Turn Your Daiquiri Up to 11

Rum. Lime. Sugar. The Holy Trinity of tropical drinks. Nearly all Tiki or tropical recipes are some spin on these three ingredients. The daiquiri is the category’s foundational cocktail, consisting of — you guessed it — rum, lime, and sugar. A classic, simple daiquiri is widely considered one of the best ways to evaluate a rum.

Recipes for a classic daiquiri are all over the map, ratio-wise. Many go too heavy on the lime and sugar, relegating the rum to a background role. The sourness of the lime and the sweetness of the sugar should always be balanced. When Mrs. Wonk wants something not too fussy after a long day, I use this template:

  • 2 oz rum
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.5 oz 1:1 simple syrup

Shake with ice, double strain into a chilled coupe.

While this basic daiquiri is a fast and easy way to transport yourself to the tropics while letting the rum play a leading role, I’m always tinkering with recipes and ratios to push beyond the standards.

This summer, Jason Alexander at Tacoma Cabana improvised several outstanding swizzles, which I enjoyed at his bar as well as replicating at home. My key takeaway was this:  Unaged agricole-style rums (in particular, overproof versions) pair incredibly well with stone fruit liqueurs such as apricot and peach. Agricole, in case you’re not familiar, is made in the French Caribbean from pressed sugar cane rather than molasses. It has a strong, vegetal “funk” to it that’s amazing, if your tastes lean that direction. It is worlds different than a typical, 80 proof white rum like Bacardi Superior.

While making swizzles with eight or more ingredients is fine for a lazy Saturday, sometimes you just want a kick-ass daiquiri that’s relatively easy to make while taking the best parts from those heavenly swizzles. I soon settled on this as my house daiquiri:

Agricole Apricot Daiquiri

  • 2 oz unaged overproof agricole (recommendations listed below)
  • 0.5 oz apricot liqueur (e.g. Luxardo)
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25 oz 1:1 simple syrup
  • 0.125 oz maraschino (e.g. Luxardo)

Shake with ice, double strain into a chilled coupe.

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Overproof in this context is anything over 100 proof. A few I can recommend include:

  • Duquesne (100 proof)
  • Damoiseau (110 proof)
  • Clement Canne Bleue (100 proof)
  • Rhum JM Blanc (100 proof)
  • La Favorite Blanc (100 proof)
  • Neisson Blanc (110 proof)

For apricot liqueur, I’ve had good luck using both Luxardo and Giffard varieties. The Luxardo, at 60 proof, adds a bit more kick than the Giffard, and the recipe already has a healthy dose of overproof rum. In the absence of apricot liqueur (I understand, it’s not that common), peach also works.

Note that while my normal daiquiri has 0.5 oz of 1:1 simple syrup, here I’ve dropped it to 0.25 oz, as the apricot liqueur add its own sweetness. The Luxardo maraschino is optional (unless you’re Mrs. Wonk). If you’re a fan of maraschino, by all means use it. It adds a bit more mouthfeel and backing to the agricole/apricot duo.

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2 thoughts on “Turn Your Daiquiri Up to 11”

  1. You ought to try it in a Periodista — an obscure Cuban cocktail that Boston adopted. Rum, apricot liqueur, triple sec/curaçao, lime juice. 1.5/0.5/0.5/0.5 is a common motif. The original is with white rum, but dark rum is common here, and your post reminded me of a cachaça variation I was once served.

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