Daiquiris are underrated and completely misunderstood cocktails. Forget the idea of a super sweet, blended drink and try this uniquely flavored Hemingway Daiquiri.
Writer Ernest Hemingway famously loved rum, but not sugar. The story of how his namesake daiquiri came to be originates at El Floridita, the Havana bar where Hemingway saw the bartender pouring a batch of classic, blended daiquiris and declared them good but too sweet and in need of more rum.
We don’t know exactly why Hemingway left the sweetener out of his drinks. But we do know that he must have been watching his sugar intake since he requested his rum with lime and grapefruit, and skipped the sugar creating his namesake cocktail, the Hemingway Daiquiri, which is also known as a papa doble.
Without sugar, this is one TART drink. There are lots of Hemingway Daiquiri variations, and for mine I add sugar in the form of simple syrup like in a traditional daiquiri. I tried lots of recipes and worked on the various portions of ingredients in this classic cocktail for months before realizing that the only way I was ever going to like it was to add sugar. (Sorry not sorry, Ernest.)
Adding sugar in a cocktail is a lot like adding salt while cooking - it’s usually necessary. And just like salt, a little sugar goes a long way. In this drink, I wanted to balance out the tart grapefruit, splash of lime juice, and the Luxardo maraschino liqueur, which is pretty dry. The addition of simple syrup enhances the drink while keeping the original flavor profile intact.
What You Need
How to Make a Hemingway Daiquiri
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well for 10-15 seconds.
Strain into a Nick and Nora or small coupe glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
- Be sure to wait until your simple syrup is cold to use it in your cocktail or it’ll melt too much ice and create a watery drink. >Learn more about making Simple Syrup
- Serve your Hemingway Daiquiri in a chilled coupe glass or Nick and Nora glass. To chill your glass, fill it with ice and set it aside before you make your cocktail. Shake up your drinks, then dump out the ice in the glass and fill your chilled cocktail glass with daiquiri.
FAQs and Substitutions
This is a white or light rum drink. Use the clear rum here, not the amber colors. Bacardi white label rum is what's usually in my home bar.
This 5 ingredient drink will taste so much better if you use fresh fruit juice for 2 of its ingredients. Squeeze a lime and a grapefruit for this drink.
Make your own! Combine ½ cup of hot water with ½ cup of white sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then put the syrup in the refrigerator to cool. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks. (If it becomes cloudy, discard it immediately.)
Nothing. There’s no substitute for the Luxardo maraschino liqueur and it’s a key element in this drink. So if you leave it out, you’ll have a great daiquiri, but not a Hemingway Daiquiri. Luxardo is the only brand making this liqueur and with its distinctive taste, it’s not a spirit you’re likely to use a lot of. Buy a bottle of maraschino liqueur in the 375ml size to keep costs low.
Skip the large goblets common with the frozen version of daiquiris. Instead opt for a classic coupe glass. If you don't have one, use a martini glass. This drink is served "up" - meaning without ice - so choose a stemmed glass that's meant to hold a chilled cocktail but not ice.