frozen daiquiri


[dahy-kuh-ree, dak-uh-]
Daiquiri (properly spelled with an acute accent on the final letter ["daiquirí"] and pronounced [daiki'ɾi] but commonly anglicized to ['dækəɹi] and written without the accent) is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients are rum, lime juice, and sugar or other sweetener. There are several versions, but those that gained international fame are the ones made in the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba.

The Daiquiri is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's classic The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. In the book, he also suggests some variations, such as substitute part or all of syrup with grenadine.


The name Daiquirí is also the name of a beach near Santiago, Cuba, and an iron mine in that area, and it is a word of Taíno origin. The cocktail was supposedly invented about 1905 in a bar named Venus in Santiago, about 23 miles east of the mine, by a group of American mining engineers. Among the engineers present were Jennings Cox, General Manager of the Spanish American Iron Co., J. Francis Linthicum, C. Manning Combs, George W. Pfeiffer, De Berneire Whitaker, C. Merritt Holmes and Proctor O. Persing. Although stories persist that that Cox invented the drink when he ran out of gin while entertaining American guests, the drink evolved naturally due to the prevalence of lime and sugar.

Originally the drink was served in a tall glass packed with cracked ice. A teaspoon of sugar was poured over the ice and the juice of one or two limes was squeezed over the sugar. Two or three ounces of rum completed the mixture. The glass was then frosted by stirring with a long-handled spoon. Later the Daiquiri evolved to be mixed in a shaker with the same ingredients but with shaved ice. After a thorough shaking, it was poured into a chilled flute glass. An article in the March 14, 1937 edition of the Miami Herald as well as private correspondence of J.F. Linthicum confirm the recipe and early history.

Consumption of the drink remained localized until 1909, when Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, a U.S. Navy medical officer, tried Cox's drink. Johnson subsequently introduced it to the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., and drinkers of the daiquiri increased over the space of a few decades. The daiquiri was one of the favorite drinks of writer Ernest Hemingway and president John F. Kennedy.

The drink became incredibly popular in the 1940s. Wartime rationing made whiskey, vodka, etc, hard to come by, yet because of Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy (which opened up trade and travel relations with Latin America, Cuba and the Caribbean), rum became highly attainable. The Good Neighbor Policy (also known as 'The Pan-American program'), helped make Latin America seem fashionable. As a consequence, rum-based drinks (once frowned upon as being the domain of sailors and down-and-outs), also became fashionable, and the Daiquiri saw a tremendous rise in popularity in the US.

The basic recipe for a Daiquiri is also extremely similar to what British sailors drank aboard ship from the 1740s onwards - Grog - which is basically rum mixed with sweetened preserved lime juice and water. This was a common drink across the Caribbean, and as soon as ice became available this was included instead of the water. Jennings-Cox's story is certainly a popular one & maybe he was responsible for the naming of the drink, but as far as creating it he was about 150 years late.


  • Daiquiri Floridita - with maraschino liqueur, created by Constantino Ribalaigua Vert at El Floridita
  • Papa Doble - double the proportion of rum, named for Ernest Hemingway, who earned the nickname by consistently ordering the drink.
  • Hemingway Special - leave out the sugar, add a splash of grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur. Sometimes Hemingway Special and Papa Doble's recipe is mixed together.

Frozen daiquiri

A wide variety of alcoholic mixed drinks made with finely pulverized ice are often called a "frozen daiquiri". These drinks can also be combined and poured into a blender eliminating the need for manual pulverization. Although to purists most of these are not true daiquiris at all, use of this term to describe these drinks is common, especially around the U.S. Gulf Coast. Such drinks are often commercially made in machines which produce a texture similar to a smoothie, and come in a wide variety of flavors made with various alcohol or liquors.

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