Bacardi Cocktail

By George Sinclair. (26th August 2006)

Some cocktails have multiple recipes, whiles some cocktail recipes have multiple names; the Daiquiri belongs to the latter and the former, while the Bacardi Cocktail belongs simply to the latter. However, and this is where it gets complicated, the Bacardi Cocktail may have originally been the same drink as the Daiquiri. By Daiquiri, I mean the cuban rum, fresh lime juice and sugar variety, without fruit or juice.

Lets look at what the Bacardi Cocktail and Daiquiri recipes are now, and then I will attempt to reveal what they were, way back when they were first concocted.


2 shots Cuban Rum (light),
1/2 shot Fresh Lime Juice,
1 bar spoon of Gomme syrup
(substitute: thick sugar syrup, 9:1 ratio; the same ratio as Giffards use for their Gomme Syrup)

Bacardi Cocktail:

2 shots Bacardi Rum,
1/2 shot Fresh Lime Juice,
1 barspoon of Grenadine Syrup.

Now let us look at the history of the Bacardi Cocktail/ Daiquiri recipes, and other items of interest:

Oakland Tribune, 13th November 1913.

Rum and Grenadine: "There's a new cocktail in town - a fresh importation from New York. Take half a whisky glass of Porto Rican rum, add the juice of half a lime and dash into it a squirt of grenadine; shake with ice. This was introduced by Rhys Thomas..."

Now the above cocktail looks like a Bacardi Cocktail, but is called a "Rum and Grenadine". Bear this in mind as I confuse things even further by looking into Tom Bullocks' "Ideal Bartender" (1917) where he lists two Bacardi Cocktails; pay particular attention to the first recipe:

"Ideal Bartender", by Tom Bullock (1917)


Use a large Mixing glass. Fill with Lump Ice.

1/2 jigger Cusinier Grenadine.
1 jigger Bacardi Rum.

Shake well and serve in a Cocktail glass.

2) BACARDI COCKTAIL -- Country Club Style

Use a large Mixing glass. Fill with Lump Ice.

1/2 Lime Juice.
2 dashes Imported Grenadine.
1 jigger Bacardi Rum.

Shake well; strain into Cocktail glass and serve.

The first Bacardi Cocktail recipe that Tom Bullock lists could quite easily be called "Rum and Grenadine", being as that is all it is. The Bullock "Rum and Grenadine only, Bacardi Cocktail" is the first appearance of the Bacardi Cocktail with Grenadine in it. (The 1913 reference wasn't called a Bacardi Cocktail remember?)

Moving onto Bullock's second Bacardi Cocktail recipe, you see that it is exactly same as the Bacardi Cocktail recipe which I listed at the beginning of this article, but the problem is that Bullock's recipe is not the first appearance of the specifically named "Bacardi Cocktail", that honour belongs to Hugo Ensslin.

Note that Bullock's Recipe states that the second Bacardi Cocktail is, in fact, "Country Club Style"; I will come back to this later in the article.

In the 1917 edition of his book, ""Recipes for Mixed Drinks", Hugo Ensslin has a Bacardi Cocktail recipe. Now, instead of showing the recipe for Hugo Ensslin's Bacardi Cocktail, I will instead list the "Cuban Cocktail" which was featured in the previous edition of Ensslin's book (1916):

Cuban Cocktail

1 jigger Bacardi Rum
2 dashes Gum Syrup
Juice of 1/2 Lime

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

The only difference between Ensslin's Cuban Cocktail, of 1916, and Ensslin's Bacardi Cocktail of 1917 is that the Bacardi Cocktail is listed as requiring a "drink of Bacardi Rum". A jigger, as specified in 1916, is 50ml, and a "drink" is basically the same.

So what do contemporary sources from the U.S. and Cuba say about the Bacardi Cocktail/ Daiquiri conundrum?

