Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

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Like the Hurricane listed here, an authentic daiquiri has very little to do with the artificially flavored, frozen splooge version made ubiquitous by chain bars over the last 30 or 40 years. This was among Hemingway’s drinks of choice, and can easily be updated by using a flavored rum such as Whistling Andy Hibiscus-Coconut Rum or Bacardi Limon.

Read more about Classic New Orleans Cocktails for Mardi Gras.


  • 3 Ounces light rum
  • ¾ Ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ Ounce simple syrup
  • Lime wedge for garnish


In a shaker, combine all ingredients and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with the lime wedge.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving239

Folate equivalent (total)2µg1%

Menus & Tags

This was a big hit with every one at my cocktail party. You will not be able to make them fast enough!! Make a big batch because everyone wants more.

Please see my review of ⟊ribbean Castaway Punch'.

Please see my review for ⟊ribbean Castaway Punch'.

I can't believe this is still on the top 30 list. There has been only 3-maybe 4 legimate hits. The others were asking about how many ounces of lime juice was needed. I have lost total faith in "the system". In this age we are in, can't this be corrected?

I am not sure what simple syrup means.Please someone tell me.

Mmm. Now THIS is a daiquiri.

Fixed. Yes, it was 3/4 ounce. Sorry!

As all other ingredients are given in oumces, I would surmise that the lime juice would be 3/4 of an ounce.

Perhaps the juice from 3/4 of a lime

Thanks, marciapayne. That's something like 4-1/2 teaspoons. I'll try it now! Appreciate your response so much. Will REALLY rate when I've tried the drink. (I'm a big Hemingway fan.)

To clarify the lime juice issue, I googled and came up with 3/4 oz. for the amount. I have not, however, yet tried the drink. Happy drinking!

3/4 WHAT of lime juice? Somebody? Cup? Ounce? Please help -- soon! I'm going to the beach and want to make these. I don't want to have to experiment YET. Thanks!

Not rating this recipe yet -- just wondering: for the lime juice, 3/4 WHAT? Cup? Ounce? I want to make this (I've had a Hemingway daiquiri made by someone else and loved it, so want to make it for myself -- I'm a huge Hemingway fan.)

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Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

Ernest Hemingway’s favorite tipple made lighter. It’s a delightful rum, grapefruit and lime concoction you can make in two shakes. Conjures up images of fun and festive Key West evenings and has 21% fewer calories* and 67% less sugar* than the full-sugar version. Makes 1 serving.

Approximately 2 ⁄ 3 cup (5.5 fl. oz.)


1 ⁄ 4 oz. maraschino liqueur


In a cocktail shaker add all the ingredients together and fill halfway with ice.

Double strain into cocktail glass and garnish.


*This cocktail has 130 calories and 4 grams of sugar per serving compared to 165 calories and 12 grams of sugar per serving in the full-sugar version.

*This cocktail has 130 calories and 4 grams of sugar per serving compared to 165 calories and 12 grams of sugar per serving in the full-sugar version.

Hemingway Daiquiri

A high school graduate, Hemingway furthered his education by his world travels, Key West to Kilimanjaro, Venice to Paris. For a real taste of local life, he said, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.” The man is legendary for his unfettered appreciation of a good drink. He frequently would weave cocktails into the vivid descriptions of his books. Philip Greene, cocktail and Hemingway scholar, noted:

In The Sun Also Rises, Jake Barnes has a Jack Rose while waiting in vain for Brett. In A Farewell to Arms, Frederic Henry has a couple of “cool and clean” Martinis they made him “feel civilized.” And in For Whom the Bell Tolls, it is the ritual of dripped absinthe that gives Robert Jordan’s temporary solace from the rigors of war: “One cup of it took the place of the evening papers, of all the old evenings in cafés, of all chestnut trees that would be in bloom now in this month.… of all the things he had enjoyed and forgotten and that came back to him when he tasted that opaque, bitter, tongue-numbing, brain-warming, stomach-warming, idea-changing liquid alchemy.”

In a word, this is my kind of writer.

