In 1898, during the Spanish American War, American engineer Jennings Cox supervised a mining operation in a small town named Daiquiri on the southeastern coast of Cuba.  Each day after work his employees would gather at a local bar.  On one occasion Cox mixed a good white rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup, and named his invention after the mining town. Daiquiris became a Havana staple.

The drink gained popularity in the United States during the 1940s, when rationing during World War II made alcohol hard to come by.  Rum was an exception when President Roosevelt’s “good neighbor” policy opened trade with Latin America and the Caribbean and made rum easily obtainable.  It later became a favorite drink of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who apparently did not allow the Cuban Missile Crisis to dampen his enthusiasm.

There are two tricks to pulling off this cocktail: use good-quality white rum and freshly squeezed lime juice; shake the ingredients vigorously in the cocktail shaker so that everything is velvety smooth; and pre-chill the glass that you’re going to serve the drink in.

2 ounces light rum (preferably Bacardi)

1 ounce plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup


1.   In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine rum, lime juice and simple syrup.  Shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail glass.

from Epicurious.com

A HEMMINGWAY DAIQUIRI (aka a Papa Doble, a Hemmingway Special, or El Floridita #4, 1 drink)

The American novelist Ernest Hemmingway’s favorite watering hole during his frequent sojourns in Cuba was Havana’s El Floridita Bar, located near the hotel where he lived for much of the 1930s.  William Grimes, author of Straight Up or on the Rocks:  The Story of the American Cocktail, called the bar “a close contender with Harry’s New York Bar in Paris for the title of the most famous bar in the world.”  On one visit Hemmingway noticed the bartender setting up Daiquiris and took a sip.  Not bad, he said, but he preferred them with no sugar and double the rum.  The bartender made one as specified, then named the drink after him.  Hemmingway earned the Bar’s record for consumption by downing 16 Papa Dobles in a single sitting.

Over time the Hemingway Daiquiri evolved to include Bacardi white rum, freshly squeezed lime and grapefruit juices, and six drops of maraschino liqueur, a lightly sweetened, clear liqueur intended to temper the acidity of the citrus.  The drink is blended with ice and served in large goblets.

2 ounces Bacardi white rum

¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

½ ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

½ ounce Maraschino liqueur

a lime wheel for garnish


1.   Add the rum, lime and grapefruit juices and Maraschino to a cocktail shaker.  Fill with ice and shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds.

2.   Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

adapted from Drinking French by David Lebovitz

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