Daiquiri - The Anatomy Of A Cocktail

The Daiquiri is one of the simplest drinks in the classic cocktail lexicon.

But the basic combination of rum, sugar and lime carries great weight: It is both an insider ritual and a measuring stick for the bartending community.

"The Daiquiri is a litmus test for how good a bartender is," says Troy Sidle, co-owner of New York's Pouring Ribbons. "When someone in the industry comes in my bar and orders a Daiquiri, it's often because he or she is sizing me up. I get nervous every time I make one."

Some bartenders hew strictly to the original bare-bones recipe; others give the Daiquiri new spins, whether by using untraditional ingredients or serving the drink over crushed ice. See our Anatomy of a Cocktail: Daiquiri, complete with the classic recipe and several inspired variations.

The Daiquiri is a drink worth perfecting at homeā€“if only to have a baseline by which to measure all future bartender encounters.