Hemingway Daiquiri

The Hemingway Daiquiri is a little tart and sweet, and (yes!) sophisticated. Named after ol' Ernest, it's made with white rum, lime and grapefruit juices, and maraschino liqueur.

What is a Hemingway Daiquiri? closeup of pink cocktail on gold tray
Nancy Mitchell

When you think of a daiquiri, you probably think of a drink that's very sweet, fruit-flavored, and possibly coming out of a slushee machine. Tasty, maybe, but not very grown-up.

Enter the Hemingway Daiquiri. It's light, perfectly balanced, sweet without being cloying, and, dare I say it, sophisticated.

This is a drink that will make you think of the daiquiri in an entirely new way.

The History of the Hemingway Daiquiri

In some ways a Hemingway Daiquiri is similar to the more commonly known New Orleans-style slushee version: It contains rum, lime, sweetener, and it's a pretty color.

But the Hemingway Daiquiri has its own unique history. It's named for the drink Ernest Hemingway used to enjoy at Havana's famous La Floridita cocktail bar. Thanks to Hemingway's friend A. E. Hotchner, who covered it in his memoir Papa Hemingway, the original recipe went something like this:

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.

This drink, which at the time was known as a Papa Doble, was served to tourists who wanted to follow in the boozy footsteps of Papa Hemingway. (Hemingway claimed to have once had 16 of them in one sitting.)

La Floridita Daiquiri - two cocktails with orange garnish
Nancy Mitchell

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.

How to Make It Frozen

If you just have to have a frozen daiquiri (perhaps poolside on a hot day?), you'll be glad to know this recipe makes a very nice frozen drink.

To make a pitcher (8 servings) of the frozen version, turn the ounce measurements into cups (2 cups white rum instead of 2 ounces, 3/4 cup lime juice instead of 3/4 ounces, etc.), then add all the ingredients to a blender instead of a cocktail shaker.

Add ice a handful at a time, and run the blender until you achieve the desired consistency.

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Hemingway Daiquiri

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Serving 1 serving


  • 2 ounces white rum

  • 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (go for a sweeter variety, like Ruby Red)

  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

  • Ice

  • Lime or grapefruit peel, optional


  1. Combine all ingredients:

    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, and then add ice.

  2. Shake and strain:

    Shake for at least 30 seconds, until the shaker is very cold, and then strain into a cocktail glass.

  3. Garnish:

    Garnish, if you like, with a lime wheel or a bit of grapefruit peel.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 58mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.