The Daiquiri cocktail is considered to be one of the six basic and classic drinks in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury. The other five drinks are the Martini, the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan, the Sidecar and the Jack Rose. The Daiquiri is actually a family of cocktails, because there are several recipes and variations you can try. However, the basic ingredients for the cocktail are rum, lime juice and sugar or sweetener. Usually the drink is served in a classical cocktail glass and it is garnished with a slice of lime of lemon.
The origin of the name probably stems from the Daiquiri beach located near Santiago, Cuba; an iron mine in that area also shares the name of this popular drink. As for its inventor, he supposedly was a man named Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who was in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. At this time, the Daiquiri cocktail was mixed directly in the glass, which was usually tall and filled with cracked ice. The mixer would then add sugar and lime juice over the ice, and afterwards a couple of ounces of rum. Everything was stirred with a long spoon, which made the glass frosted and thus completed the drink.
Later on, the preparation of the Daiquiri cocktail evolved, and the shaker was now used to stir the ingredients before pouring them in a glass. More people started drinking it in America when it was brought by Admiral Lucius W. Johnson at his Navy Club in Washington D.C. Consumption really had a boost in the 1940s, when President Roosevelt opened trade relations with Latin America, thus making rum easy to come by. Rum-based drinks truly became popular at this time, because other liqueurs like whiskey and vodka were scarce.
This is how the Daiquiri cocktail slowly, but steadily became a popular and classical drink in the U.S. and went on to be the favorite cocktail of personalities like Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy. Other popular variations of the cocktail are the Daiquiri Floridita – which is made with maraschino liqueur –, the Hemingway Daiquiri, or the Banana Daiquiri and the Strawberry Daiquiri, which maintain the original recipe but add half a banana or strawberries to the composition in order to become sweeter and more colorful. These are the main versions of the Daiquiri, but like with most popular drinks, it can be prepared in various ways, depending on the location and the bartender.