiri has legitimate universal appeal.” And, along with a mojito, it’s the rum cocktail we’re most likely to reach for on a hot summer evening.
This rendition of the classic drink takes a bit of liberty with tradition, serving it “up-rocks.” The term, which started to circulate amongst bartenders a few years ago, refers to any drink that’s served on ice in a stemmed cocktail glass. In this case the shaken daiquiri is strained into a chilled coupe over a single large ice cube, which keeps the drink cold and allows its texture to evolve as the ice slowly melts. When making at home, just be sure to use a coupe that’s big enough to hold that ice as well as the drink. White rum is the backbone here and keeps this daiquiri cocktail breezy (Culliton recommends Denizen Aged White). Aged white rum is grassy and bolder than silver rum. Swap in aged dark rum if you prefer a drink with a warmer profile.
For a traditional daiquiri recipe, head this way. Or if you just can’t live without a fruity rendition, opt for this version made with a rhubarb sugar syrup, or this strawberry daiquiri made with a tantalizing secret ingredient (it’s salt!).
Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published September 2015.