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Daiquiri Day is Near

National Daiquiri Day is this Saturday. Get ready for the festivities with a little help from Papa’s Pilar Rum.


imageThe Daiquiri is one of the all time classic cocktails. It is the holy grail of rum mixology. Standing shoulder to shoulder with such classics as the Manhattan, Sazerac, Margarita, Martini and Sidecar.

The beauty of the drink, besides that it is rum, is the easy list of ingredients: Rum, Lime Juice, Sugar. Simple cocktails are the best, but this drink is not always so simple to make. The art comes in perfectly balancing the rum, lime and sugar into a harmony. The perfect Daiquiri allows the drinker to note each of the ingredients in unison. None of the three ingredients should outshine the others.

For our interpretation we made some subtle adjustments to better allow the drink to balance correctly with the more full bodied and complex profile of Papa’s Pilar® Blonde Rum.


The Daiquiri is named after a small Cuban town of the same name on the southern coast near Santiago. It was invented at the turn of the 20th century reportedly by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox. It’s hard, as with any research into cocktail history to make any definitive claims. After all, the British Royal Navy was mixing Grog (rum, water, lime and sugar) together since Admiral Vernon ordered it in August of 1740.

In 1909 Admiral Lucius W. Johnson, who was visiting Cuba enjoyed the drink so much he brought the recipe back to the Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C. Thereafter, the cocktail began wider enjoyment and consumption. The Daiquiri is still served at the Club today.

There are many variations of the classic Daiquiri. Many began in Havana at the La Floridita Bar. Under the guidance of head bartender Constante, many of the most famous variants emerged. Unfortunately, today many people either do not know, or do not care what the accurate (or as closely as can be researched and deduced) ingredients in these recipes really are. At the center of this daiquiri dilemma is the Hemingway Daiquiri.

A basic Classic Daiquiri is 2 oz white rum, .75 oz fresh lime juice, 1 tsp sugar. Constante, working his own genius, offered the Daiquiri #3 in his 1935 recipe book by adding 1 tsp maraschino and 1 tsp grapefruit: his house daiquiri at the La Floridita. Many people have over time referred to this #3 as the Hemingway Daiquiri or the La Floridita Daiquiri. Constante however never did so. Simply calling it the #3.

In 1939, Constante did offer a Floridita Daiquiri. This he called the #4 which left the grapefruit out. He also offered the E. Henmiway [sic] Special. This was the #3 served blended. Ernest loved his Daiquiri frozen.

None of these confusing and subtle twists should be confused with the Papa Doble. Often people mention the Papa Doble and the Hemingway Daiquiri interchangeably. Hemingway was diabetic and avoided sugar. In this recipe he asked Constante, working from the Classic Daiquiri with only three ingredients, to double the rum (‘Doble’) and forgo the sugar. Thus 4 oz white rum and .75 oz fresh lime juice. Bold, just like Papa.

In the end, what is most important is to enjoy the rum and this special cocktail. We suspect Ernest would be less caught up with exact balances and more concerned with being surrounded by friends and revelry in a grand bar in Key West or Havana.