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Classic Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Apr 16, 2020 • 1 min read

Writer Ernest Hemingway was a well-documented drinker, and when he drank at his favorite bar in Havana, Cuba—El Floridita—he drank Daiquiris. The Hemingway Daiquiri (also called the Hemingway Special or Hemingway Cocktail), is a dry, bracing drink that is now considered a canonical cocktail.



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The History of the Hemingway Daiquiri

According to legend, Hemingway walked into El Floridita one night; it was here he tried a Daiquiri the bartender had prepared and offered the inventive feedback of cutting the sugar and doubling the rum. That recipe—with a whopping four ounces of rum and no sugar—became known as the Papa Doble (“Papa” being Hemingway’s Cuban nickname).

To cater to a wider variety of tastes, El Floridita lightened up on the rum and added maraschino liqueur for a hint of sweetness. This cocktail came to be known as the Hemingway Special, or Hemingway Daiquiri. While not quite as intense as the Papa Doble, it’s still a tart, boozy drink that’s now officially recognized by the International Bartenders Association. When you prepare a Hemingway Daiquiri, you may find that it’s just too tart for your tastes. If so, you’re not alone—many mixologists add a quarter ounce of simple syrup to the recipe to help it go down just a little smoother.

Classic Daiquiri vs. Hemingway Daiquiri

Classic daiquiris are the base recipe for all other daiquiris, and they call for just three ingredients—rum, lime juice, and simple syrup—to give a perfect balance of sweet and sour. The Hemingway Daiquiri calls for a combination of citrus—fresh lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice—and honors Hemingway’s traditional disdain for sugary drinks by opting for maraschino liqueur as the sweetener instead.

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Classic Hemingway Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

1 cocktail
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min


  • 2 ounces white rum
  • ½ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • ½ ounce grapefruit juice (preferably fresh)
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: Lime wedge or lime wheel, for garnish
  1. Pour rum, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, and grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (or chilled coupe glass). Garnish with lime wedge, if desired. Serve cold.

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