How the Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe Became the Ultimate Summer Cocktail

Strawberry Daiquiri's fruity, tangy taste delivers a perfect punch of flavours that help cool things down on a warm day. But the summery strawberry flavour wasn't always the star of the show with this cocktail. For the original Daiquiri recipe, we need to go back a few years.

The 1900s: Quenching Cuban Thirst

It's hard to know for sure the origins of this drink, but most agree that Jennings Stockton Cox created the recipe in the Siera Maestra Mountains in southeast Cuba. Cox was an American mining engineer who, following the American-Spanish war of 1898, was employed to explore the region looking for iron-ore. He made his base in a small town called Daiquiri, where the locals blended dry white rum with their evening coffee. He soon introduced the Cuban-made Bacardi rum to his workers in the mines — giving them a ration to help fight waterborne diseases like Yellow Fever.

According to the 1928 cocktail book, When its Cocktail Time in Cuba, author Basil Woon says Cox's miners gathered to drink their rations with lime and sugar at the Venus Bar in Santiago; having at least three of four every morning. But Cox's granddaughter claims that the cocktail was established when Cox was hosting

American guests. Where the gin ran out and to avoid the low appeal of serving straight dry rum, he made a drink with the ingredients around him and thus, the Daiquiri was born.

Whichever story may be most accurate, Jennings Cox was ultimately the original master of the Daiquiri. He recorded the cocktail recipe in his logbook, which consisted of the juice of six lemons, six teaspoons of sugar, six Bacardi cups of 'Carta Blanca', two small cups of mineral water and plenty of crushed ice, shaken well.

The 1910-40s: Hitting American Shores

The cocktail stayed exclusively in Cuba for many years. However, in 1900, the classic Cuba Libre arrived and became an instant hit, overshadowing other regional drinks in the process. Then, in 1909, the USS Minnesota travelled by Cuba. The captain of the boat, Charles H. Harlow, proposed to his crew that they visit different places that were part of the American-Cuban war. Stopping in Daiquiri, where a battle had occurred, Jennings Cox greeted the crew and served them a Daiquiri cocktail.

The ships medical officer, Lucius W. Johnson, fell in love with the drink and took the recipe back to the Army and Navy Club in New York. Johnson mixed a jigger of rum, the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of sugar, then filled the glass with finely shaved ice. The humid weather melted the ice quickly, and the glass became frosted. The reputation for a refreshing beverage that kept people cool in the muggy New York summers spread. This exclusive club, which exists to this day, was delighted by the exotic drink and named a lounge bar The Daiquiri Room in its honour. The classic Daiquiri became a prominent feature on restaurant and bar menus around the world.

The 1950s: The Kitchen Gadget Boom

New variations on the original Daiquiri recipe were born with the kitchen technology boom of the 1950s. The earliest known mention of a frozen strawberry daiquiri can be found in an electric blender recipe book written by Mabel Stegner in 1952. The recipe was easy to make and reproduce with a standardised gadget like the jug blender.

Strawberries weren't the only fruit added, though, with banana daiquiris becoming popular after legendary Tiki bartender Harry K. Yee added the fruit to a Daiquiri at Henry Kaiser's Hawaiian Village Hotel in Hawaii.

The 1960s-90s: Blending All Over the World

Soon, bars and restaurants were adding their own locally grown or seasonal soft fruits to the blended Daiquiri. The fruit and ice created the tropical feel of the cocktail, causing it to become associated with long summers, holidays and beach parties. As a result, the Daiquiri's popularity grew over the years. People found they could easily replicate the recipe at home, as long as they had a blender. It became notorious easy to make, an excellent sharing recipe for a party and universally enjoyed.

Then in the late 1990s and early 2000s, bartenders became interested in stirred drinks with strong flavours and the frozen Daiquiri fell out of fashion. But now fun cocktails like the frozen strawberry Daiquiri are back in vogue. With sun-drenched days incoming this summer, what better way to cool down than with an ice-cold cocktail? You could begin with perfecting your classic Daiquiri, then move on to make our fabulous Jam Jar Strawberry Daiquiri before attempting your very own frozen Strawberry Daiquiri:

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe

You’ll need a countertop blender, sieve, and two martini glasses.

500g Fresh strawberries

200g Cubed ice

100ml Dry white rum

Juice ½ lime

a. Blend the strawberries then push the resulting puree through a sieve to remove the larger seeds.

b. Tip the sieved puree into the blender again and add the ice, rum and lime juice.

c. Blend again and divide the mixture between two martini glasses.

d. Thread the lime slices and strawberry halves onto the cocktail sticks and place onto the edge of the glass, serve immediately

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