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Daiquiri recipes: an easy guide to making expert-level daiquiri cocktails at home

Posted by for Food and Drink

Looking to make adventurous, crowd-pleasing cocktails? Here’s your definitive guide on how to make perfect daiquiri rum cocktails at home, with tips from expert mixologist Tammy Jackson and a range of recipes giving a tropical twist on the classic drink. 

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Crisp, sharp and refreshing: the daiquiri is the unassailable classic rum cocktail. A stalwart summer cooler, the Caribbean drink evokes long, balmy summer nights and tropical flavours. So, naturally, it’s the perfect tipple for the warm weekend ahead, whether you’re spending it at a garden party or hanging in the park.

Hailing from Cuba, it’s thought the daiquiri’s origins stem from the Spanish-American War in 1898. During this time gin and whisky became scarce in the country, so the locals turned to their plentiful supply of rum as a substitute. The original cocktails would have been served over crushed ice with a teaspoon of sugar and rum poured over the top. The version we drink today, is a more Americanised style.

It’s a simple drink. You can whip up a daiquiri with just three ingredients. The classic recipe is 50ml of really good white rum, 20ml of sugar syrup (you can easily make this at home with just sugar and water) and then 20ml of fresh lime. Its simplicity is its virtue, however, as it lends itself nicely to exciting experimentation with other fruits and flavours.  

Professional mixologist Tammy Jackson, who runs cocktail recipe website For Cocktail Sake, is renowned for her off-piste flavour combinations and says daiquiris are the perfect cocktail to start experimenting with at home. “There’s nothing better to drink on a summer’s day than a daiquiri; they’re just exquisite,” she says. “They’re brilliant for adding unique flavours to because they have very few basic ingredients.”

Read Tammy’s tips and tricks for creating perfect daiquiris at home with minimal equipment. Then, try your hand at making four tropical twists on the classic cocktail. Each daiquiri recipe has been provided by a different mixologist or rum expert, including Tammy who adds dehydrated dragon fruit to her cocktail to give it a rich, red hue.  

Tammy’s expert tips for making daiquiris at home

Choose your rum carefully

“White rum is the base for everything in a daiquiri,” says Tammy, “so it’s very important to make sure it’s good quality.” She recommends checking the label of any rum you buy carefully and looking out for bottles with organic ingredients and as little added sugar and additives as possible. 

Tammy recommends Copalli rum: “I have yet to find anything as exquisite as their white rum. It’s locally sourced and the purest form of rum.”

Balance is key

A good daiquiri should have the perfect blend of sweet and tart notes, so having a good balance of flavours is key. “Get your balance right, and you’ll have a delicious cocktail,” says Tammy. The sour notes come from the lime juice. “It’s important to use fresh lime for the best flavour,” says Tammy. While the sweet notes come from the sugar syrup.

If you want to be more experimental, Tammy suggests swapping the lime for something bitter like tamarind. Or, switching the sugar for fruit pulp.

Shake the daiquiris well to get the best balance of flavour, making sure the fluid goes back and forth so it can combine. “Put some music on and just have fun with it,” says Tammy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

“Classic, simple recipes like the daiquiri are a great foundation to experiment and have fun with,” says Tammy. “It’s always great to play around with cocktail recipes and find what you like.”

Tammy suggests infusing the rum with different ingredients to get unique flavours. “I’ve infused rum with banana chips that I’ve dehydrated at home to get a delicious tropical flavour,” says Tammy.

Or, you can mush different fresh fruits into the bottom of your daiquiris, like strawberry or mango. 

You don’t need professional equipment

“There’s no excuse for someone not to have a good daiquiri,” says Tammy. If you don’t have a jigger (the measuring cup bartenders use) at home you can use an egg cup or a shot glass.

You can use the back of a wooden spoon to mash up fruits instead of a muddler (the bartending version of a pestle). 

Instead of a cocktail shaker you can use a tupperware box, empty jam jar or even a protein shake bottle. 

To pour out your cocktail, you can also use a fine mesh strainer or a tea strainer. Or, just shake the cocktail as much as you can and use the lid of whatever device you’re using to hold back any bits.

Get inventive with garnishes

You can easily pretty-up your drink with a slice of fruit. The stereotypical daiquiri garnish is a slice of lime.

