The Hemingway Daiquiri is a classic everywhere but holds special meaning for those who know of Ernest Hemingway’s connection to Northern Michigan.

It is well known that Ernest Hemingway spent his childhood summers at Windemere, on Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan. It’s also common knowledge that the famed 20th-century writer went on to become a heavy drinker in later years. But did you know there is a classic cocktail named after the notorious novelist?

According to biographer A. E. Hotchner, Hemingway frequented a Havana bar called El Floridita, where bartender Constantino Ribalaigua would make the Nobel laureate a goblet of lime juice, grapefruit juice, a scant splash of maraschino liqueur and a whopping two-and-a-half jiggers of rum. This original, dubbed a Papa Doble, was “sour to the point of undrinkability,” writes Dale DeGroff in “The Essential Cocktail.” Over the decades, DeGroff and others have better balanced the original, creating a classic that is now known as the Hemingway Daiquiri. Some add a dash of simple syrup, but doing so makes it less, well, Hemingway—the author avoided sugar.

While many associate daiquiris with the sun-kissed days of summer, we love shaking this classic during citrus season. It is traditionally garnished with a lime wedge, but here in our fruit belt a local cocktail cherry feels best, “especially a bourbon-soaked cherry,” says the Walloon Lake Inn’s Melissa Ogden. The stone fruit garnish further eliminates a need for that dash of sugar, but if you sneak a few drops of syrup from the cherry jar into your glass, Northern Michigan’s summertime son will never know.

The Hemingway Daiquiri

Serves 1

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur such as Luxardo

Add ice to a coupe glass to chill it. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur. Shake vigorously until the mixture is cold. Discard the ice in the coupe, strain contents of the shaker into the glass and garnish with a cherry.

Stacey Brugeman is a Leelanau County-based food and beverage writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, Eater and Denver’s 5280, where she served as Restaurant Critic. Follow her on Instagram @staceybrugeman.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner