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The Hemingway daiquiri is an intriguing spin on the classic cocktail: grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur compliment lime and rum perfectly.

Hemingway daiquiri
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Here’s a tart, complex and refreshing classic cocktail for the adventurous drinker: the Hemingway daiquiri! This spin on the Classic Daiquiri was invented in honor of the famous writer himself, Ernest Hemingway. It features sweet grapefruit to balance the acidity of the lime, and maraschino liqueur brings notes of sour cherry and almond. There’s a lot going on flavor-wise, but it’s very easy to make. Here’s everything you need to know about the so called “Hemingway Special.”

What’s in a Hemingway daiquiri?

The Hemingway daiquiri is a version of the Classic Daiquiri, a cocktail invented back in the 1800’s in Cuba. A classic daiquiri is just lime, rum, and simple syrup: a perfectly balanced sour cocktail. Fast forward to the 1920’s, and Ernest Hemingway started making trips to Cuba. He fell in love with the daiquiri at a bar called El Floridita and started to ask for his own version: double the rum and no sugar, which the bar called Papa Doble.

Apparently this was impossible to get anyone else to drink, so the bar decided to create a more palatable version in his name. The Hemingway daiquiri was born. Also called the Hemingway special, it’s on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. The official ingredients in a Hemingway daiquiri are:

  • White rum
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Lime juice
  • Maraschino liqueur
Hemingway daiquiri

All about maraschino liqueur!

The Hemingway daiquiri requires one special ingredient that you might not have in your liquor collection: maraschino liqueur. Some ingredient lists for this drink call simply for “maraschino,” which might make you think it’s the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries. Do not be fooled! It’s something different entirely.

Maraschino liqueur is a clear, cherry flavored liqueur. It was invented in Croatia and is still made there, as well as elsewhere in Europe and the US. The flavor is mainly dry but lightly sweet, with hints of sour cherry and almond. There are several brands of maraschino liqueur: a popular one is Luxardo (which we found at our local liquor store).

What other drinks use maraschino? This liqueur is actually used in other classic maraschino cocktails like the Martinez and the Aviation (both so good!). It’s a little more niche, so we’d say it’s a good purchase for the more adventurous barista.

Maraschino liqueur

How to make a Hemingway daiquiri (basic steps)

The Hemingway daiquiri is quick and easy to make: the only time involved is juicing the citrus! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold.
  2. Strain the ingredients into a cocktail glass. If you’d like, garnish with a lime wedge.

Cousin drinks

When you hear the work daiquiri, you might think of the 1990’s frozen versions. But if you’re a refined cocktail drinker (which we assume you are!), you’ll know the Classic Daiquiri isn’t frozen at all. It’s one of the most classic cocktails that has spawned a whole family of drinks. Here are some drinks related to the Hemingway daiquiri:

Love grapefruit cocktails? Try the Greyhound, Salty Dog Cocktail, Paloma, Brown Derby, or Sea Breeze.

Hemingway daiquiri

When to serve a Hemingway daiquiri

The Hemingway daiquiri is a sweet tart, sophisticated classic cocktail that works anytime! It’s great for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Hemingway daiquiri

Classic Hemingway Daiquiri

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Hemingway daiquiri is an intriguing spin on the classic cocktail: grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur compliment lime and rum perfectly.


  • 2 ounces* white rum
  • 1 ½ ounces grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • For the garnish: Lime wedge (optional)


  1. Add the rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake it until cold.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime, if desired.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More sour cocktails

Sour cocktails are a family of cocktails with base liquor, sour, and sweet elements. There are all sorts of variations on a good “sour”. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Tom Collins Cocktail A Tom Collins is also known as a gin sour: is light and bubbly with soda water.
  • Gin Fizz Cocktail The classic Gin Fizz is sweet, tangy, and has a frothy egg white foam topping.
  • Caiprinha Brazil’s national drink is uniquely refreshing! Made with cachaça and lime, it’s truly one of a kind.
  • Bourbon Sidecar Bright and classy, a variation on the classic sour cocktail that swaps brandy for bourbon. Citrus forward with a spicy whisky finish!
  • New York Sour One of the best cocktails out there! Make a classic whiskey sour and float a layer of red wine on top.
  • Amaretto Sour Here’s the perfect amaretto sour recipe that will impress everyone! It’s got just the right balance of amaretto with bourbon and lemon.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. no says:

    three ounces rum? lol