Classic Daiquiri

Light and refreshing, there’s nothing like a Classic Daiquiri. Made with lime juice and rum, this sweet citrus drink is a cocktail every budding bartender should know.

a classic lime daiquiri in a coupe glass on a gold serving tray.

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Classic Daiquiri Cocktail recipe

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans and spent an evening in the French Quarter, you’ll know that daiquiri bars abound. You can grab a to-go cup of just about any flavor of rum slushy.

This is not that daiquiri.

While frozen daiquiris are colorful, fun and delicious, they’re actually a derivative of the classic version, which hails from Cuba.

The original daiquiri is made with lime juice, rum and a sweetener (usually simple syrup).

Light and refreshing, and this classy drink is the perfect summer cocktail. Let’s talk about how to make a daiquiri so you can be an expert at this delicious drink.

More rum cocktails: Classic MojitoFish BowlHurricaneRum & Coke

two daiquiris on a gold serving tray.

Why you’ll love this recipe

The classic daiquiri recipe is one you’re going to fall in love with.

  • With just three ingredients, the traditional daiquiri is simple to put together.
  • This sweet citrus cocktail is a classy choice for a dinner party but simple enough for sipping by the pool or beach.
  • It’s a classic cocktail that every home mixologist should know.

Tasty daiquiris are the perfect drink for summer sipping on a hot day. Serve them at a backyard BBQ or while you hang by the pool or beach in the summer months. They are also a must for Mardi Gras celebrations.

top view of daiquiries on a marble background.

What is a daiquiri?

The daiquiri is a rum cocktail made with lime juice and a sweetener.

Many cocktails’ origins are hard to trace, but the daiquiri’s genealogy is documented in a 1896 recipe card signed by Jennings Cox, an American engineer living in Cuba. According to Eater, Cox ran out of gin during a cocktail party and substituted rum.

However, this simple cocktail probably existed, and he was likely just the first person to write down the recipe. It gets its name from the town of Daiquiri, Cuba. 

The drink was a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, and there’s even a version named after him: the Hemingway Daiquiri. 

Over the years, the daiquiri has evolved and has many spins. You can use other juices and flavored simple syrups to switch up the flavors, as I do in this raspberry daiquiri and this blood orange daiquiri.

Daiquiris are also well-known in their frozen form, when they are blended with ice and sometimes fresh fruit, like these frozen peach daiquiris or these frozen lemon daiquiris.

a hand holding a boston-style cocktail shaker.

Tools & glassware

For the simple daiquiri, a cocktail shaker is needed to mix up the ingredients. You’ll also need a strainer to pour it into the glass.

You can also prepare it as a stirred drink, using a mixing glass and a bar spoon.

Daiquiris served neat, meaning not over ice or frozen, should be served in a coupe glass or martini glass.

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Ingredients

The original daiquiri recipe calls for just three simple ingredients, so you’ve got to make them all really good to have the best-quality cocktail.

Rum

The classic choice for the daiquiri is white rum. Also known as silver rum or light rum, it has no color. It is light, crisp and great for mixing.

Other types of rum, such as gold rum, spiced rum or aged rum can be used, but it changes the flavor of the daiquiri, so light rum is best for the classic lime daiquiri.

Check out my Rum 101 guide for my favorite rum brands.

Lime juice

You’ll want to juice fresh limes for a classic daiquiri. Persian or Mexican limes are a great choice, but you can also use key limes.

The bottled concentrate works in a pinch, but it can be more sour than fresh limes so use it at your own risk.

Feel free to experiment with lemon juice or grapefruit juice instead for a different flavor.

Sweetener

To sweeten this cocktail, you can use pure cane sugar or a clear, rich simple syrup. Cane sugar is the original ingredient, but simple syrup is a little easier to dissolve into a drink.

Also called sugar syrup, simple syrup is easy to make with sugar and water. You can also experiment with flavors, such as using strawberry simple syrup or cherry simple syrup.

For a sugar-free version, you can use a homemade sugar-free syrup.

two daiquiris on a gold tray surrounded by limes, a gold cocktail jigger and a gold cocktail strainer.

Variations and substitutions

There are a few ways to mix up a daiquiri to make your own delicious drinks:

  • Fruity variations: Use a fruity, flavored simple syrup with your daiquiri, such as blackberry syrup or peach syrup
  • Virgin Daiquiri: Skip the rum altogether and double the ingredients. Or substitute the rum for a zero-proof spirit such as ritual Rum alternative.
  • Spiced Daiquiri: Use spiced rum to give this cocktail a warmth of flavor from cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  • Frozen Daiquiri: Skip the cocktail shaker and throw all the ingredients into a blender with 1 cup of ice. Blend until smooth and then pour into a glass. For strawberry daiquiris, blend with 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries as well. 

But there’s one variation you shouldn’t make if you want a classic daiquiri: If you make a daiquiri with any spirit other than rum, you’re likely making another cocktail altogether.

The daiquiri falls into the cocktail category of sours, which are made with a combination of spirit, citrus and sweetener. If you make a daiquiri with gin, it’d be a gimlet. With tequila, it would be a margarita.

a silver cocktail shaker pouring into a coupe glass with diamond pattern.

How to make a daiquiri

Throwing together a daiquiri is quick and easy. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. First get out a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice.
  2. Add the rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well.
  3. Then, strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel, lime twist or lime wedge.

It can also be prepared as a stirred drink. Simply combine sugar, rum and lime juice in a mixing glass and stir with a bar spoon until the sugar dissolves.

a hand adding a lime twist to a coupe glass.

Tips & tricks

Use a quality 80-proof white rum in your daiquiri.

Fresh lime juice will make a huge difference when it comes to citrus in any drink.

Shake the ingredients well to get them ice-cold and to invigorate them.

What to serve with daiquiris

Daiquiris are the perfect companion for so many foods.

Serve a daiquiri with Cuban foods like a Cuban sandwich or Papas Rellenas.

Or serve this cocktail with New Orleans foods like popcorn shrimp and salted caramel beignets.

They’re great with citrusy and fruity desserts like lemon cookies and blueberry cake.

a lime twist rests on the edge of a coupe glass containing a light yellow cocktail.

FAQ

What makes a daiquiri a daiquiri?

Rum. Daiquiris typically include white rum, lime juice and a sweetener. They can be made with other flavors, like banana and pineapple, but the rum shouldn’t be substituted or you’ll wind up with another drink entirely. For example, a daiquiri with tequila is called a margarita, and with gin, it would be called a gimlet.

Is a daiquiri served over ice?

No, daiquiris are served straight up, or neat, in a cocktail glass. However, they can be prepared frozen by blending the ingredients with ice.

What is the difference between a margarita and a daiquiri?

While both are sweet cocktails made with lime juice, daiquiris are made with rum and margaritas are made with tequila. Also, margaritas usually have salt or sugar on the rim, whereas daiquiris do not.

More daiquiri recipes

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a classic lime daiquiri in a coupe glass on a gold serving tray.

Classic Daiquiri

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
A classic daiquiri is a cocktail every home bartender should know!
5 from 2 votes
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ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • lime twist lime wheel or lime wedge, for garnish

instructions

  • To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the rum, lime juice and simple syrup.
  • Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lime twist, lime wheel or lime wedge.

notes

Use a quality 80-proof white rum in your daiquiri.
Fresh lime juice will make a huge difference when it comes to citrus in any drink.
Shake the ingredients well to get them ice-cold and to invigorate them.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 4ounces Calories: 186kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Sodium: 1mg Sugar: 13g
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