Hemingway Daiquiri

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Updated 01/29/24

Hemingway Daiquiri
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The Hemingway Daiquiri, also known as the Papa Doble, is a cocktail that encapsulates the essence of Ernest Hemingway’s life in Havana, Cuba during the Roaring Twenties. This drink’s creation is deeply intertwined with Hemingway’s own history, lifestyle, and personal preferences, resulting in a beverage that is as complex and intriguing as the man himself. The cocktail is a blend of white rum, maraschino liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice, offering a crisp and citrus-forward experience that stands out from its sugary counterparts.

Ernest Hemingway’s connection to Cuba is well-documented, with his residence on the island providing a backdrop to some of his most productive years. It was during one of his visits to El Floridita, a bar in Havana renowned for its cocktails, that Hemingway discovered the daiquiri.

Hemingway’s preference for a less sweet version of the daiquiri was probably influenced by his health concerns, particularly his diabetes, which necessitated a reduction in his sugar intake. This personal requirement led to the creation of a variant of the daiquiri that catered to his specific tastes. The staff at El Floridita crafted a cocktail that maintained the refreshing essence of the original while reducing its sweetness, thus giving birth to the Hemingway Daiquiri.

The Hemingway Daiquiri’s composition is a reflection of its namesake’s personality and lifestyle. The use of white rum as the base spirit pays homage to the Caribbean’s rich history of rum production, a nod to Hemingway’s love for the region. Maraschino liqueur adds a subtle complexity to the drink, with its cherry notes providing depth without overpowering sweetness. Fresh grapefruit and lime juices contribute a zesty acidity, balancing the cocktail and ensuring its refreshing quality.

Hemingway’s influence on the cocktail scene of Havana is undeniable, with his legacy continuing to inspire bartenders and cocktail aficionados around the globe. The drink’s popularity serves as a reminder of Hemingway’s enduring impact on the literary and culinary landscapes.

In preparing the Hemingway Daiquiri, precision is key. The balance between the tartness of the lime and grapefruit juices and the sweetness of the maraschino liqueur must be carefully managed to achieve the desired profile. The choice of gold or white rum is also crucial, as it should complement rather than overpower the other components. The result should be a cocktail that is light yet flavorful, capable of transporting the drinker to the sunny shores of Cuba with each sip.

The Hemingway Daiquiri’s place in cocktail history is secured not only by its famous namesake but also by its embodiment of a certain time and place. It reflects the vibrancy of Havana in the 1920s, a period of cultural flourishing and creativity. Furthermore, the cocktail’s evolution speaks to the broader trends in mixology, where historical figures and their preferences have often influenced the development of new drinks.

For those looking to explore the legacy of Ernest Hemingway through a culinary lens, the Hemingway Daiquiri offers a direct connection to the author’s life and times. It is a drink that invites contemplation, not just of its flavors but also of the era and the individual it represents. As such, it occupies a unique position in the pantheon of classic cocktails, offering a blend of literary history and mixological craftsmanship.

Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

  1. 60 ml white rum

  2. 15 ml maraschino liqueur

  3. 15 ml fresh grapefruit juice

  4. 22.5 ml fresh lime juice

  5. Ice

  6. Garnish: lime wheel

the hemingway daiquiri

How to Make a Hemingway Daiquiri

  1. Add the white rum, maraschino liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a Coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.