Hemingway Special Drink Recipe

The Hemingway Special is an incredibly refreshing classic cocktail. It blends rum, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, and is a must-try for any grapefruit juice or rum lover.

Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail with lime wheel

With its sweet and sour flavor profile, the Hemingway Daiquiri is a favorite amongst cocktail enthusiasts. 

The History of the Hemingway Special or Papa Doble

The Hemingway Special is a variation of a classic Daiquiri that was reportedly created for the author Ernest Hemingway in Havana. But… that may not be true.

Many bartenders named cocktails after Hemingway, just to give them an air of mystery and fascination. This drink seems to have been developed by the head bartender at one of Hemingway’s favorite bars in Havana, Cuba, El Floridita Bar. The bar probably believed the name would appeal to casual drinkers.

But whether Hemingway tried it is unknown. It may also have started out known as a Papa Doble, before the addition of more ingredients and the name change.

The Different Types of Rum

A classic Hemingway Daiquiri typically calls for white rum, which has a light and clean flavor that allows the other ingredients to shine. However, some variations may use aged rum, which has a more complex flavor profile with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

When choosing rum for these daiquiris, look for quality brands that are distilled from sugar cane rather than molasses. Sugar cane rum is generally considered to be of higher quality and has a smoother taste.

Remember that the type of rum you choose will have a significant impact on the final flavor of your Hemingway Daiquiri, so choose wisely!

The Importance of Fresh Lime

For the best flavor in your Hemingway Daiquiri, always use fresh squeezed lime rather than pre-packaged lime juice. This will give your drink a bright, fresh flavor that cannot be replicated with juice from a bottle.

When you’re shopping for limes, look for ones that are heavy for their size. This indicates that they are juicier, which is important for getting the right balance of sweet and sour in your Hemingway Daiquiri.

Roll Your Limes

Before juicing your limes, roll them gently on the countertop using the palm of your hand. This will soften them up and help you extract the maximum amount of juice.

Avoid Over-Squeezing

When juicing your limes, avoid over-squeezing them. This can cause the lime juice to become bitter, which will affect the taste of your Hemingway Daiquiri.

By following these tips, you can choose the perfect lime for your Hemingway Daiquiri and create a drink that is balanced, refreshing, and delicious.

The Secret Ingredient in Hemingway Special: Maraschino Liqueur

This drink has no added sugar, so most of the sweetness comes from the maraschino liqueur. But also, feel free to add simple syrup if desired.

Maraschino liqueur is the secret ingredient that gives Hemingway Daiquiri its unique flavor. This clear, cherry-flavored spirit adds a subtle sweetness and complexity to the drink, making it stand out from a traditional daiquiri.

)pt for a high-quality brand that will make a noticeable difference in the final flavor of your drink. While this ingredient may be a bit more expensive than other liqueurs, a little goes a long way in the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Note: do NOT buy cherry liqueur. It’s not the same flavor at all.

Measure Accurately

Measuring accurately is crucial for creating the perfect balance in this cocktail. While it may be tempting to eyeball ingredients or estimate amounts, doing so can result in a drink that is either too sour or too sweet.

To ensure that your Hemingway Daiquiri is perfectly balanced every time, use a jigger or other precise measuring tool to measure each ingredient accurately. This will also help you replicate the recipe consistently, even if you decide to make adjustments in the future.

If you want to adjust the sweetness or sourness of your drink, you can use less lime juice rather than adding sugar or sweetener. This will preserve the classic taste of the drink and maintain its unique character.

A well-measured Hemingway Daiquiri will be perfectly balanced and delicious every time, making it the perfect choice for any occasion.

It’s really the combination of ingredients that makes this drink special. The way the combination of lime and grapefruit add tartness, and the combination of maraschino and grapefruit add sweetness.

How To Make It

To create a perfectly smooth Hemingway Special, just shake all of the ingredients vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker.

  • Use a Boston shaker or Cobbler shaker depending on your preference
  • Add all ingredients to the shaker
  • Fill the shaker halfway with ice cubes
  • Shake the shaker for about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Strain the drink into a chilled coupe or martini glass
  • Use a Hawthorne strainer or fine mesh strainer to remove any ice shards or pulp
  • Garnish with a lime slice and a cherry

Glassware and Garnishing Ideas

This is a classy cocktail that deserves to be served in the right glassware. Traditionally, it is served in a chilled coupe glass.

This glass has a stemmed base and a wide shallow bowl that allows the drinker to enjoy the aromatic flavors and scents of the drink. A cocktail glass also works. 

For a little extra pizzazz, you can add a lime slice or a cherry as garnish on top of the drink. Simply slide a slice of lime onto the rim of the glass or add a classic cocktail cherry, or maraschino cherry, in the drink.

This not only adds a colorful touch to the drink but also accentuates the tangy citrus notes.


The Hemingway Daiquiri is a classic cocktail recipe with a rich history and unique flavor profile. By using quality ingredients, measuring accurately, and mixing the drink correctly, you can create a smooth and perfectly balanced Hemingway Daiquiri every time.

Hemingway Daiquiri cocktail with lime wheel
Yield: 1 drink

Hemingway Daiquiri Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Hemingway Daiquiri is an incredibly refreshing classic cocktail. It blends rum, grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur, and is a must-try for any grapefruit juice or rum lover.


  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour all ingredients into the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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