Mary Pickford Cocktail


Updated: 12/17/23

Mary Pickford Cocktail
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The 1920s were marked by Prohibition in the United States, a time when the production, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages were prohibited. Yet, the spirit of celebration persisted, finding refuge in hidden speakeasies and clandestine bars. It was in this clandestine atmosphere that the Mary Pickford cocktail came into existence.

Mary Pickford, known as “America’s Sweetheart” and one of the most beloved silent film actresses of her time, found herself in Cuba during the filming of a movie with her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and their close friend, Charlie Chaplin. The trio’s presence in Cuba added a touch of Hollywood glamour to the tropical surroundings. The Caribbean island, untouched by the constraints of Prohibition, became a haven for those seeking respite from the dry American soil.

The story of the Mary Pickford cocktail begins with bartender Fred Kaufman, at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, who took inspiration from the luminous presence of Mary Pickford herself. Legend has it that Kaufman crafted this cocktail as a tribute to the silent movie star and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks.

This story and recipe were first published in Basil Woon’s cocktail book “When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba” in 1928.

The foundation of the Mary Pickford cocktail is white rum, a spirit that was readily available in Cuba. The rum provides a smooth and slightly sweet base, setting the stage for the other ingredients.

Adding a burst of tropical fruitiness, pineapple juice lends a sweet and refreshing quality to the cocktail.

To infuse tart-sweetness and a hint of color, grenadine is incorporated into the mix. This syrup adds flavor and complexity to the cocktail, balancing the tartness of the pineapple juice and the warmth of the rum.

The final ingredient, maraschino liqueur, introduces a subtle nuttiness and a touch of sophistication to the Mary Pickford cocktail. This cherry-flavored liqueur rounds out the flavor profile, elevating the drink to a level of timeless elegance.

The combination of these ingredients, carefully measured and blended, results in a cocktail that captures the spirit of the 1920s, a time when creativity thrived, boundaries were pushed, and rebellion was celebrated.

Mary Pickford Cocktail Recipe

  1. 45 ml white rum

  2. 45 ml pineapple juice

  3. 7.5 ml maraschino liqueur

  4. 5 ml grenadine

  5. Ice

  6. Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherry

the mary pickford cocktail

How to Make the Mary Pickford Cocktail

  1. Add the white rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, and maraschino liqueur into a cocktail shaker.

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

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.

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