“Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.” Ernest Hemingway
In the 1980s and 1990s, white rum was popular and practically the only type of rum in the Western world. This caused a boom in the cocktail industry, where it contributed to the world fame of renowned drinks such as daiquiri, mojito and piña colada.
And if we put the name Hemingway in front of the noun daiquiri, we get the most popular variation of this classic cocktail whose story takes us to Cuba’s El Floridita bar.
The story goes that while looking for a restroom, Hemingway came across aforementioned bar where bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert was making frozen daiquiris at that very moment. In his biographic books such as A Moveable Feast, Hemingway wrote stories about the drinks he used to drink with his writer friends in Paris, and throughout his life he spent much of his free time in bars.
Now that we are familiar with this fact about the famous writer, we also know that he had to try the cocktail Constantino was preparing. After a few sips he told him: “This is good, but I’d rather have no sugar and double the dose of rum!” That’s the moment the Papa Doble cocktail was created. Papa was Hemingway’s nickname among the locals in Cuba, while Doble stood for the measure of rum in his cocktail.
To bring the cocktail closer to other guests, the El Floridita staff had to be creative.
They tried to remain true to Hemingway’s wish for the drink to be sugar-free and used Maraschino, a classic Marasca cherry liqueur providing subtle sweetness, instead of plain sugar syrup, while the final ingredient was red grapefruit juice that balanced the drink and gave it freshness.
If you ask us, the ever warmer days are perfect for enjoying this cocktail. For its preparation you will need:
· 45 ml white rum
· 30 ml fresh red grapefruit juice
· 15 ml fresh lime juice
· 10 ml Maraschino liqueur
· 5 ml sugar syrup
Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a shaker and strain into a chilled coupe/martini glass without ice. Garnish with some fresh red grapefruit peel.
“The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” Orson
Campari, sweet vermouth and gin are the common denominators of a Negroni, the most popular Italian aperitif cocktail.
The story of this cocktail with a beautiful ruby color begins in Florence back in 1919. Legend has it that the Italian Count Camillo Negroni was a regular guest at Caffè Giacosa and regularly ordered Americanos, a cocktail consisting of Campari, sweet vermouth, soda and lemon peel, from bartender Fosca Scarselli. One day, he asked Fosca to add a “kick” to his Americano, at which point Fosca replaced the soda with gin and finished the cocktail with an orange peel to highlight that the glass did not contain an Americano. From that moment on it became Count Negroni’s regular order and other guests would order the drink as “Count Negroni’s drink” or “in Negroni’s way” and later it became known as a Negroni.
Despite this romantic story, there have been disputes over the true origin of this cocktail. It seems that the family of Count Camillo and descendants of General Pascal Oliviera de Negroni could not come to an agreement on the truth. Descendants of the general claimed that he had invented the Negroni in Senegal in 1857 and that there was no count named Camillo Negroni in their family tree.
Whether you believe in legends or not, we have inherited this eternal classic and for its preparation you will need:
· 20 ml gin
· 20 ml Campari
· 20 ml red vermouth
Preparation: Mix all ingredients with ice in a bar glass and strain over ice into a tumbler. Garnish with a peel or slice of fresh orange.
Matej Kostić, Premium Spirits Brand Ambassador Coca-Cola HBC Adria