The Dark Hemingway Daiquiri

Back in high school, you probably knew Ernest Hemingway as some asshole whose major contribution to society was writing about an old guy and his obsession with a fish. Now that you’ve become a cocktail aficionado, you probably now know Ernest Hemingway as your spirit animal – and the legendary muse behind many delicious cocktails. He spent most of his non-writing time imbibing, and there’s even a book on his drinking habits.

One of the most iconic drinks associated with Hemingway is the Hemingway Daquiri, which is a far cry from your overly indulgent, more-sugar-than-alcohol strawberry daiquiris that you order at a bar because you are a sorority freshman with her newly minted fake ID. The Hemingway Daquiri origins lie in the 1930s and 1940s, when Hemingway lived in Cuba and frequented El Floridita bar – a bar situated near his hotel room.

His favorite order at the El Floridita was a double cocktail with double the rum and no sugar. The cocktail, which became the Hemingway Daiquiri, is powerful and boozy, consisting of: 3 3/4 oz of white rum, the juice of half a grapefruit, and two limes. Hemingway was known to drink five or six in an afternoon, usually over crushed ice. Like I said, spirit animal.

“I drink to make other people more interesting”

— Earnest Hemingway

The Hemingway Daiquiri version here is a bit of a twist from the usual. It uses a great dark rum and cuts the grapefruit and maraschino. What’s left is a dark, delicious twist on Havana Club, which on its own is a great sipping rum. If you can’t get your hands on Havana Club, try Diplomatico.

Cocktail in silver rimmed glass with lime garnish on top of cutting board


  • 2.25 oz Dark Rum (Havana Club 7 if you have it)
  • .75 oz Lime Juice
  • .75 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • .5 oz Simple Syrup
  • Lime Twist for Garnish


  • Cocktail Glass


  1. Add dark rum, juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Strain and pour into cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with lime twist.

The Original

Original Recipe | If you have a strong tolerance for sour and bitter flavors, you might like the original drink as Hemingway would drink it. It should be served with chipped ice in a cocktail glass.

3.75 oz light rum
Juice of two small limes
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit

Recipe Addendum

Make five or six of these, drink them, and then pen an epic. 

One thought on “The Dark Hemingway Daiquiri

  • 2019-09-10 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Sylvia–thanks for this engaging and informative article! Just a quick note: using the term “spirit animal” in this context is offensive to First Nation/Indigenous people. We all have work to do in making sure we’re not using culturally insensitive terms–it’s a continuous process.

    Thanks again for the article–I will definitely try the recipe.


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