Hemingway Daiquiri recipe honors a historic boozist… sort of

Hemingway Daiquiri National Daiquiri Day wouldn’t be complete without touching on old Ernest and the Hemingway Daiquiri. Plenty has been written about his penchant for drinking… much of it by his own hand. His most lasting mark on the drinking world might be the Hemingway Daiquiri though, and therein lies the problem.

Many historians have tackled this tale, and the general consensus is that Hemingway would never drink a Hemingway Daiquiri. For one thing, it wasn’t strong enough. For a man who prided himself on maximum effort, two measly ounces (or less according to some recipes) of rum would never have gotten the job done.

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The 2nd, and more medically sound reason, is that the man was a diabetic and avoided sugar. Most of the current iterations of the Hemingway Daiquiri involve simple syrup, and that just wouldn’t do. It’s a fair alteration though because, as Mary Pop Pop taught us, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

So what’s the real story? In short, Hemingway rolled into El Floridita, ordered their house daiquiri, then commented that it would be better with twice the rum and no sugar. Being an intelligent man, the bartender immediately whipped that up for the boozist and author. That’s where it all started to go wrong. Go home and mix four ounces of rum with 3/4 ounce of lime and you’ll see exactly why no reasonable recipe actually stays true to the original “Hemingway Daiquiri.” It’s GDMF’ing terrible.

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The recipe has been tweaked and twisted and is hardly recognizable as that initial cocktail request, but the current Hemingway Daiquiri is, however, a damn good drink. And if you omit the optional simple syrup you’re at least halfway to the Hemingway spirit. At the end of the day though, we don’t drink to be like dead guys. We drink to enjoy our cocktails.

Hemingway Daiquiri aka Papa Double aka Daiquiri #3 aka El Floridita #4 aka Hemingway Special

  • 2 oz Brugal blanco rum
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1tsp simple syrup (very optional)
  • lime wheel for garnish

Add all ingredients to shaker, fill with ice, and shake it like someone who’s had to many original Papa Doubles. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime. Write the great American novel.

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Hemingway Daiquiri

Colin Joliat
About Colin Joliat 347 Articles
Colin Joliat is the brains behind this rinky-dink operation. He covers the alcohol industry with two parts information, one part comedy, and one part WTF is wrong with this guy. He's written for Brobible, Guyism, Thrillist, CoolMaterial, Craft, and more.