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Cuban-style rum, sugar and lime juice

The Daiquiri is the most iconic and important cocktail sour, prototyped by Yankees at a iron mine near Santiago, Cuba, in 1896 and subsequently refined and popularized by Havana bartending legends Emelio “Maragato” González and Constantino “Constante” Ribalaigua Vert.

Shown is a set of Daiquiri recipes from bar La Florida’s bilingual souvenier cocktail booklet, circa 1934. The first is the canonical Daiquiri, and the fourth is the frozen version that La Florida perfected and popularized. All references to “lemon” actually mean the key lime. All the references to Ron Bacardí are for a style of Cuban rum that no longer exists—you’ll have to look for a quality filtered (colorless) rum distilled from molasses. The essence:


Shake with ice:

  • 2 oz light Cuban-style rum
  • 2 bar spoons superfine sugar
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Strain into a cocktail glass

Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, p. 213–4; barware icons courtesy of Haus Alpenz