“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquirí in El Floridita.”
There is little that I can add to the mythos of Papa Hemingway and of course, one of the first things that comes to mind is the epic drinking stories. As with any legends, scratch the surface and you find something more complicated. Alcohol was Hemingway's self medication to alleviate his psychological and physical pains and maladies:
"...bipolar disorder, alcohol dependence, traumatic brain injury, and probable borderline and narcissistic personality traits. Late in life, Hemingway also developed symptoms of psychosis likely related to his underlying affective illness and superimposed alcoholism and traumatic brain injury." (1)
Now that I have brought you down, let me lift your spirits. The daiquiri has become one of the kiddie sweet drinks in countless bars, particularly when served frozen like an adult slushie, over sweet, in multiple flavors and artificial neon colors. By contrast, the Hemingway daiquiri is a subtle tropical drink, with measured citrus flavor notes that refresh and whisper of fresh breezes and lapping waves; a flavor portfolio that makes you feel like you are wearing a linen suit, seated at a long mahogany bar in a pre-revolution Havana.
- 2 ounces white rum
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur - Luxardo is de rigueur
- 1 lime wheel, for garnish (optional) - nowadays generally dehydrated, candied or burnt
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the lime wheel and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the lime wheel.
(1) Ernest Hemingway: A psychological autopsy of a suicide, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17326729/, accessed 10/10/2023