Hemingway’s namesake drink has a fittingly storied past
Sometimes great things come from unlikely places…. Legend has it that Earnest Hemingway wandered into El Floridita bar in Havana in 1921 to use the bathroom just as bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert was setting up a round of daiquiris. Not one to pass up a drink, Hemingway gave it a try. He declared that it was good but a bit too sweet for his taste, so he asked Vert to make one with less sugar and double the rum and the “Daquiri Like Papa”, later known as the Papa Doble (double the rum!) was born.
Hemingway had inherited a rare condition from his father called haemochromatosis which can lead to diabetes and so he was always careful to watch his sugar. The original Hemingway special was basically rum shaken with a splash of lime juice and not for the faint of heart. Antonio Meilan, who later became Head Bartender at El Floridita, added the grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur and changed the name to the Hemingway Special Daquiri. The later addition of a bit of simple syrup sweetened it a bit more for modern tastes.
In addition to appreciating a good drink, Hemingway loved to spend time in bars for the chance to chat with local people, finding it one of the best ways to learn about the local culture. In 1935 Hemingway arrived in Bimini aboard his beloved boat The Pilar where he further developed his prowess as a prodigious big-game fisherman and helped to establish the island’s reputation as a sportfishing mecca with his spectacular catches. As we eye Crystal’s return to the sea this summer in The Bahamas, we raise a glass to this writer, explorer and big-game legend… and to adventures yet to come.
3½ fl oz Gold Rum
1 fl oz Grapefruit juice (pink)
¾ fl oz Maraschino liqueur
1 fl oz Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
½ fl oz Sugar syrup (rich) 2 sugar to 1 water
Directions: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Maraschino cherry and/or lime wedge or wheel
Serve: in a Martini (large 10oz) glass or large Daiquiri glass