Hemingway Daiquiri

March 26th, 2012 by Jean Tomaro

In the 1930’s, before the end of prohibition, Ernest Hemingway split his time between Key West, Wyoming and Cuba.  He was married to his second wife, Pauline and the couple was constantly travelling, even taking a trip to Africa for a safari.

Having just finished his book, ‘A Farewell to Arms’, Hemingway had time and cash to spare.  Most of his days in Cuba were spent drinking and fishing; rumors place him at his favorite bar, El Floridita (sometimes called Bar Florida), by 10 am to read the morning paper.  Hemingway preferred to have his drinks made by only one bartender, Constantino Ribalaigua.

Constantino Ribalaigua was the owner of El Floridita, most famous for its daiquiris.  This is where the first ‘blended daiquiris’ appeared- not using an actual blender, but merely passing an ice filled drink back and forth between two shakers.  In 1934, “Bar La Florida Bar Cocktails” was published, listing all of the daiquiris by number. Number 3 is a daiquiri made with grapefruit juice.  This tart, dry version of the daiquiri also had luxardo maraschino.  Hemingway loved it and the drink took on his name.  Often ordered with double the rum and a drizzle of luxardo maraschino on top, the “Papa Doble” became a popular drink as well.

Ernest Hemingway had 4 wives, 3 sons and 1 Noble Prize.  His novels are an invaluable fixture of American Literature and his unique writing style became an important aspect of the ‘Lost Generation’ of writers and artists.  The Hemingway Daiquiri may not be the most significant of his legacies, but this drink impacts our bars, and thusly our culture, on a daily basis.  Bright and crisp, refreshing and strong, this cocktail is just as perfect for a Chicago evening as it is for a Cuban morning.


1.5 oz Flor de Cana 4 yr White Rum

.75 oz Lime Juice

.75 oz simple syrup

.75 oz Grapefruit Juice

.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino

Shake ingredients in an ice filled shaker for 20 seconds.

Double strain into chilled Coupe

Glass:  Coupe and Sidecar

Garnish:  Grapefruit peel (discarded), Cherry

Tags:  Food Culture 
Subscribe to Jean's feed: RSS