< Go to Homepage

Meet the Cuban Bartender Who Invented Hemingway’s Favorite Daiquiri

One of legendary author's favorite spots to imbibe was El Floridita in Old Havana.

Books By
The Bartender Behind Ernest Hemingway's Favorite Daiquiri
American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961), in Cuba, July 1940. (Lloyd Arnold/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Famed expat author Ernest Hemingway set up shop in the 1940s and ’50s in Cuba, where he would end up writing The Old Man in the Sea, which won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1952.

Of course, besides writing, Hemingway loved to drink, and as NPR notes, one of his favorite spots to imbibe was El Floridita in Old Havana. His go-to bartender, Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, was known to locals as “The Cocktail King of Cuba.” Known to regulars as “Constante,” he was a cocktail mixologist long before anyone looked at it as an art form.

In a recent interview with Hemingway’s niece Hilary, NPR gleaned this nice historical nugget: “In the early 1930s, Hemingway went into the Floridita to use the restroom one day. People in the bar were bragging about the daiquiris that were being served there. So he ordered one and took a sip. Ernest asked for another one, this time with ‘less sugar and more rum.’ And that’s how the Papa Doble, or the Hemingway Daiquiri, was born.”

Learn how to make your own Hemingway Daiquiri in the how-to video from Maxim below.