Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Cocktails

By

There has been nearly as much written about Ernest Hemingway’s drinking habits as the writer himself (Supercall is definitely guilty of this). But not every drink that gets pulled into the drinking mythos is one Hemingway would actually drink. The Hemingway Daiquiri and the Mojito both trade on Hemingway’s name without much credence. Here, the cocktails that Hemingway actually liked to drink.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Sure, the Hemingway Daiquiri bears the writer’s name, but he fell in love with the original Daiquiri at El Floridita that was made to his manly man specifications. He would down glass after glass of his preferred twist, which came with double the usual rum and no sugar (so, cold rum with a little lime). If the infamous story of the time he drank 17 in one sitting is any evidence, he definitely liked them.

The Essentials

White Rum
Demerara Syrup
Lime Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

The Martini makes appearances in a number of Hemingway novels, from Across the River Into the Trees to A Farewell to Arms, in which protagonist Frederic Henry says of the drink, “I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They made me feel civilized.” Hemingway also described his love for the drink, including his garnish of choice—Spanish cocktail onions, served extremely chilled, like the ice and drinkware. That onion technically makes Hemingway’s go-to preparation a Gibson.

The Essentials

Gin
dry vermouth
Onion
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

According to Philip Greene’s To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion, Hemingway sometimes forewent the machismo-laden drinks for an elegant cocktail with a touch less bravado, like the White Lady. No slouch itself, this cocktail of gin, Cointreau and lemon juice would have satisfied Hemingway’s desire for a dry citrusy drink, not too far off from his beloved Daiquiri.

The Essentials

Gin
Fresh Lemon Juice
Egg White
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

As in all his drinking moments, Hemingway went big on Bloodies. In his recipe for a Bloody Mary, he called any amount less than a pitcher “worthless.” He preferred his with quality Russian vodka, chilled tomato juice, Worcestershire (or steak sauce), lime juice, celery salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. As for mixing instructions, he suggested stirring it all in a pitcher, and “if you get it too powerful, weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority add more vodka.” Pretty simple, Papa.

The Essentials

Vodka
Tomato Juice
Worcestershire Sauce
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Hemingway was a big fan of Champagne in all forms. He once told Lillian Ross, “If I have any money, I can’t think of any better way of spending money than on Champagne.” He was also a big fan of doctoring the bubbly wine, like in a cocktail he invented called Death in the Afternoon in So Red the Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon. Topping Champagne with a shot of absinthe is an herbal, bitter addition that fits with Hemingway’s stoic style. So if you ever want to feel like Hemingway, this is the perfect place to start.

The Essentials

Absinthe
Champagne
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Another revelation of Greene’s companion to Hemingway’s boozy antics is that the writer preferred a simple Scotch and Soda over all other drinks. Of all cocktails, it appears the most often in his prose, especially in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” The two-ingredient drink is as straightforward and honest as Hemingway’s writing style, and it’s the quickest way to unwind after a long day over a hot typewriter.

The Essentials

Scotch
Soda Water

Published on

More From Around The Web