Hemingway Daiquiri alias Papa Doble

Hemingway Daiquiri

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 29, 2022 
The Hemingway Daiquiri is also known as Papa Doble or Hemingway Special. The cocktail is not only named after but even created by the world-famous writer.

Ernest Hemingway is a household name. And that does not only concern his talent in writing novels. His name also comes up regularly when talking about liquor and cocktails. Hemingway rarely turned down a drink. So it's not surprising that while living in Havana, Ernest Hemingway had quite a few Daiquiris. And one day, when he visited one of his favorite bars, a special version of the drink was born - the Hemingway Daiquiri.

The unusual recipe features grapefruit juice and Maraschino liqueur which seems strange at first. But knowing Hemingway and his preference for bone dry drinks, the formula certainly makes sense.

Find out more about this intriguing story and why you should adjust the original recipe to enjoy his creation fully.

History of the Hemingway Special Daiquiri

During his time in Havana, Ernest Hemingway made quite some friends in the capital of Cuba. He also had a couple of favorite bars where he would enjoy himself. One of them is Bodeguita del Medio, a well-known bar in central Havana, still open these days. And the other isn't any less famous - El Floridita.

Sometimes also called La Floridita, this bar plays a vital part in cocktail history. If you ever have the chance to visit this gem, do not hesitate. Of course, the bar has become a pretty touristy place in the past decades, but nonetheless, it is still full of history. And it was there that the Hemingway Daiquiri got created for the very first time.

The story goes that Hemingway was wandering around in search of a toilet. When he entered El Floridita to relieve himself, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to have a drink. He tried their popular frozen Daiquiri and replied:

"That's good, but I prefer it with no sugar and double the Rum."

Ernest Hemingway

And so, the original version of the Hemingway Daiquiri was born. The head barkeeper Constantino Ribalaigua Vert mixed it for him. It was literally a Daiquiri without sugar but double the amount of Rum. Or let me translate that into "a lot of Rum with a splash of lime juice". Hemingway certainly loved his drinks boozy. But you might wonder, why didn't he want sugar in them? The answer is quite simple: Hemingway, like his father, suffered from Haemochromatosis. A disease that ultimately can lead to diabetes.

Sometime later, a new head barkeeper of the El Floridita, Antonia Meilan, changed the recipe by introducing Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice to the drink. That created a way better-balanced drink compared to what Hemingway ordered in the first place. Today, most drinkers also prefer to include a bit of simple syrup to get a balance right.

Hemingway Special - Made with syrup or not?

I wouldn't really recommend trying the original version of the drink, using only Rum and lime juice. That's only for legends like Hemingway 😉 But even the evolved recipe, which uses Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice, is not for everybody unless you prefer dry drinks. But palates are different, and if you want to give this traditional recipe a try, here it is - received directly from El Floridita:

3 oz White Cuban Rum
1 oz Grapefruit juice
0.5 oz Lime juice
1 bsp Maraschino liqueur


For making the traditional version, the ingredients have to be blended together with some crushed ice.

If you are like me and many others, this version will be a bit too dry. By adding just half an ounce of simple syrup, you can balance the drink and receive a way better flavor profile. So if you ask me, I would recommend going with a more modern interpretation of a Papa Doble.

Why the Hemingway Special Daiquiri is also called Papa Doble

I already did introduce quite a few different names for the drink. Hemingway Special, Hemingway Daiquiri, Papa Doble, and sometimes it also gets called "El Floridita #4". And while most of the names are self-explanatory, Papa Doble is a bit of a mystery. But there's a good story about how this name was born.

I mentioned before that Hemingway was a welcome guest that made quite some friends in Havana. Cubans often called him Papa, and his cocktail initially got the name "Daiquiri like Papa". A Daiquiri made just the way Ernest liked it. Over the years, the name changed to Papa Doble, referring to the double amount of Rum in the drink. -An adjustment that makes much sense, in my opinion.

Another few years later, after Antonia Meilan adjusted the recipe and added Maraschino & grapefruit, the drink was renamed again. It was now known as Hemingway Special or Hemingway Daiquiri. I don't know how you think about it, but I still prefer to call it Papa Doble. This name just carries the whole story so nicely. And is a more subtle reference compared to "Hemingway Daiquiri".

Hemingway Daiquiri alias Papa Doble

Hemingway Daiquiri

A special version of the classic Daiquiri recipe inspired by the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: cuban
Keyword: rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 305kcal
Cost: $4


  • 3 oz Havana Club Rum 3 years
  • 1 oz Pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz Lime juice
  • 0.75 oz Maraschino liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Simple syrup


  • Add all ingredients to your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
    3 oz Havana Club Rum 3 years, 1 oz Pink grapefruit juice, 1 oz Lime juice, 0.75 oz Maraschino liqueur, 0.5 oz Simple syrup
  • Shake until the drink is well-chilled and strain into a chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a Maraschino cherry and a lime wheel.


Serving: 6.5oz | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.05g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.85g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 370mg | Sugar: 62.25g | Vitamin C: 63.7mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 0.55mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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