One of the great things about classic cocktails is the vast and varied stories surrounding their inventions, each more colorful than the next and none a terribly exact thing. (Maybe comes with the territory.)

The daiquiri is a cocktail with a fixed and glorious literary past, albeit weighed down in the current consciousness by images of Hawaiian shirt wearing bartenders and the whirring sound of blenders.

Made properly, a daiquiri is a perfectly balanced blend of three simple ingredients. F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters in his 1920 novel, “This Side of Paradise,” start off their night ordering “four double daiquiris” from an “old jitney waiter”.

Before they know what's hit them, purple zebras appear and the divan looks, well, not so much like a divan anymore.

Hemingway, who is said to have consumed 16 doubles all by himself one night in Havana, reportedly liked his daiquiris made with two shots of rum, lime juice, ice, and no sugar: a recipe devised for him by El Floridita bartender Constante Ribailagua. In “Islands in the Stream,” Hemingway wrote of the frozen variety that it, “looks like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots.”

Drink enough of them and that description might well fit you too.

Classic Daiquiri

Makes 1 cocktail

Note: Adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book.

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

1/4 cup light rum

1. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

LA Weekly