The Hemingway Daiquiri

Ernest Hemingway is one of my father’s favorite authors. I grew up surrounded by The Old Man And The Sea, The Sun Also Rises and For Whom The Bell Tolls (about that last one – don’t ask).

My favorite Hemingway piece has always been The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. Or maybe A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. I tend to like Hemingway’s brevity in brief and consider his short stories superior to his longer works.

Perhaps it’s a bit odd that, while my peers were all falling in love with Nirvana, I was coming to enjoy Hemingway. He is a man’s-man literary figure, after all. Hemingway loved drinking, big game hunting, outdoorsy and war-related personal angst, drinking, terse language and bars. Oh, and drinking. Did I mention the drinking?

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is an actual drink named after Ernest Hemingway. It’s the Hemingway Daiquiri and, according to legend, was invented in Cuba at Hemingway’s behest while he lived in Havana in the 1930s.

Hemingway Daiquiri

The Hemingway Daiquiri is a fine quaff distinguished from a traditional Daiquiri by the addition of grapefruit juice and an overall reduction in sweetness. Hemingway himself was not a man overly fond of the sweet, it seems, and his namesake drink reflects this.

I approve of drinks that balance sweet, tart and boozey without leaning on the cheap staff of sugar too hard, and the Hemingway Daiquiri is a good example of drink that deserves to be a classic.

In my variation, I use homemade cherry preserves instead of the typical maraschino liqueur and go with the naturally sweeter Ruby Red type grapefruit.

Hemingway Daiquiri


  • 1 tbsp. cherry preserves
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz. white rum


If desired, run a wedge of lime around the rim of a cocktail glass or a Marie Antoinette champagne glass. Dip rim into sugar and set aside.

Shake all ingredients together hard with ice. Strain into prepared glass.

Garnish cocktail with a grapefruit twist and a few preserved cherries.

Hemingway Daiquiri

Happy weekend, friends!


  1. Claudia says

    I’d love to try this but don’t have any of the “correct” glasses (we only have a few Goodwill generic wine glasses). Where would you suggest I go to get some cute little ones like yours. Thanks.

  2. Jill Looney says

    To be TOTALLY of topic…
    What is the font you used to write “The Hemingway Daiquiri” in the top photo? I love it!
    Looks a lot like my handwriting and would love to get a hold of that!

    Thanks for your post.
    Happy Spring,
    Jill Looney
    Medford, OR

  3. Cate says

    I was falling in love with Nirvana AND Hemingway. The Snows of Kilimanjaro was my personal fav. and I had a dream years later featuring my Dad that was based on it, so deep were the impressions it left. I love his writing and Alistair MacLean’s too- similar masculinity though different styles. The very best cocktail I ever had was a ‘masculine’ one too, with my current partner years ago in a darkly lit Melbourne bar (Australia). (He had beer.) It tasted like a dark night on the docks of a foggy port, with old gas street lamps peering through gloom. It even sounded like the groans and creaks of sea vessels as the ice cubes separated. Dark, exciting, quiet, conducive to funny philosphical thoughts… But it was served in a solid crystal tumbler not a cocktail glass. Wish I could remember the name. I might try this out when I’ve finished with the breast feeding.

  4. Janet says

    This was delish. I didn’t have either cherry ingredient you mentioned so I soaked a few dried montmorency cherries and home dried cherry plums in the rum overnight and used that. I did cheat by adding a tiny bit of sugar. Very refreshing, and I’m always looking for recipes to use our little Mexican limes in. Thank you, and happy weekend! Oh, and if I hadn’t signed up for the April-pantry challenge I’d be buying more grapefruit to make this again!

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