Drinks After Hemingway's Own Heart If Hemingway were throwing a celebration for his 110th birthday, it's a sure bet that the festivities would include a hefty dose of spirits. Phil Greene of the Museum of the American Cocktail meets us at a watering hole in downtown Washington, D.C., to tell us about the drinks Hemingway wrote about, and show us how to make them.
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Drinks After Hemingway's Own Heart

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Drinks After Hemingway's Own Heart

Drinks After Hemingway's Own Heart

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GUY RAZ, host:

Before we leave Cuba, we take time to remember an American writer who adopted that country as his home: Ernest Hemingway. This week marks 110 years since his birth, so we asked Phil Greene, a Hemingway enthusiast and a founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail, to mix up one of the writer's favorite drinks.

And we're at the bar at PS 7 restaurant here in downtown Washington, D.C. with Phil. Thanks for inviting us to the bar.

Mr. PHIL GREENE (Founder, Museum of the American Cocktail): Thank you.

RAZ: And we're going to start with the Papa Doble, which I understand was the house specialty in one of Hemingway's favorite bars in Havana.

Mr. GREENE: Right. The Floridita, Hemingway became a regular patron there. By 1937, he's made enough business there that they had a drink named after him. They misspelled his name. They spelled it the E. Hemoway(ph) special, but it's sort of the forerunner of the Papa Doble.

RAZ: Okay, so what's in it?

Mr. GREENE: The Papa Doble, he liked to - he didn't like to have to keep re-ordering. When he was sitting down for a drinking session, he liked to order doubles so he wouldn't have to order two at a time or keep ordering them.

So it's going to be a double quantity of white rum, they used Bacardi rum at the time; the juice of two limes, fresh-squeezed limes; the juice of half a grapefruit. You would typically find simple syrup in a daiquiri, but Hemingway didn't like sugar, so he used a little bit of maraschino liqueur. And you blend that at high speed.

RAZ: And Hemingway alluded to the Papa Doble in his novels "Islands in The Stream." Can you read that passage for us?

Mr. GREENE: Sure.

(Reading) He was drinking another of the frozen daiquiris with no sugar in it, and as he lifted it, heavy and the glass frost-rimmed, he looked at the clear part below the frapped top, and it reminded him of the sea. The frapped part of the drink was like 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 a marl bottom.

RAZ: What a great, beautiful way to write about a frozen daiquiri. It makes me want to try it. All right, here it goes. Wow. He liked doubles, didn't he? How many of these could he drink at a time?

Mr. GREENE: Well, there are a couple of legendary stories about the binges that he was on where he would drink 15 or 16 of them in one sitting, which is about two liters of rum. I'm not glorifying the over-drinking, but what drew me to Hemingway in high school was the way he put the reader at the scene, where the reader could see and feel and taste what was going on. It was those, sort of, visceral images that I always appreciated in Hemingway's writing.

RAZ: Let's go back to some more familiar Hemingway territory: "The Sun Also Rises." The Jack Rose, this is a favorite drink of one of Hemingway's characters, Jake Barnes. First, what's in it?

Mr. GREENE: The Jack Rose is an ounce and a half of applejack brandy, half an ounce of lime juice; some people use lemon juice; and a half an ounce of grenadine. It was always sort of associated with the unrequited love of Jake and Lady Brett.

RAZ: Phil, what's your favorite Hemingway drink?

Mr. GREENE: I like the Hemingway martini because it's a small drink, and that's the way a martini should be: an ounce and three-quarters of gin, and just enough vermouth to cover the bottom of the glass. He used giant ice cubes made from tennis ball can, and he used frozen Spanish onions. It makes a nice drink.

RAZ: Phil Greene is a lawyer here in Washington, D.C., and one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail. He's currently writing a book on Ernest Hemingway. It's called "To Have and to Have Another: The Hemingway Bartender's Companion."

Phil, thanks for bringing us along.

Mr. GREENE: Cheers.

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