Looking at the recipe of a Daiquiri cocktail, you got to love the simple three-ingredient approach. A base of Cuban Rum, fresh lime juice, and just enough simple syrup to balance the tart flavors.
Because of the simplicity of the Daiquiri cocktail recipe, there are many riffs on the drink. It's quite easy to add other fruits like strawberries and get a Strawberry Daiquiri. For another variation on the recipe, you can also change the Rum base of the drink.
Traditionally, white Cuban Rum is used in the cocktail. But there are many more types of Rum that could be used. And depending on your Rum choice, the balance of your drink will be different. And ultimately, the taste will change as well.
From white unaged Rum to slightly aged Rums to rich and dark Rums. We will help you find the best Rum for Daiquiri cocktails.
Mastering a Daiquiri
The original recipe for a Daiquiri used to be a combination of lemon juice, white Bacardi Rum, sugar, mineral water, and crushed ice.
Today a perfect Daiquiri is made with fresh juice from limes instead of lemons. And also, the mineral water and sugar are replaced with regular simple syrup. For more complexity in the cocktail, a few dashes of aromatic Angostura bitters are added.
The base of white Rum stayed, so it doesn't come as a surprise that there are quite some White Rums on our list. To get the perfect balance in your drink, use a ratio of 6 parts Rum, 2 parts fresh lime juice, and 1 part of simple syrup.
Best White Rum for Daiquiris
White Rums are typically unaged and known for their crisp and fresh taste. They're slightly sweet but don't have that rich and sweet taste you know from dark and aged Rums.
But there are also some aged white Rums. These spirits are aged in rum barrels before they're filtered to remove the dark brown color. Due to their aging in wooden barrels, these bottles contain more mellow notes from wood, vanilla, and tannins.
However, these filtered Rums are less complex than regular dark and aged Rums. That is mainly because the filtration not only removes the color but also some of the flavors.
Here are our choices for the best white Rums for making a great Daiquiri.
El Dorado 3 year
Age: 3 years
Tasting Notes: Lemon, cane sugar, baking spice, cacao
One of the best Rums in Cuban cocktails like the Daiquiri is El Dorado 3 years. El Dorado is categorized as White Rum as it's filtered after barrel-aging for three years to obtain an almost clear color.
This Rum adds just the right amount of complexity to otherwise simple cocktails. The Rum from Guyana is light but full of flavors like baking spice, caramel, and various fruits.
In a Daiquiri, the softer tones in this Rum tame the acidic kick of fresh lime juice perfectly. Due to this balance, it's possible to pull back a bit on the simple syrup. Like this, you get a less sweet Daiquiri cocktail that is still perfectly rounded.
Tasting Notes: Grassy notes, herbs, ripe tropical fruits, and leather
Clairin Sajous is a French style Rum made from sugarcane juice (Rhum agricole). It has this typical funky taste, clean smell, and higher proof (48% ABV) of Rhum.
The notes of tropical fruits combined with the typical grassy taste work excellent in a Daiquiri. As this Rum is so light, you can also tune down the sugar part in the recipe.
The result is a boozier Daiquiri cocktail with a unique taste. Clairin Sajous is one of the most fascinating recommendations for making the classic Cuban cocktail.
Bacardi Carta Blanca
Region: Puerto Rico
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, citrus, and floral hints
The light, dry, and crisp taste of Bacardi is a perfect choice for most Rum cocktails. That applies not only to the Daiquiri but also to a Mojito.
The Daiquiri is an original cocktail from Cuba. So using a quality Cuban Rum is the standard way of making great Daiquiri cocktails. Before moving to Puerto Rico, Bacardi was one of the most important Rum producers in Cuba.
And still today, there are many people in Havana claiming that a proper Daiquiri is made with Bacardi. And to be fair, Bacardi Superior might not be the base for the fanciest Daiquiri, but it's a solid and budget-friendly option.
Ron Pepón Blanco
Region: Puerto Rico
Tasting Notes: Minerals, earth, lime, green apple
Ron Pepón Blanco is another French-style Rum to use in a Daiquiri. Ron Pepón is Puerto Rico's first take on a Rhum Agricole and is produced by San Juan Artisan Distillers.
