In this series, I’ll be showing you how to make cocktails at home. Most cocktails work on a very simple formula: 1-1-2. This is 1 sweet ingredient, 1 sour and 2 spirit. If you stick to this, you can never go wrong. The sweet is sugar syrup or just sugar, the sour is normally either lemon or lime juice and then spirit is your choice. From this base, you can then add other ingredients to make the cocktails that most of us are familiar with such as the Mojito and Sex on the Beach.
I’m going to start out by teaching you how to make a Daiquiri. As well as being my personal favourite, it’s very simple to make and easy to add new flavours and experiment with.
Hawthorn Strainer (not vital)
Flavoured sugar syrup or puree (optional)
You can get these pretty cheap on sites like Amazon so have a look around. I prefer a tin and glass as a shaker but 3 part shakers are just as good and probably easier for home cocktails. They also eliminate the need for a Hawthorn strainer.
The Daquiri follows the basic 1-1-2 idea. It’s made of 1 shot of lime juice (1 lime = 1 shot), 1 shot of sugar syrup and 2 shots of white rum. There are a number of ways to prepare it but my preference is shaken over ice and then strained (to remove the lime pulp and ice crystals) into a glass. It’s as simple as that.
Then, if you want to say, make a Blackcurrant Daiquiri, you have three ways to add flavour. You can substitute the sugar syrup for a flavoured syrup, you can add a puree to the standard mix and you can add a liqueur or, if you really want to give it a real blackcurrant kick, all three. You can also mix and match flavours; for instance, the other day, I made an Apple and Blackcurrant Daiquiri. Alternatively, you can use spiced rums or dark rums. With these, the best way is to look at the flavours in the rum and try to compliment them with your additions.
The key thing to remember with cocktails is that everyone has different preferences and like different things. To that end, quite often daiquiris are served over ice, cubed or crushed and the ratios and measures can be different. It’s all down to personal taste, so when making cocktails try different things and experiment.