"THE OLD WALDORF-ASTORIA BAR BOOK" By Albert Stevens Crockett (1935)

"Out of compliment to Mr. Taylor, who was last resident manager of the Old Waldorf-Astoria, is placed at the head of this list the distinctive cocktail which at his hotel is also called a Daiquiri, or a Bacardi."


by Eleanor Early

(HAVANA): "Hardly anyone knows how to mix a proper Bacardi cocktail, so I asked Senor Rafael Valiente, who is host at the famous bar, and he told me that you should take the juice of half a lime, half a teaspoon of granulated sugar, one and a half ounces of white Bacardi, mix thoroughly, and shake well with ice."

There are many other references to the Bacardi Cocktail being the same as a Daiquiri. The biggest obstacle to the resolution of the Bacardi Cocktail/ Daiquiri Conundrum is that the Bacardi Rum Company now lists the Bacardi Cocktail as containing Grenadine Syrup; however, this was not always the case.

In 1930, the Bacardi Company was producing a cocktail recipe booklet entitled "BACARDI Algunos De Sus Muchos Usos" ("Bacardi and Its Many Uses"), which was still being produced in 1937, at least.

"BACARDI Algunos De Sus Muchos Usos" (1930)

Bacardi Coctel (Daiquiri Bacardi)

El jugo de medio limon.
Media cucharada de azucar blanca
Una copita de Bacardi Carta Blanca.

Agitese con hielo picado y sirvase en vasos de coctel. Puede ser servido colado o sin colar.

IMPORTANTE: No altere el orden de los ingredientes.

If you do not speak Spanish, then the 1937 English Language edition contains a almost-verbatim translation of the 1930 recipe, the words that are missing are "(Daiquiri Bacardi)":

"Bacardi and Its Many Uses" (1937)

Bacardi Cocktail

Correct recipe:

The juice of half a lime.
Half teaspoonful granulated sugar.
1 1/2 oz. of BACARDI White.

Mix thoroughly, then shake well in cracked ice. May be served strained or unstrained. Important: Do not alter order ingredients [sic].

In the Bacardi Cocktail legal dispute of 1936, where the Bacardi Company brought before the courts unscrupulous bar owners who dared to use rums other than Bacardi in their Bacardi Cocktails, there is much mention of Grenadine Syrup in the drinks recipe. The point of the Bacardi court action was not to deduce the exact recipe to be used by all, but to make specific the rum to be used in the Bacardi Cocktail recipe; the inclusion of Grenadine Syrup was not an issue the Bacardi company were interested in. To highlight this point, I will show you an advert which the Bacardi Company ran in 1941:



Ruling of the N. Y. Supreme Court, April 28, 1936

The Recipe in Rhyme!

A LITTLE SOUR, (Juice of half a lime)
A LITTLE SWEET, (1/2 teaspoonful of sugar)
THE TROPIC SUN, (A jigger of BACARDI, White or Silver Label)
WITHOUT THE HEAT! (Ice and shake well)

It is the opinion of this author that the Bacardi Cocktail was a Bacardi Daiquiri, to begin with at least. The addition of Grenadine Syrup to the Bacardi Cocktail seems to be an entirely American peculiarity, and may have started with the confusion over the "Rum and Grenadine" recipe of 1913 and the Bacardi Cocktails of Tom Bullock (1917).

There are two reasons for a drink being called a "Bacardi Cocktail 1) It is a Cocktail made with Bacardi, and 2) It is a branded Cocktail of the Bacardi company. Tom Bullock's "Country Club Style" Bacardi Cocktail is admittedly an improvement over the "Rum and Grenadine only, Bacardi Cocktail" he lists, but it was not a cocktail of the Bacardi Company, just a cocktail made with Bacardi.

I wonder what would have happened if Rhys Thomas (the inventor of the "Rum and Grenadine" in 1913) had chosen a more original name for his rum cocktail, would we still be having this Bacardi Cocktail/ Daiquiri conundrum, or would they still be the same drink? Either way, the Bacardi Cocktail of today contains Grenadine Syrup, and the Daiquiri does not.