History of the Daiquiry

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of being on a beautiful beach somewhere sipping a nice frozen daiquiri? But did you know that the original daiquiri was not a frozen drink as we envision it today?

This famous drink was named after Daiquirí, a small village 14 miles east of Santiago de Cuba. The town of Daiquirí was a focal point during the U.S. invasion of Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

The invention of the drink is often credited to an American miner named Cox Jennings. As the story goes, he was entertaining guests one evening when he ran out of gin. He went out and bought the only liquor he could find, which was rum. He added lemons, sugar, mineral water, and ice to the rum and served it as a punch to his guests. They loved it so much and wanted to know the name of the concoction. Cox could have called the drink a rum sour as was customary at the time, but he decided to name it for the nearby beach village of Daiquirí.

Due to the abundance of its ingredients, especially Bacardí rum, the daiquiri became widely popular in the area. But the drink’s popularity really soared during the prohibition era thanks to Ernest Hemingway, who often visited a Havana bar named El Floridita where bartender Ribalaigua Vert was famous for creating more than 200 cocktails.

One of those cocktails he tinkered with was the daiquiri. Vert, aka “The Cocktail King of Cuba,” is credited with being the first person to add chipped ice to the daiquiri thereby creating the frozen drink we all know and love today.

In spite of his diabetes, Hemingway had a huge thirst for alcohol. So, Vert created a no-sugar version of the drink he dubbed the Papa Doble. Instead, the Hemingway daiquiri had twice the amount of rum, grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice.

In the century since it was first created, people have continued to experiment with the daiquiri in so many creative ways. The Daiquiri is the perfect summer drink, so be sure to rediscover it on your next tropical vacation.

original handwritten recipe
Original handwritten Daiquiri recipe. Courtesy: Bacardí

Bacardí daiquiri recipe:

6 Lemons
6 tsp./ 30 ml Sugar
6 c./ 1.4 l of Bacardi Rum
2 c./ .5 l of Mineral water
Crushed ice

Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add the ice after the mixture is stirred thoroughly. Ladle into cups and enjoy. The recipe serves six people.

The Hemingway Papa Doble recipe:

3 oz./90 ml of White rum
1 oz./30 ml of Lime juice
.5 oz/ 15 ml of Grapefruit juice
.25 oz/ 8 ml of Maraschino liqueur

Chill a cocktail glass. Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake gently. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass and enjoy. This cocktail can also be served in a coupe.