Drink Your Next Daiquiri Cocktail Like Ernest Hemingway With A Few Simple Tweaks

You might take your cocktail advice from a professional bartender, but it might be better to get your knowledge from a professional drinker like Ernest Hemingway. There is no shortage of big drinkers in the literary world, yet even among that illustrious crowd, Hemingway's name is probably most closely associated with alcohol. He's famous for frequenting bars from Cuba to Idaho, downing ultra-dry martinis and copious amounts of Champagne alongside drinking buddies like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. He even had the bar at the Ritz in Paris named in his honor. It's not a lifestyle we'd recommend, but you can't deny the man's expertise. And there is no drink more associated with Hemingway than the daiquiri, that classic blend of rum, lime, and sugar that he downed during long trips to Havana. In fact, he even has his own daiquiri variation named after him.

Hemingway took his daiquiris sans sugar due to a rare inherited disease that made him susceptible to diabetes. This started as just a double order of rum and lime, but eventually, a new bartender named Antonio Meilan created a variation that played to his palate. Meilan kept the white rum, cut back a bit on the lime juice, and added grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur, a dry, slightly bitter alcohol with the flavor of Marasca cherries. If you order one today it will often include simple syrup as well to balance out the taste for people with a less harsh palate than Hemingway.

The Hemingway daiquiri includes grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur

The bar where Hemingway would drink daiquiris, El Floridita, christened the cocktail a "Hemingway Special," or "Papa Doble," because it was twice the size of a normal drink, but it has come to be known more clearly as just the Hemingway Daiquiri. The extra ingredients make it a more complex and sour cocktail than the classic daiquiri, with a lot of that coming from the Maraschino liqueur. Originating in Croatia and made from local sour cherries, Maraschino liqueur doesn't have any of the cloying sweetness normally associated with Maraschino cherries. It is still lightly sweet and tastes of cherries, but the production process includes the cherry pits, which makes it nutty and bitter as well. It's a very strong flavor best used lightly in cocktails, but it delivers an incredible variety of tasting notes to the clean citrus taste of the daiquiri.

The original El Floridita recipe for a Hemingway Daiquiri is suitably strong, using twice as much rum as juice and liqueur. The more common modern variation starts with two ounces of white rum in a cocktail shaker, then adds ¾ an ounce of lime juice, and half an ounce each of grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur. You can also add an optional quarter ounce of simple syrup. Shake with ice and strain into a glass. It's a deliciously refreshing cocktail, so just try not to drink as many as the man himself would.