Ask any bartender or cocktail guru what THE quintessential rum cocktail is and the answer will always be the daiquiri. Originating in Cuba in the early 1900’s, a cocktail this old and prolific deserves to be treated respectfully. Owning a rum bar in the midwest brings many challenges. One in particular is the preconceived notion (rooted in the 1990’s) that a daiquiri was always strawberry, frozen and could be found at any fast casual restaurant chain. This year at I have made it my mission to educate and delight my hometown of Springfield, Missouri about this classic “cuban style” daiquiri and the many refreshing variations it can take.
The daiquiri includes three ingredients: rum, fresh lime juice and sugar. That’s all. If you have a stocked bar at home, you can probably go make this right now, and I suggest you do. One of the great things about the daiquiri is how versatile it is. Change up the rum to get a totally different flavor profile. Use different types of sugar to increase depth and richness. Infuse an ingredient with an herb or fruit. Add a modifier like a splash of Yellow Chartreuse to make a Daisy de Santiago. Shake it with a handful of mint if you like mojitos. The possibilities are endless. I will be sharing the Golden Girl house daiquiri recipe below, as well as a frozen version, if you’re into that.
Traditionally, the daiquiri will use a dry white rum, fresh lime juice and granulated sugar. The ingredients are stirred until incorporated and the sugar has dissolved, it’s shaken with ice and then strained into a coupe. At the Golden Girl Rum Club, our house daiquiri is made a little differently. After months of trial and error, we came up with what we feel is a slight improvement on a classic daiquiri which adds a second sugar to the mix to add some richness and body to the end product. We make a double strength simple syrup for our sugar component, which contains both raw and granulated white sugar. Most simple syrups are made with a 1:1 sugar-to-water ratio, but for this daiquiri mix we double the sugar-to-water ratio (2 sugar:1 water), which makes for a more powerful sugar syrup. We do this because we are trying to pack in as much flavor into the least amount of liquid in our final product as possible. The less water in the simple syrup, the less water will be in the final mixture, which makes for a less diluted cocktail and a bigger burst of flavor. SCIENCE.
Simple syrups can taste like whatever your imagination can muster. Cinnamon, vanilla bean and ginger are just some ideas for syrups that work well in cocktails. Basically any flavor you find interesting can be steeped into a sugar water mixture overnight and BAM, you’ve got a cocktail modifier that will impress. Raw ingredients work best for these infusions. Cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon, or actual vanilla bean instead of an extract, dried chilis, or even herbs such as mint or rosemary are all possibilities.
The Golden Girl House Daiquiri
2 oz White Rum (We are using Cana Brava here)
.75 oz Daiquiri mix (recipe below)
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Add components to a shaker, starting with the juice and daiquiri mix and finishing with the rum. We do this so if you notice you goof a measurement, you can toss your first inexpensive components in the trash.
Fill your shaker tin with about a cup of ice—the larger and harder the ice the better.
Shake (notes on shaking below)
Strain your daiquiri into a chilled coupe, if available, or vintage stemmed wine glass or goblet.
Garnish isn’t necessary, but a thin lime wheel or wedge or lime zest will make the pale green cocktail pop.
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup Sugar in the Raw
1 cup boiling water
Add sugars to a bowl, add water and stir until dissolved. The syrup should be pretty thick and a rich amber color.
Shake like nobody’s watching. Do it as hard as you can, until the shaker freezes to your hand. This could be anywhere from 10-15 seconds, depending on how savage you are. The point of the shake is to rotate the liquid and ice in a circular motion, whipping cold air through the tin and getting our drink as cold as possible with a small amount of dilution. Nobody picks up a shaker tin and looks cool their first time. It will take practice. Just don’t look at yourself in the mirror on your first shake.
To make a frozen version of this daiquiri, we will use a slightly different method. Because of the amount of water being added to the cocktail (as ice), we need to cut back as much liquid as possible in the rest of the drink in order for it to be flavorful. To do that we will completely get rid of the water in the simple syrup and just use dry sugars. We will also add some lime zest for an extra punch of lime flavor.
Golden Girl’s Frozen Daiquiri
2 oz white rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons sugar mix (1 granulated white sugar:1 Sugar in the Raw)
10 oz crushed ice
Add the first 4 ingredients to a blender, and mix on high until the sugars have dissolved, and the zest has been obliterated about 10 seconds.
Add ice and blend for 15 seconds. Pour into your favorite coupe or cup. The consistency should be thick enough to pile high.
Garnish with more lime zest and a colorful straw.
Enjoy. – Rogan