The Hemingway Daiquiri

labeled cocktail

I majored in English in college. As an English major I read my fair share of classics from Fitzgerald to Bronte to Hemingway. While Fitzgerald was (and still is) my favorite writer from the early 20th century, I’ve always appreciated the writings and stories from Ernest Hemingway. He wrote about expatriates, love and men making the best of bad situations. While he’s best known for his novels, Hemingway is also known for his drinking habits. He could supposedly put it away with the best of them.

Hemingway’s favorite liquor of choice was rum, probably stemming from the years he spent living in Cuba. He enjoyed many a rum based cocktail, but his favorite was the daiquiri. Unlike the classic though, Hemingway preferred his drink without sugar. Unfortunately that version of the daiquiri was, and probably still is, waaaaay too tart for most people. So over the years, Hemingway’s daiquiri has evolved into the version we all now know and love. Along with the lime juice and rum, maraschino and grapefruit juice were added, making for a delicious drink that has quite a bit of depth and is definitely worthy of the author’s name.

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What I love about this drink is the amount of fresh citrus juice in it. Unlike most sours out there which usually rely on one citrus, this drink uses two: grapefruit and lime. Now, depending on which type of grapefruit you use you could either get a more sour cocktail or a sweeter one. I prefer the sweet. But something tells me our famous author liked his on the sour side. As a matter of fact, Hemingway liked the daiquiri so much, he’d usually down five or six before the evening was over.

So, if this drink was good enough for one of the most famous men of the 20th century, there’s no reason it won’t be perfect for that very important man in your life. That man who taught you how to ride a bike, keep score at a baseball game and played catch with you in the backyard. (Ok… so that was my father, but you get the idea.) Besides, if he’s going to be manning the grill on his special day, the least you can do is give him a drink to enjoy while he’s standing over those hot coals; and if he’s a rum fan, believe me, he’ll thank you.

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The Hemingway Daiquiri


  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 3/4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass, add a grapefruit twist and serve.