13 September 2011

What would Hemingway drink?

The Vintage Anchor Tumblr posts a top 10 list of alcohol-fueled novels. I just saw a terrific play called "The Select" based on #5 THE SUN ALSO RISES, and after watching fictional people drink for three and a half hours I felt a little drunk myself. Also, I wondered for the 85th literature-related time what Pernod tastes like. GOOD MORNING, MIDNIGHT reeks with the stuff.

While we're mentioning Hemingway (who has been on my mind a lot recently) I keep going to bars that offer a "Hemingway daiquiri" and ordering it because I have doubts about its authenticity. First, it's hard to imagine Hemingway ordering something called a daiquiri, as I can barely get the word out with a straight face. It is a Miami-housewife-from-the-50s word. And second, what's so particular about it? It's just a daiquiri with no fruit flavor, or if you like, a margarita with rum instead of tequila. Food & Wine cites William Grimes referring to these as "lime slurpees"; Rumdood.com (...I know) traces it back to a bar in Havana Hemingway (I will not refer to him as Papa, please, thanks) used to frequent and says you need crushed ice to make it authentic. Now crushed ice, I can get behind, but the ones I have consumed so far did not have crushed ice in them, but were margarita-green and served in martini glasses.

The martini glass seems to be the worst affront, for it is not a practical glass. But this article on Liquor.com with its emphasis on the tartness of the so-called Hemingway daiquiri makes me think I was getting the wrong drink all along, and should have been imbibing something more in the gimlet way. (I'm a big fan of gimlets, and it's hard to get a decent one.) Or maybe they were the wrong limes. Maybe we should be asking how Hemingway was as prolific as he was if he spent all his time fussing at bartenders... or else he wasn't that picky.

Anyway, my wavering investigations into the topic suggest one should order a Dark & Stormy instead; it suits everybody. Or a caipirinha if it's available.


Elizabeth said...


Elizabeth said...

In other words, where a margarita has orange liqueur, a daiquiri has sugar. (Because real margaritas don't have sugar in them, apparently.)

Ellen said...

I love margaritas, so even a bad one makes me pretty happy.

I was confused when I saw a bartender put 2 teaspoons (at least) of sugar in my daiquiri. Was expecting something more sour. Does the Hemingway Industry know about this though?!