“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita,” so saidith the great Ernest Hemingway – or so they say – and tourists and neophytes have followed suit ever since. What Hemingway actually wrote (regarding the blended daiquiri) was this:
“…the great ones that Constante made [a bartender at El Flordita] that had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow…” Islands in the Stream, 1970.
And if that doesn’t make you want one, I don’t know what would. However, Papa also refers to the blended “double” unsweetened versions he so desired as resembling:
“…the wake of a ship and the clear part was the way the water looked when the bow cut it when you were in shallow water over marl bottom. It was almost the exact color.”
Which strikes one as slightly less appetizing. And finishing his original quote he wrote:
“…and, after the sixth or eighth, felt like downhillglacierskiingfeels when you are running unroped.” Which givesone a stronger sense of where Hemingway was actually coming from. Considering he was also a diabetic, sugar probably wasn’t really the problem.
But owing to the fact that Islands in the Stream came out after his death in 1961 (60 years ago last month), the blended drink has never really gotten its proper due. It certainly didn’t help much that the bottled sweet and sour and frozen strawberry versions of the 1980’s were terrible.
However, if made properly, with fresh juices, and premium products, the frozen blended drink can still evoke feelings of wonder, up to and including downhill glacier skiing. Just please enjoy in moderation.
We have taken the liberty of assembling two Hemingway classics (updated for the new generation) and added in two modern mixology takes, all localized, of course, for your consumption.
1 ½ ounces good quality white rum (Batiste, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum)
¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
½ ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 dried lime wheel
Fill blender cup with ice to the line that reads 8 ounces. Add first five ingredients and blend on low progressing to high as ice liquifies. Pour contents into serving glass and garnish with the lime wheel.
Notes: Make sure the ice you use is made from good quality water, and, if using cubed ice, crack in half before trying to blend. Sugar was not an original ingredient in Hemingway’s daiquiri, but a little sweetness greatly enhances the flavor. Maraschino liqueur is not maraschino cherry juice, it is very different. If it is not available you may substitute a drier triple sec such as Cointreau.
2 ounces good quality white rum (Batiste, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum)
1½ ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce mint simple syrup (see note)
1 flowering mint sprig
Fill blender cup with ice to the 8 ounce line. Add all liquid ingredients and blend on low, progressing to high until desired consistency is reached. Garnish by standing mint sprig in center of drink.
Note: little pieces of blended mint tend to ruin the appearance of this drink. Mint simple syrup is simple to make, ergo the name. Take one handful of fresh cleaned mint, combine in a nonreactive saucepan with one cup of water and one cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, strain through a colander, and then refrigerate (makes great mint lemonades too).
1 ounce Cucumber vodka (Hanson of Sonomaor Square One)
1 ounce dry gin (Griffo, 209, D. George Benhams)
¾ ounce elderflower liqueur (St Germaine)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Fresh lime wheel
Fill blender cup with ice to the 8 ounce line. Add all liquid ingredients and blend on low, progressing to high until desired consistency is reached. Garnish by standing lime wheel in center of drink.
Spiced Watermelon Margarita
2 ounces good quality blanco tequila (Santo, Tapatio)
¾ ounce Ancho Reyes liqueur
2 ounces fresh cubed seedless watermelon
¾ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
½ ounce agave syrup
1 dried ancho chile
Place watermelon in blender cup and puree until liquified. Add ice to the 8 ounce line, and then add remaining liquid ingredients. Blend until desired consistency is reached. Dab the rim of serving glass with drink, dip in Tajin seasoning and shake off excess. Pour drink into Tajin dabbed glass and garnish by standing dried chile in center of cocktail.
Note: blended drinks look particularly appealing when piled up over the rim of the serving glass, so take care to select glassware that allows this and be sure not to over blend.