In the moments he took a break from writing, Hemingway whiled away much of the 30s and 40s sitting at the bar of the famous Cuban haunt El Floridita, where they fixed his preferred drink, El Papa Doble, one after another. The Doble is a large drink, and Hemingway was quick to brag that he could put back quite a few. And by a few.. I mean many. Hemingway is famously known to have consumed six of his namesake Daiquiris on the average afternoon, but as many as twelve Papa Dobles in one sitting when he was really looking to let loose. A Papa Doble was compounded of two and a half jiggers [or 3 3/4 ounces] of Bacardi White Label Rum, the juice of two limes and half a grapefruit, and six drops of maraschino, all placed in an electric mixer over shaved ice, whirled vigorously and served foaming in large goblets. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”

The Hemingway Daiquiri is made with less rum than the Doble above, and though both were served to Hemingway as frosty, crushed or shaved ice concoctions, my version is the more modern take, served up.


  • 2 oz white rum (Havana Club if you got it)
  • 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

The Ingredients for a Modern Update

I tried the Papa Doble, and found it not at all bad, a little like a boozy limeade. But I think adding more maraschino better suits a modern palate. Maraschino, a cherry-based liqueur you'll find in a lot of classic cocktails, has a cherry-almond flavor and can be found in the liqueur section of most larger liquor stores. The most common brand is Luxardo.

As far as the rum goes, a humble white rum does well here. White rum (sometimes called silver or light rum) has a sweet taste and is clear, like vodka. You can find both aged and unaged white rum. An aged white rum, like Brugal or Flor de Caña, works very well for this drink, but any light rum will do.

Hemingway Daiquiri

John Kernick © 2010

They say that the Hemingway Daiquiri was invented for Ernest Hemingway in the La Floradita bar in Cuba. Whether the stories are true or false, no person in history can match Ernest Hemingway as an Olympian cocktail connoisseur. But only this Daiquiri has the honor of bearing his name. He loved it so much that he always had a double serving, which earned the cocktail the moniker Papa Doble, or Double for Daddy.

Hemingway Daiquiri has several variations, the most common being the dry and sour version that Hemingway preferred, and the sweeter and lighter one. While evaluating this drink, I came up with a third variation that falls somewhere in the middle between the dry and the sweet one, and which I happen to like the most and prefer over the other two variations. But, it’s just a matter of personal preference, and all three variations are very good.


The color of this daiquiri is beautiful ivory / beige, which contrasts very nicely with the green color of lime. It looks very inviting and delicious.


Variation #1 – rum is very forward, you get hit with alcohol as soon as you taste it.

Variation #2 – medium strength, the alcohol doesn’t taste too strong and you don’t feel it much as you take a sip. You get nice warmth from the alcohol in the back of you mouth and throat once you swallow it.

Variation #3 – sweetness masks alcohol. Very easy to drink. Perhaps even too easy for my taste but I see many people enjoying it for this very reason.


Variation #1 – dry, like dry white wine. Prominent sour notes. Just a tiny hint of sweetness.

Variation #2 – light sweetness that feels perfect for my taste. The sweetness level is similar to what you will find in Jagermeister or Green Chartreuse.

Variation #3 – sweetness is on the higher end for this drink, similar to what you will taste in Grand-Marnier. If you like sweeter drinks this variation will be a great choice.

Recipe Category: Drinks - Alcoholic

Prep Time = 0:04 Cook Time = 0:00 Total Time = 0:04


  • 1.5 oz. (45ml) Mount Gay White Rum
  • 0.25 oz. (8ml) Maraschino Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. (15ml) Grapefruit Juice
  • 0.75 oz. (22ml) Fresh Lime Juice
  • Lime Wheel Garnish
  • Cherry Garnish


  • Assemble the first four ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass and shake well with ice.
  • Strain into a small cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry.

Nutrition Facts:

Additional nutrition information is currently not available.


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In Search of the Ultimate Hemingway Daiquiri

“It’s definitely a showcase for a bartender’s strengths,” said Jane Danger as she and a panel of judges sat down for a blind tasting of Hemingway Daiquiris. “It’s an interesting balancing game.”

The Top Three

St. John Frizell's Hemingway Daiquiri

Jelani Johnson's Hemingway Daiquiri

Erick Castro's Hemingway Daiquiri

That was a diplomatic way of saying things tend to go fast and loose with this drink. The cocktail has a world-famous name—two world-famous names, actually—and a renowned place of origin, El Floridita in Havana. But the recipe is, to a certain extent, up for grabs. We know there is rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur involved, but the proportions vary considerably. The choice of grapefruit (pink, Ruby Red or the once common, and now rare, white) and rum can further alter the cocktail. And simple syrup skips in and out of the drink like a house guest with odd hours.