If you want a more experimental finish, edible flowers are an easy way to give your cocktail an impressive look. Plus, they’re something you can grow at home. “I have pots of violas, violets and pansies at home, which I use to garnish my cocktails with,” says Tammy. 

Four tropical daiquiri recipes you can make easily at home

  • Matt Hollidge’s Beesop Daiquiri

    Beesop Daiquiri how to
    How to make a Beesop Daiquiri, a tropical twist on the classic

    Matt Hollidge is a former winner of the Home Bartender of the Year award. His sweet and silky drink is made with sugar-apple, a Belizean fruit that tastes like custard. You can buy it online, in larger supermarkets or from Caribbean or Asian supermarkets.

    Ingredients per serving:

    • 50ml white rum
    • 15ml lime
    • 10ml honey
    • 1tbsp sugar-apple (mashed)

    Method:

    1. Shake all ingredients with ice.
    2. Double strain into a glass. (Use a fine strainer for your second strain, if you have one).
    3. Serve with a slice of sugar apple. 
  • Tammy Jackson’s Flying Jewel Daiquiri

    Dragon fruit daiquiri how to
    Dragon fruit daiquiri how to
    Tammy Jackon's take on the classic daiquiri using dragon fruit

    Tammy’s cocktail is inspired by the colours of the rainforest, using dehydrated dragon fruit. You can buy this easily online, or buy a fresh dragon fruit from your local Caribbean or Asian supermarket and dehydrate it at home in the oven.

    Ingredients per serving:

    • One or two chips of dehydrated dragon fruit (to infuse rum and to serve)
    • 50ml white rum (infused with dehydrated dragon fruit)
    • 20ml passionfruit pulp
    • 1/4 tbsp tamarind
    • 20ml elderflower liqueur

    Method:

    1. Steep the dehydrated dragon fruit in the white rum for 30 minutes to give the rum a bright red colour.
    2. Strain away the dehydrated dragon fruit and then add the rum to the other ingredients and shake with ice.
    3. Serve over crushed ice in a coupe glass: a stemmed glass with a broad, shallow bowl.  
  • Jean Vital’s Fruit and Fennel Daiquiri

    Fennel and fruit Daiquiri how to
    How to make a sweet and sour twist on the classic Daiquiri cocktail

    Jean Vital is a bar manager at the Campari group. His mango daiquiri contains an adventurous combination of fruit and vegetables. 

    Ingredients per serving:

    • 50ml white rum
    • 20ml crème de fraise
    • 20ml lime juice
    • 10ml fernet branca or absinthe (optional)
    • 40ml mango, strawberry and fennel blend

    For the blend:

    • 50g strawberry, chopped
    • 50g fennel, chopped
    • 100g mango, peeled and chopped
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 100ml warm water

    Method:

    1. Add all the ingredients need for the mango, strawberry and fennel blend into a food processor and blend together.
    2. Fine strain the blend. Any excess can be stored in the fridge.
    3. Shake all the ingredients together.
    4. Fine strain into a glass.
    5. Garnish with some mango fans or strawberries.  
  • Waluco Maheia's Soursop Daiquiri

    Soursop Daiquiri how to
    How to make a tropical twist on the classic daiquiri at home

    Waluco Maheia is a rum expert and Copalli’s assistant general manager. His take on the daiquiri uses soursop, a tropical fruit with a scent like pineapple and a taste somewhere between strawberry and apple. You can buy it online, in larger supermarkets or from Caribbean or Asian supermarkets.

    Ingredients per serving:

    • soursop chunks (muddled)
    • 25ml simple syrup
    • 25ml fresh lime juice
    • 50ml white rum

    Method:

    1. Make a simple syrup by mixing one part sugar to one part water. Warm the water in a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
    2. Shake all ingredients with ice.
    3. Strain on the rocks, or neat. 

You can read more cocktail recipes at Stylist.co.uk

Images and recipes: Copalli Rum’s The Daiquiri Series.

  • Tammy Jackson, professional mixologist

    Tammy Jackson mixologist
    Tammy Jackon mixologist

    Tammy Jackson is a professional mixologist and runs at-home cocktail-making tutorials on her Instagram account For Cocktail Sake. She specialises in creating exciting and off-piste twists on traditional cocktails recipes.  

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