Classic Cocktail Recipe: The Hemingway Daiquiri

The 9-Bottle Bar

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It was at El Floridita that Ernest Hemingway conducted his love affair with the daiquiri. During his many stints in Cuba, where he escaped to and from his home in Key West, Florida, the writer was known to post up in a favorite corner of this Havana watering hole and quaff glass after glass of barman Constantino Ribalaigua Vert's simple, sublime concoctions of rum, lime, sugar, and ice.

Over those long spells at El Floridita, Hemingway also partook in the bar's several variations on the classic daiquiri, and this dry, funky interpretation emerged as one of his most-loved. On the premises, it became known as the Hemingway Special, and beyond the walls of El Floridita, the Hemingway Daiquiri.

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This combination of light rum, lime and grapefruit juices, and maraschino liqueur makes for a bracing, complex cocktail that — unlike daiquiris that suffer from excess, cloying sweetness — finishes nice and dry. (Note, there is no added sugar in the recipe.)

It's no wonder Hemingway could go through so many of these in a sitting.

The Hemingway Daiquiri

Serves 1

2 ounces light rum, such as Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Combine all the ingredients in a Boston shaker or cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

(Image credits: Roger Kamholz)

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