In short, in contrast to many of the past cocktails that have been the subject of the Ultimate cocktail tastings at PUNCH, there’s no classic spec, making it tricky to pinpoint what exactly an “ultimate” Hemingway Daiquiri might be. Judge Paul McGee, of Chicago’s Lost Lake, looked for a brightness in the first sip. PUNCH editor Chloe Frechette sought to taste each component in the glass, while also seeking what she called “that tart kick” she expected from the drink. Danger, formerly of Mother of Pearl in New York’s East Village (and now the national mixologist for Pernod Ricard), wanted a balanced drink, noting that, with this particular array of ingredients, things can get “weird” pretty easily.

None of the 11 recipes, submitted by bartenders across the United States, adhered to the 1930s original, an unworkable mixture that called for a teaspoon each of grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, with no further sweetener. By the 1940s, the recipe evolved to include more grapefruit, but even less maraschino (six drops, according to Hemingway’s friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner). It was also blended and often served as a double, known as the Papa Doble. That might have been fine for the sugar-averse Hemingway, but strikes the modern palate as undrinkable. Most contemporary recipes for the Hemingway Daiquiri up the grapefruit and maraschino quotient and add some simple syrup to round out the drink. Thus, in a very real way, nearly every Hemingway Daiquiri served today is a marked variation of the original drink. Faithfulness is not the key to success here.

Despite all these fluctuations and intangibles, the drink, after spending decades languishing in the shadows, became a darling of the early years of the cocktail revival—partly because it was obscure and seemed in need of saving and because it contained maraschino liqueur, an ingredient then just recently rediscovered. Since then, its popularity has decreased, but the drink remains firmly in the repertoire of the modern cocktail bartender.

How a bartender chooses to make it is entirely up to them, as the submitted drinks illustrated. Rum choices varied. Quite a few contestants called for a blend of different bottlings, and more than one asked for rhum agricole. Some used rum brands that are themselves already blends of various rums, offering yet another spirit option. “With rum being more of a thing now, you have a lot of blends in a bottle,” noted McGee.

Most recipes called for a bit of simple syrup or cane syrup. One formula included bitters, while another outlier was served on the rocks—something none of the panelists had ever encountered.

All the judges wanted the rum to stand up for itself—Hemingway or not, the drink is a Daiquiri, after all. And, as has been the tendency in other recent tastings, the panel wanted the maraschino to be tamed and toned down. At least half of the competing cocktails were greeted with moans about “too much maraschino.” (Danger noted that, during her days at Little Branch, the maraschino was blended with simple syrup to cut down on the pronounced cherry-almond flavor.) And just as many were thought to be too sweet Hemingway would not have been happy.

The winning cocktail came, somewhat unexpectedly, from Fort Defiance in Brooklyn, not a bar known for the drink. Owner St. John Frizell used two ounces of Denizen Aged White Rum, three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice, a half-ounce of grapefruit juice, a quarter-ounce of Luxardo maraschino and three-eights of an ounce of 1:1 simple syrup. Perhaps a key to Frizell’s victory was his habit of including a small piece of grapefruit peel in the mixing tin when shaking, the so-called “regal shake.” The judges found the drink tart, bright and light-bodied, with just a hint of vanilla lurking in the background.

Second place went to a very different, but almost equally enjoyed specimen from Jelani Johnson of Clover Club in Brooklyn. The selection of Owney’s Original Rum, a local Brooklyn product which Johnson helps distill, led to a drink that was noticeably creamy, with a big vanilla note. The rest of the blend asked for three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice, a half-ounce grapefruit juice, half an ounce of rich cane syrup (2:1), and a quarter-ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur. The panelists noted that it was not quite what you’d expect when ordering a Hemingway Daiquiri, but they couldn’t deny its appeal.

Coming in third was Erick Castro of Polite Provisions in San Diego, whose recipe included a two-ounce shot of a rum blend comprising Caña Brava three-year-old and rhum agricole.

Otherwise, the measurements in Castro’s recipe nearly mirrored those of the other two winning drinks: three-quarters of an ounce lime juice, a half-ounce grapefruit juice, half an ounce of simple syrup and a quarter-ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur. This suggested that, while the formula for a classic Hemingway Daiquiri may be somewhat indeterminate, there is a by-now accepted sweet spot out there. Just not too sweet, please.

    1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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