National Daiquiri Day
annually on July 19th
While a rum and strawberry filled slushie-like concoction may be what first comes to mind when daiquiris are mentioned, there is much more to these cocktails, which we celebrate today with National Daiquiri Day. The original or classic daiquiri recipe calls for a teaspoon of sugar, juice from one or two limes, and two to three ounces of white rum—specifically, Carta Blanca rum. It is stirred with crushed ice and strained before being served.
The daiquiri was likely created around the turn of the twentieth century in a bar in Daiquirí, a small village near Santiago, Cuba, by Jennings Stockton Cox, an American mining engineer. Cox regularly gathered at the bar with other miners after work, and upon creating the drink he named it after the nearby Daiquirí mines. One version of the story says he created the cocktail out of rum because all his gin ran out, but this part is dubious. Other versions of the story claim Cox found or created the drink in Cuba during the Spanish American War and then brought it to America shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. Some versions say a Cuban engineer by the name of Pugliuchi also had a hand in creating the drink.
Daiquiris became more widespread after Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, a US Navy medical officer, introduced them at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., in 1909. During the 1930s, a frozen variation of the drink was created by Constantino Ribalaigua Vert at the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba. He also made a daiquiri for Ernest Hemingway. Called the Papa Doble, and also now known as Daiquiri #3, the sugar-free cocktail consisted of two ounces of white rum, juice from two limes and half a grapefruit, and maraschino liqueur. Other daiquiris similar to the classic version but with added ingredients are Daiquiri #2, which has orange curacao and orange juice, Daiquiri #4, made with maraschino liqueur and (sometimes) pineapple rum, and Daiquiri #5, which has grenadine and maraschino liqueur.
Daiquiris continued to rise in popularity during the 1940s, at a time when beer and whiskey were less available on account of World War II grain rations. In recent years, there has been a shift to daiquiris made in blenders with fruity syrups and sweet and sour mixes, the strawberry daiquiri being the most ubiquitous. They rose in popularity on account of their convenience and because of the proliferation of beach resorts. On National Daiquiri Day, all takes on this cocktail are celebrated, from the classic daiquiri to the modern-day blended strawberry one, and everything in between.
How to Observe National Daiquiri Day
Celebrate by drinking some daiquiris! It's most appropriate to make a classic daiquiri of rum, lime juice, and sugar, but you could also try your hand at making a Daiquiri #2, the Papa Doble, a Daiquiri #4, a Daiquiri #5, or a blended strawberry daiquiri. You could have a daiquiri party or maybe even have a daiquiri at El Floridita.