Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hemmingway, Daiquiris and Me

It’s summertime, and the living isn’t always so easy.  There are weddings, graduations, picnics, family reunions, and holidays.  To best negotiate these treacherous waters, one often needs an adult beverage or two.  Ernest Hemmingway may have had this is mind when he said “I drink to make other people more interesting.  [There are some who attribute the quote to George Jean Nathan, but there is no doubt Hemmingway said “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”]  While I never sanction drunkenness, public or otherwise, and advocate moderation in all things culinary and alcoholic, a sophisticated cocktail or two is not such a bad thing to help one get through a summertime ordeal.

Papa Hemmingway knew a thing or two about cocktails and a lot about surviving the summer heat.  So when I read about one of his go-to drinks from La Florida Bar in Havana, Cuba, the temptation was irresistible.  While there seems to be some confusion about the origins of the “Hemmingway Daiquiri,” this much is agreed.  It originated at La Florida Bar in the 1930s; it is not the same as a “Papa Doble,” the name given to Hemmingway’s version of La Florida’s standard daiquiri that resulted from his tasting the standard and saying he did not like sugar and it needed more rum; and the version below evolved over several years, as is evident from comparing the 1935 and 1939 editions of the La Florida Cocktail Book. 

Hemmingway’s affection for this cocktail makes sense.  It is adventuresome, bold, straightforward, refreshing, and easy to quaff.  And while not for the faint of heart, it is just perfect for the long, hot days of summer we have here in the Coachella Valley.  So make a Hemmingway Daiquiri, grab a copy of A Moveable Feast or The Sun Also Rises, and enjoy a summer’s afternoon in the pool or under an umbrella.  As Hemmingway so aptly said:  “Drinking is a way of ending the day.”

Hemmingway Daiquiri - from Vintage Cocktails by Assouline

Serves 1

1 oz. white rum
1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur (not Maraschino cherries - I prefer the Maraschino Liqueur by Luxardo)
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Place all ingredients in cocktail shaker.  Shake all ingredients and strain into a small cocktail glass.


  1. I love those Hemingway quotes! So clever. And although I'm not the biggest fan of all his books, I do like his short stories. It would be a great time to sit down and reread them.

  2. Sounds like a great drink to me!

  3. Love Hemingway and that drink looks pretty special. I just came back from a getaway in your neck of the woods. It was hot as hell, but I had a good time and it was relaxing.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful drink to enjoy during these hot summer days! Nice Post!


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