Hemingway’s Daiquiri

I have a crush on Ernest Hemingway and his short, terse sentences.  The man was genius at squeezing big emotions out of little words.  I just finished re-reading Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream.  Alcohol is a common denominator in Hemingway prose, and Islands is no departure.  The book’s hero, Thomas Hudson, drinks a lot.  And hangs out with people who drink even more.

The daiquiri gets a lot of playing time in Islands, and it dawned on me that I’d never tried a Hemingway Daiquiri.  Time to fix that.


It really does look like sea froth.  Especially the color — just a tinge green.

Here’s what you need to make the Hemingway Daiquiri.  It’s a pretty short shopping list. The only potential challenge is the Luxardo Maraschino Originale . . . not always easy to track down.  (Luxardo Maraschino Originale is a maraschino cherry liqueur made in Italy by distilling marasca cherries).  By total stroke of luck, I found it at my Virginia ABC store.  And how bout that?  Chianti doesn’t have the monopoly on straw-covered bottles.

hemingway daiquiri
The Hemingway Daiquiri

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounces maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • 1 lime wheel, for garnish (optional)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the lime wheel and shake well.  Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the lime.

The same drink doubled (the way Hemingway preferred it) is a Papa Doble.


Hemingway also preferred his daiquiris frozen and whipped into a frenzy.  I didn’t feel like getting my blender out, so I drank mine on a rock (yes, one cube of ice).

OMG this is strong.

OMG this is good.

I was worried this would be too tart with the lime and grapefruit juices and no simple syrup.  But it’s perfect.  It’s tart and refreshing and not at all cloying.  This is going to be my summer cocktail obsession!

But this is definitely a one and done drink for me.  I’d love to have a drink with Hemingway, but there’s no way I could drink like Hemingway.  Hemingway boasted he once drank 16 Papa Dobles.  In one night.  That’s half a gallon of rum.  That’s daft — and potentially deadly.  If there’s truth to that boast, Hemingway was a BOSS!  (It horrifies my teenager when I use that word . . . so I try to weave it into conversation as much as possible).

Here’s to Hemingway . . . and his daiquiri!


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