“I drink to make other people more interesting.” –Ernest Hemingway
A high school graduate, Hemingway furthered his education by his world travels, Key West to Kilimanjaro, Venice to Paris. For a real taste of local life, he said, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.” The man is legendary for his unfettered appreciation of a good drink. He frequently would weave cocktails into the vivid descriptions of his books. Philip Greene, cocktail and Hemingway scholar, noted:
In The Sun Also Rises, Jake Barnes has a Jack Rose while waiting in vain for Brett. In A Farewell to Arms, Frederic Henry has a couple of “cool and clean” Martinis; they made him “feel civilized.” And in For Whom the Bell Tolls, it is the ritual of dripped absinthe that gives Robert Jordan’s temporary solace from the rigors of war: “One cup of it took the place of the evening papers, of all the old evenings in cafés, of all chestnut trees that would be in bloom now in this month.… of all the things he had enjoyed and forgotten and that came back to him when he tasted that opaque, bitter, tongue-numbing, brain-warming, stomach-warming, idea-changing liquid alchemy.”
In a word, this is my kind of writer.
In the moments he took a break from writing, Hemingway whiled away much of the 30s and 40s sitting at the bar of the famous Cuban haunt El Floridita, where they fixed his preferred drink, El Papa Doble, one after another. The Doble is a large drink, and Hemingway was quick to brag that he could put back quite a few. And by a few.. I mean many. Hemingway is famously known to have consumed six of his namesake Daiquiris on the average afternoon, but as many as twelve Papa Dobles in one sitting when he was really looking to let loose. A Papa Doble was compounded of two and a half jiggers [or 3 3/4 ounces] of Bacardi White Label Rum, the juice of two limes and half a grapefruit, and six drops of maraschino, all placed in an electric mixer over shaved ice, whirled vigorously and served foaming in large goblets. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”
The Hemingway Daiquiri is made with less rum than the Doble above, and though both were served to Hemingway as frosty, crushed or shaved ice concoctions, my version is the more modern take, served up.
- 2 oz white rum (Havana Club if you got it)
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
- Garnish with a grapefruit twist
Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.