Why the Hemingway Daiquiri Is a Timeless Summer Classic


Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. Check out our Good Call archives for another round.

Today’s call comes by way of Nico Szymanski of THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen (212 East 42nd Street; 212-405-4399)

What’s your call drink?

Right now it’s a Hemingway Daiquiri.

What is it about this drink that you like so much?

It’s summer, so instead of intense stirred and whiskey-based drinks (my personal favorites), I like to recommend fun, light, and approachable cocktails to my guests. This one has just the right amount of tart and sweet notes and is great on a hot day. I’m also a sucker for Maraschino liqueur, so this drink fits the bill nicely.

Has it always been your favorite? How long did it take you to find it? What was that process like?

It’s been one of my favorites for quite awhile now. I first had it a few years ago in Boston, just from randomly seeing it on a cocktail list, and ever since then, it’s come and gone on my list of top recommendations. There’s no real process to finding good drinks beyond just always being on the lookout for something new. I look for interesting combinations or twists on classics when I’m browsing a cocktail menu, and when I see something unique or with an unexpected combination of ingredients, I’ll always order it first.

Any chance something might replace it down the line?

Yes and no. My call drinks change depending on the guest. There’s no single cocktail that will please everyone, so I like to get a feel for guests’ taste profiles before I make a recommendation. That being said, the Hemingway Daiquiri would be for anyone who likes rum, citrus, shaken drinks, etc. More people like these flavor combinations than, say, scotch and vermouth, so naturally I find myself making it more often than other cocktails. So you could say it’s constantly being replaced and brought back. But it’s a tried and true classic, so it will probably always be a go to recommendation for me.

Where are a few places around town that make your favorite drink?

If we’re talking about my favorite places to drink when I’m off work, Dead Rabbit never disappoints. I also am a big fan of Maison Premiere and recently had some really great cocktails at Black Crescent. Surf Bar in Williamsburg makes a frozen Hemingway variation that, while not technically the classic recipe, is awesome in the summer. And naturally (shameless plug), we make a great Hemingway Daiquiri at The LCL where I work.

What’s the recipe for those who want to make it at home?

1.5 ounces light rum
.5 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
.5 ounce lime juice
1 oounce grapefruit juice
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a skewered cherry.

What’s your second favorite drink?

My second favorite drink would be a Singapore Sling. It’s a great substitute for more run-of-the-mill fruity drinks and is more approachable than most other gin drinks. I use it as a way to introduce people to gin for the first time. Recipe below:

1 ounce gin
.5 ounce Cherry Heering
1 teaspoon Benedictine
1 teaspoon Cointreau
2 ounces pineapple juice
.75 ounce lemon juice
.25 ounce grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake and strain into highball glass with ice. Top with splash of club soda. Garnish with a skewered lemon wedge and cherry.