How The Hemingway Daquiri Got Its Name

Hemingway Daquiri

The Hemingway Daquiri is a sensational and sweet rum cocktail that has a rich and storied history. It’s a popular drink for rum connoisseurs who prefer the classics in both drink and literature. The beverage has an ambiance with psychological value, thanks to its namesake, Ernest Hemingway. Wine Mag discussed the culture of the home base of the Hemingway Daquiri, suggesting that visitors to Havana become more intimately acquainted with the culture by drinking in the richness of the manufactures of its bars, in more eloquent terms. If you’re not familiar with the drink, but you’re fond of rum, it’s one to become acquainted with. While you’re at it, the story of how it got its name is worth hearing to make the consumption of the beverage more appealing.

What is the Hemingway Daquiri?

Before we get into the story about how the Hemingway Daquiri got its name, let’s look at the ingredients that go into its preparation. The recipe is simple. Squeeze 1/2 ounce of fresh juice from a ruby red grapefruit. Squeeze 1/4 ounce juice from a fresh lime half, and save the wedges for garnish. You’ll also need 1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur, two ounces of white rum, and shaved or cubed ice in a shaker Combine all the ingredients, pouring over the ice in the cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled and mixed. Pour the mixture into a coupe glass and strain it twice to remove the pulp of the lime and grapefruit. Place a lime wedge on the edge of the glass as garnish and serve. The Hemingway cocktail is not difficult to mix, but it does pack a punch of citrus tang. It’s tempered with the sweetness of the Maraschino liqueur. Ernest Hemingway is remembered for his disdain for sweet cocktails, but also for his frequent request to double the alcohol in his beverages.

The history of the Hemingway Daquiri

NPR explains that bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert was known as Cuba’s Cocktail King. He practiced mixology at the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba. He bought the bar at the young age of 30 after working there and saving his money to make the purchase. He spent the next thirty years serving some of the most famous personalities in the world. Among them were film stars Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Ava Gardner, and writers Basil Woon and Ernest Hemingway. Constantino mixed drinks for them all. He became known for his unique recipes and the bar became one of the most famous in Havana. Ribalaigua published a recipe book for cocktails in 1935. He was known for his Daquiris. He made one for Hemingway who sipped one and told him to make another with more rum and less sugar. The creation was the Hemingway Daquiri.

A classic cocktail for the quintessential drinker

The Hemingway Daquiri is an old cocktail that has been around for decades. It’s since become a classic and a favorite of rum lovers. It’s a special take on the classic daiquiri that made the El Floridita famous. The Hemingway Daquiri avoids the use of cane syrup substitution for the maraschino liqueur because of its muted sweetness. It’s made of Marasca cherries for a hint of sweetness. The lime and grapefruit juice are remarkably tart, dispelling the tasting notes of sweetness, which might have appealed more to Ernest Hemingway’s sensibilities and discriminating tastes in liquor. Did Ernest Hemingway drink a Hemingway Daquiri? From what we can gather, he took a sip of the cocktail and requested another with less sugar and more rum. The story doesn’t tell us if he drank the entire beverage or if he set it aside in favor of a less sweet drink. We know that he served as the inspiration for Ribalaigua’s recipe that outlived him for several decades. Constantino passed away in 1952, but his legacy lives on through the Hemingway Daquiri and the recipe book he left behind.

Tips for the best Hemingway Daquiri

You can make Hemingway Daquiris in your home bar with little effort. The recipe is simple, but the ingredients you use will make a difference in the quality and the outcome. Consider the tasting notes of the white rum before you settle on a specific brand or type. To honor the memory of Ernest Hemingway, a less sweet version with quality liquor, fresh grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice will enhance the quality more than canned or bottled juice. Choose a rum with complementary aromatic and tasting notes. Keep the sweetness to a minimum. Avoid using cane syrup and stick with a Maraschino liqueur to add the full flavor to the cherries as a contrast to the lime. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Final thoughts

The Hemingway Daquiri has a rich and storied background that goes back to the 1930s with a famous writer and one of the best mixologists in Havana, Cuba. Hemingway frequented the El Floridita bar and became well-acquainted with its talented bartender and mixologist Constantino Ribalaigua. Ribalaigua offered Hemingway one of his Daquiri creations. The author took a sip and instructed him on making it more palatable. He doubled the rum and cut down the sugar. Hemingway detested overly sweet drinks. It’s not known if he consumed the entire sampler cocktail, but the fact that it’s based on an interaction with Ernest gives the cocktail a special place in the history of mixology. If you’re fond of rum, cherries, and lime, this tart and tangy rum cocktail may be something to try. If you’re a Hemingway fan it’s a drink that will bring you a little closer to his world. It will introduce you to his preferences, and you can even double the shots of rum and drink a toast in his honor.

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