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Hemingway Daiquiri

Hemingway Daiquiri

The Hemingway Daiquiri is named after author Ernest Hemingway. The story goes that Hemingway, living in Havana at the time, ducked into the El Floridita bar and asked the bartender for a daiquiri with no sugar and double the rum. The bar was known for its signature drink, a twist on a basic daiquiri (the basic recipe uses only rum, lime juice and sugar) that included a splash of maraschino liqueur. Since classic daiquiris tend to be more refreshing than sweet (the blender is optional), you can imagine that doubling the rum and omitting the sugar resulted in a pretty tart drink. But the drink became a signature at the bar and, over the years, evolved into something a little bit more palatable than what Hemingway himself drank. He was, after all, a man who appreciated a strong drink over a tasty one.

These days, the Hemingway Daiquiri is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as is the classic daiquiri. I happen to be a fan of this daiquiri variant, though I suspect that Hemingway himself might not appreciate the additions that most modern bartenders make to give the cocktail a little more sweetness and depth.

The cocktail is made with white rum, maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is my brand of choice for this purpose), lime juice, pink grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Some recipes call for adding a teaspoon or so of sugar instead of using a sugar syrup, but the syrup is easier to incorporate, and handier if you already have some (equal parts water and sugar) in your fridge for sweetening drinks. You can adjust the sugar to taste if you like your drink a bit sweeter, or omit it entirely if you want to go “full Hemingway” on the drink. I like the touch of sugar to bring out the flavor of the fresh grapefruit juice, so I always add a splash.

Hemingway Daiquiri
2 oz white rum*
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz simple syrup

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.

Makes 1.

*You can use any good quality quite rum in this. It is nice to use a white rum that has an age statement on it, as it will likely be smoother than one without. El Dorado, Angostura, Cana Brava, Flor de Cana and others are all excellent options

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1 Comment
  • barb
    November 3, 2016

    We lived in the Florida Keys for many years and the Hemingway drink was always asked for by a tourist who came to Key West

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