Recipe Review: Hemingway Daiquiri

Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

Not that you need a special reason to enjoy a delectably citrusy rum drink on a summer night, but this weekend you'll have one: Sunday, July 19th is National Daiquiri Day.

Already a big fan of the Classic Daiquiri, I decided to expand my repertoire this year by trying out its cousin, the Hemingway Daiquiri. An icy blend of white rum and fresh grapefruit and lime juices, sweetened with a splash of maraschino liqueur, this warm-weather cocktail sounded like a real treat...

Tracing its roots to the El Floradita bar in Havana, Cuba, the Hemingway Daiquiri was originally called the Papa Doble (or Papa's Double). It was created by the famous bartender, Constantino Ribailagua, in honor of the rum-loving writer, Ernest Hemingway, who'd been a regular there.

Apparently Hemingway had a thing against sugar in his drinks, so Ribailagua tweaked the Classic Daiquiri recipe for him by leaving out the simple syrup, and adding maraschino liqueur as a sweetener instead. He mixed fresh grapefruit juice with the lime to give the drink added dimension, and made the whole thing extra-refreshing by serving it as a frozen drink.

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I browsed around and found a lot of different modern variations. Some recipes called for sugar (in the form of simple syrup) and maraschino liqueur; others did not. Some were incredibly strong with 3 ounces of rum (it wasn't called the "Papa Doble" for nothing!); others required a more manageable 1 1/2 ounces. Some called for the cocktail to be made with ice in a blender, others for it to be shaken and then poured straight into a cocktail glass filled with shaved ice. But because I knew my tired old blender wasn't going to be up to the task of crushing ice cubes, I was glad to find a straight-up shaken version from cocktail legend, Dale Degroff. His recipe called for simple syrup to be added to the mix, but I found (for my tastes, anyway) the cocktail really didn't need it. I tried mixing the drink using the slightly sweet juice of a ruby red grapefruit, and found the results beautifully balanced and complex:

Hemingway Daiquiri (aka Papa Doble) (adapted from Dale Degroff's The Craft of the Cocktail)
makes one drink

1 1/2 ounces white rum (I used Rhum Clement, a white rhum agricole)
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (I used ruby grapefruit, a sweetish variety)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
(3/4 ounce simple syrup - l left this out)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

New York Area Readers: Next Friday, July 24th, from 6:30-8:30pm, I'll be presenting a workshop at the Astor Center called Classic Cocktails, Classic Film. It promises to be a fun night - hope to see some of you there! -Nora

Related: Will You Help Save the Daiquiri?

(Image: Nora Maynard)

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