Classic Recipe No. 132 —

Hemingway Daiquiri

Daiquiri Cocktail

“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.

Spring Drinks

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 grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

13 Notes on Hemingway Daiquiri

  1. Thanks for sharing all of these great recipes — very happy to have found your splendid version of one of my favourite drinks. Looking forward to reading more and trying others!

  2. I think your Cocktail blog is great! I will be trying some of your recipes very soon. It is almost Happy Hour here! I also appreciate your use of vintage glasses for serving the the straight up cocktails as no other glasses could really measure up to such fine cocktails. I have the a few of the same ones (Styles) that you do! I collect them.

  3. RASH says

    for the perfect Hemmingway Daiquiri, use Luxardo — a delightful Italian liquor made from smoked maraschino cherry pits, vanilla and various other herbs

    • One of the mostly used Marschino liqueurs of the time was Croatian brand Maraska, from the city of Zadar where Maraschino originated ! :)

  4. This is my favorite drink but recently I had one in Little Italy, Cleveland at the Washington Place Bistro & Inn which had the addition of Falernum in it. Wish I had the recipe!! It was fabulous!! If anyone here gets ahold of that recipe, please let me know.…Thanks

  5. hey, finally found a recipe without blending ice (i can’t, i drink at night and i don’t wanna wake up people)
    i made 1 little adjustment — i put 1 and 1/2 of grapefruit juice, as it seemed too “rumy” and strong to me.
    thank you! :)

  6. Thank you! I had one of these cocktails at my favorite bar in Key West. I’ve tried 4 other recipes, but the ratios were never right. This recipe is it! Drinking one now. Cheers!

  7. Hemingway Special — is my favorite daiquri drink! One reason — usage of grapefruit juice. It always works well in cocktails. The second — cuban rum. I use Havana Club, Santiago De Cuba, Legendario etc, just because in Russia is hard to find any others!

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