When author Charles H. Baker published his two-volume set, The Gentleman’s Companion, in 1939, he included three recipes from his friend and frequent drinking companion, Ernest Hemingway: Smothered Conch (a buttery, bacony, sherry-drowned dish of conch), A Farewell to Hemingway (a drink consisting of kirsch, cherry syrup and lime juice), and this cocktail. One of Hemingway’s regular “picker-uppers,” the bracingly bitter Death in the Gulf Stream combines juniper-heavy genever with lime, Angostura and an optional dash of simple syrup, which Hemingway, a known sugar detractor, probably declined. As Baker writes, “It is reviving and refreshing; cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.”
Death in the Gulf Stream
The exact history of this classic cocktail is murky—kind of like the blackstrap rum used to make it—but we do know that it originated somewhere in Barbados. The inspiration for the distinctly non-tropical name comes from its contrasting colors—the bright, pale mix of falernum and lime juice, and the dark, oil-like blackstrap rum. It’s simil...