Classic Daiquiri

published Aug 10, 2023
Daiquiri Recipe

A classic daiquiri — rum, lime juice, and simple syrup served straight up — is so much better than the frozen kind.


Prep5 minutes

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a classic daiquiri cocktail in a coupe glass with a lime garnish against a blue backdrop
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

A few winters ago, my family went to Mexico in search of some respite from the cold weather. After a long day at the beach, we made ourselves at home at the hotel bar, and my husband ordered daiquiris. The bartender brought out an elegant-looking cocktail that was served straight-up and simply garnished with a lime wheel. I was extremely confused because, in my mind, daiquiris were always frozen. 

Up until that point I had never been a fan of daiquiris, which for me were always much too sweet. This cocktail was unlike any daiquiri I’d ever had. It was refreshing, slightly tart, and not at all sweet. 

Since then, I’ve been making daiquiris at home — especially when it’s warm out. The drink itself is unfussy and extremely easy to prepare; it has only three ingredients and comes together quickly in a cocktail shaker

What Is a Daiquiri?

The daiquiri was originally invented in the 1890s in Cuba, and was later popularized by Ernest Hemingway. Traditionally, a daiquiri is served straight-up or on the rocks, not frozen. Structurally, it calls for the same ingredients as a frozen daiquiri: light rum, lime juice, and simple syrup

To make a classic daiquiri, combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake. Pour the drink through a strainer into a coupe glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and serve. (A frozen daiquiri, on the other hand, adds the ingredients directly to a blender with ice, and blends it until slushy-like in consistency). 

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make a Daiquiri

A classic daiquiri requires only three ingredients — no blender needed. 

  • Rum: Light rum (aka white or silver rum) is traditional, but I’ve added gold rum as an alternative if that’s what you have handy. 
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice ensures a perfectly balanced cocktail. 
  • Simple syrup: This homemade ingredient, which is essentially granulated sugar dissolved in hot water, adds a delicate sweetness. 

Is a Daiquiri Always Frozen?

No! A classic daiquiri is served straight-up or on the rocks, rather than frozen. A frozen daiquiri, which is a riff on the original cocktail, is blended with ice and then served.  

Other Daiquiri Recipes

Daiquiri Recipe

A classic daiquiri — rum, lime juice, and simple syrup served straight up — is so much better than the frozen kind.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    light or gold rum

  • 1/2 ounce

    Simple Syrup

  • Ice


  1. Halve 1 medium lime. Juice one half until you have 3/4 ounce (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons). Slice 1 lime wheel from the other half and reserve the remaining for another use.

  2. Place the lime juice, 1 1/2 ounces light or gold rum, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, seal, and shake until the outside of the shaker is very frosty, about 20 seconds.

  3. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a coupe glass or a rocks glass. Garnish with the lime wheel.