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Hemingway Special (Papa Doble)

by Anastasia Hartleib
Hemingway Special (Papa Doble)

The Hemingway Special is known for its unique combination of tart and sweet flavors. It is essentially a daiquiri with a few variations, containing white rum, grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur and lime juice. The absence of added sugar makes it a drier and more complex version of the traditional daiquiri.

Why is the cocktail called Hemingway Special?

The Hemingway Special cocktail was created in the 1920s in the El Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba. Its creation is often attributed to Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, the famous bartender at El Floridita, who was known for his masterful mixing skills. Ernest Hemingway, a frequent guest of the bar, is said to have played an important role in the creation of the cocktail. Hemingway was known for his preference for strong, flavorful drinks and frequently visited the El Floridita bar during his time in Cuba.

The cocktail is also known as the "Papa Doble", with "Papa" being a reference to Ernest Hemingway. It is said that Hemingway loved the drink so much that he often ordered a version that consisted of a double portion - hence the name "Papa Doble". Hemingway liked this cocktail so much that he claimed to have drunk up to 16 glasses of it on one legendary evening. He also immortalized the drink in his novel "Islands in the Stream".

Hemingway Special recipe (aka Papa Doble)

Ingredients (for 2 portions):

  • 12 cl white rum
  • 9 cl maraschino liqueur
  • 6 cl grapefruit juice
  • 4.5 cl lime juice
  • ice cubes
  • 2 Maraschino cherries or lime wedges (optional)


  1. Place the ice cubes in a shaker.
  2. Add all the liquid ingredients and shake vigorously for approx. 10-15 seconds.
  3. Strain the contents through a strainer into two chilled martini glasses or other cocktail glasses.
  4. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge or maraschino cherry, if desired.


How do you serve the Hemingway Special?

The Hemingway Special is best served on hot days or as a refreshing aperitif. Its tart taste and lack of added sugar make it a perfect choice for those who prefer a drier cocktail.

The cocktail is usually shaken with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnishing with a lime wedge or a maraschino cherry adds an extra touch of elegance to this classic concoction.

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About the autor:

Anastasia Hartleib

Anastasia Hartleib

Katalog & Marketing Managerin

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