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While working on a host of new drinks for the El Vaquero drink menu, I found several references to a Nacional Daiquiri, created at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba using apricot brandy.

Never able to leave well enough alone, I fooled around with proportions and flavors until I came up with this twist on the hotel’s famous daiquiri. It’s been a huge hit this spring.

Nacional Print Me

  • 1.5 oz/45 ml Bacardi Superior rum
  • .75 oz/22.5 ml apricot brandy
  • 1 oz/30 ml fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz/22.5 ml 2:1 simple syrup
  • 2 generous dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
  1. Shake ingredients well over cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipe printed courtesy of

17 Replies to “Nacional”

  • Rahul Bhagwat says:

    Is this unsweetened Apricot brandy / eau de vie (as opposed to apricot liqueur)? Or am I overthinking this? Looking forward to trying it!

  • Yes, 2/3 is a good rule of thumb when converting from 1:1 to 2:1

  • Evan says:

    Thanks. Since 0.5 oz is 2/3rds the volume of 0.75 oz wouldn’t dropping the amount of 2:1 to 2/3rds volume of 1:1 compensate for the additional sweeetness. I am just trying to understand the principles as I may shift to 2:1 in other recipes and was trying to understand a “rule of thumb” adjustments. Of course rules are meant to be broken 🙂

  • Evan says:

    Hi Jeffrey. I noticed you changed the recipe to include 2:1 simple bs 1:1. In other recipes when you adjusted you reduced the amount of simple syrup to account for the additional sweetness. Is 0.75 oz of 2:1 the correct spec? Or should it be reduced to 0.5 oz, etc?

  • I’m glad you tried the drink, Lois, and am ever more delighted that you enjoyed it. Cheers!

  • Lois Sanborn says:

    This is just an excellent drink. I chucked my former Hotel Nacional recipe which was pretty boring for this one. Much, much better. Great job, Jeffrey. Thanks.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Wow, thanks, Chris, I’m going to have to pick that up!

  • “They had another free daiquiri each, frozen so stiffly that it had to be drunk in tiny drops…”

    Graham Greene’s novel Our Man in Havana is required daiquiri reading. It is mentioned throughout the book. The Havana Club and the Wonder bar are where they drink it and the morning is the favoured time. (“Wormold drank his daiquiri too fast and left the Havana Club with his eyes aching”). And then there is The Nacional, where they serve poisoned food, where you drink deadly whiskies and where the barmen try to kill you with lethal daiquiris.

  • Marleigh says:

    A case?! Geez, the people at Fee Brothers must luuuuurve you.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks, Marleigh! Can you believe I’m going through a case of peach bitters every month now?

  • Dan says:

    You and your bitters 😉

  • Marleigh says:

    Addendum: damn. Now I see why it’s such a big seller. Excellent!

    (There’s a little write up and a photo over at the blog.)

  • Marleigh says:

    There’s nothing quite so nice as the feeling you get when you see a recipe you want to try and realize that you have every ingredient sitting at home, waiting for you.

    Definitely going to try this tonight.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thanks, Rick. Whenever I make this drink at work I have to enjoy the aroma coming from the mixing glass. I wish I could soak my upper lip in peach bitters sometimes.

    Makes me happy.

  • Rick says:


    As I was measuring all of the ingredients for this cocktail, I just knew it was going to be good. The apricot and peach aromas really invite you into the drink. I was worried it was going to be too sweet (it was a little sweet), but the lime does such a great job of balancing things out.

    And any use of peach bitters gets me interested.

    Well done.

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