Fresh sugarcane juice is distilled with traditional French pot stills to create a Rhum with a unique character. If I had to describe it, I would say it's a cross between Martinique and Jamaican Rums.
This Blanco Rum is an elegant and funky bottle of Rum that produces an excellent Daiquiri.
Plantation 3 years
Region: Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica
Age: 3 years
Tasting Notes: Grassy, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla
Plantation 3 Stars is easily one of the most recommended Rums for making cocktails. This Rum blend is made from three of the most prestigious Rum regions in the Caribbean: Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica.
The double aging process creates a deep and complex flavor profile. Sweet notes of vanilla mix with coconut and tropical fruits like passion fruit.
It's a full-bodied Rum with a slightly higher ABV than most other bottles. Plantation 3 stars is one of my common choices when making a Daiquiri or Mojito because of its high quality and relatively low price point.
Age: 6 years
Tasting Notes: Coconut, citrus, and espresso
Diplomatico Planas is a unique blended Rum from Venezuela. The spirit is a blend of a batch kettle, pot still, and column still Rum.
The resulting blend is aged for up to years before it's charcoal filtered to be crystal clear. The goal of Diplomatico Planas was to create a successor to Diplomático Blanco.
The taste of Diplomático Planas is slightly sweet with hints of coconut and citrus. The slightly higher ABV makes it an excellent base spirit for boozy cocktails like a Daiquiri.
Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, banana, coconut, and grassy notes
Using an overproof Rum in a Daiquiri is not for beginners. Sipping this spirit neat is quite a challenge. The Rum is strong, dry, and grassy. But the more you sip the more it opens up and shows its full array of flavors.
The flavors include sweet notes of vanilla, molasses, coconut, and banana. On the palate, these flavors combine with a fair alcohol taste. For Rum aficionados, Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum is a perfect choice in a Daiquiri.
The Rum creates a strong and Rum-forward drink that's superbly balanced by sugar and fresh lime.
Flor de Caña 4 Year Rum Extra Seco
Age: 4 years
Tasting Notes: White chocolate, banana, butterscotch, and orange
Flor de Caña 4 Year Rum is a bright and crisp white Rum from Nicaragua. It's great value for money, works as a sipper, and is a great base for many Rum cocktails.
If you're looking for a quality and well-rounded White Rum Flor de Caña's four-year-old expression is a great fit. This Rum has a sweet and well-rounded flavor profile that works great in combination with tangy lime juice.
In a Daiquiri this Rum makes for a tropical and vivid drink. The combination of extra dry Rum, tartness from lime juice, and a touch of sweetness is an excellent combo.
Havana Club 3 years
Age: 3 years
Tasting Notes: Caramel, spice, pineapple, and citrus
Havana club 3-year-old is an excellent Rum produced by Havana Club Cuba. The brand advertises the spirit as the perfect ingredient in a Mojito. And while I agree that it is a great fit in the Cuban mint cocktail, this Rum is also a great fit in a Daiquiri.
The Rum is aged for three years before it is charcoal filtered to get rid of the dark color. The flavor is sweet, fruity, and herbal with notes of pear, banana, licorice, and toffee.
It's a classic mixing Rum that is not really supposed to be sipped neat. However, it is a splendid base for mixing Rum cocktails like Daiquiri.
Region: Jamaica, Barbados
Age: A blend of unaged, unaged, and 2-year-old Rums
Tasting Notes: Molasses, allspice, citrus fruits, and pineapple
Last but not least on our list of the best white Rums for Daiquiris is Probitas. Probitas is a blended Rum from two of the most iconic Rum distilleries - namely Foursquare (Barbados) and Hampden Estate (Jamaica).
The result is a funky and light Rum with flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, and vanilla. The higher ABV of this bottle (47% ABV) makes for a full-bodied Daiquiri cocktail.
The combination of alcoholic heat known in Jamaican Rum and a cheeky yet mature taste of Barbadian Rum makes it an intriguing base in the classic Cuban Rum cocktail.
