September Cocktails: the Daiquiri & the Hemingway

By: Adam Collison

Here in the dog days of summer we must find the elixir to soothe our souls, and from a barman’s perspective, the answer is the Daiquiri! A classic and perfect drink for hot weather, the Daiquiri is simple and perfect: rum, lime, and sugar. What else could you want? Something with less sugar, maybe? Enter the Hemingway. Here we will see the recipe for the classic Daiquiri, and the updated version for a serious rum enthusiast who, on doctor’s orders, needed to cut out the sugar.

Like a gimlet, the classic Daiquiri is just a calculated combination of rum, sugar and lime, and nothing else. I’m not talking trash about those 7-11 Slurpee-like drinks that you see at the beach club. They’re great, but a real Daiquiri has no interest in such excess. A perfect Daiquiri consists of 2 oz. of white rum (I like Denizen), 3/4 oz. freshly juiced lime and 1/2 oz. of basic simple syrup (50/50 water and sugar in solution), shaken with ample ice and strained into a chilled cup, or cocktail glass. I just made myself one and I am happy I did. 

Now, on to the Hemingway. Ol’ Ernest took up residence near a great Daiquiri bar (La Floridita) in Havana, Cuba and was content to guzzle the legendary cocktails they shuffled for years until his doctor told him the sugar he was consuming would do him in. In an effort to keep their most valued customer, not to mention a living legend, they came up with a version which would go on to live its own legend. 

A bit less sweet, but every bit as alluring, here is the Hemingway Daiquiri:

2oz white rum

3/4oz fresh lime juice

1/2oz fresh white grapefruit juice (hard to come by, bottled or canned will do, and as a last resort, Ruby red, though I don’t recommend it), and here’s the kicker,

1 bar spoon (slightly less than a teaspoon) of maraschino liqueur. This stuff is weird, expensive and doesn’t do well on its own, but if you like this drink, it’s indispensable.

Hemingway was said to have drank gallons of this at a sitting. I recommend one or two, or three, maybe. 

Like my grandma used to say; Peace! Love! Joy!

Keep up with Adam’s next cocktails and elixirs on Instagram @atomcollison

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