Best Dark & Aged Rum for Daiquiris
Aged Rums are typically darker in color and have a rich and sweet taste. The time of aging in oak barrels infuses the spirit with oaky notes and also lends it a richer mouthfeel. In general, the longer the Rum spends in a barrel the more complex the taste and the darker the color.
Aged Rum is known for developing flavors like caramel, vanilla, spice, leather, and candied fruit. However, the flavor profile and quality vary significantly from brand to brand.
Region: Barbados, Mauritius
Age: 10 years
Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, vanilla, raisins, and brown sugar
Equiano Rum is a rich and complex Rum that ages for ten years in former Cognac and Bourbon barrels. This aging process creates an intriguing flavor profile.
Sipping Equiano Rum neat, it has quite some similarities to Cognac. Especially that sweetness from the first sip. It also tastes pretty zesty with lemon and orange peel flavors and some citrus sweetness.
But the Rum also has some typical spicy notes as well as hints of caramel, toffee, and banana. In a Daiquiri cocktail, these flavors create a richer and more mellow drink.
Age: A blend of 3-5 years
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, pineapple, and banana
This blended Rum from Trinidad was created in cooperation with famed NYC Bar Death & Co. Blending different Rums into one single product is a common thing to increase the complexity of a spirit.
And with this bottle, the team from Death & Co. did an excellent job in balancing the taste. There is a light vanilla note in the nose. The taste is sweet but never overpowering with hints of ripe fruits like pineapple and banana.
When making a Daiquiri with this Rum, I like to combine it with Demerara syrup. This combination adds an extra amount of depth and complexity to the drink highlighting the rich taste of the Rum.
Plantation’s Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum
Region: Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica
Age: 3 - 15 years
Tasting Notes: Rich pineapple, tropical fruit, smoke, and citrus
This fancy pineapple-infused Rum is based on Plantation 3 stars Rum and Dark Rum. For this, the white Rum is infused with pineapple and then distilled. At the same time, their Dark Rum is infused with pineapple, too.
Both spirits are then blended and cask-aged for three more months. The flavors of the resulting Rum are rich with smoky notes and a strong pineapple flavor.
Using this Rum as the base spirit of a Daiquiri makes for an intriguing mix of pineapple and lime flavors. A combination I can only recommend trying. If you're feeling fancy, try a split-base cocktail with one part of Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum and one part of Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum.
Ron Zacapa 23
Age: 6 - 23 years
Tasting Notes: Dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, and molasses
Ron Zacapa 23 is a tasty sipping Rum from Guatemala. It is a combination of various Rums that age from 6 to 23 years. The result is a rich and warm Rum with flavors of spicy oak, vanilla, and dried fruits.
Using a fine and aged Rum like this in a Daiquiri adds a bit of elegance to the drink. It creates a richer, more mellow, and also more complex taste.
Plantation original dark Rum
Region: Trinidad and Tobago
Age: 3 - 15 years
Tasting Notes: Pepper, fruits, raisins, and pineapple
The complete process of producing a bottle of Plantation Original Dark Rum takes about 18 to 19 years. The reason for this is the unique approach of split-distilling, blending, and aging.
The story begins in Jamaica where the base Rum is distilled and aged for 15 years. After that, the spirit moves to Barbados where it ages for another few years (1 to 3 years).
The final step of aging takes place in southern France, where the Rum ages for another 6 months. The result is a distinct and complex flavor that works great in mixed drinks.
The flavor profile includes notes of spice, cinnamon, vanilla, and molasses. Many bartenders also use to add a bar spoon or two of this Rum to a White Rum base to make the taste of the resulting cocktail more complex.
However, if you want the full array of flavors you should try making a Daiquiri with this Rum as the only base.
Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum
Age: 5 - 35 years
Tasting Notes: Molasses, caramel, chocolate, and coffee
Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum is a balanced Rum from Venezuala that clocks in at 40% ABV. The taste of it is smooth and rounded which makes it an excellent base for drinks like a classic Daiquiri.
The Rum is produced by applying the famed Solera method. The Rums used for blending are aged between 5 and 35 years. This process results in a very smooth and balanced Rum.
In combination with tangy lime juice and just a bit of simple syrup, Santa Teresa Solera Rum is an excellent ingredient in a traditional Daiquiri recipe.