It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.Ernest Hemingway
National Rum Day is on August 16. What better way to celebrate than by honoring one of rum’s biggest fans, Ernest Hemingway? While Hemingway often enjoyed his wine and scotch and sodas, he quickly took to the cooling rum cocktails of Cuban and Floridian homes as well.
My friend, Vincent (#drinkswithvinny), has graciously shared his favorite Hemingway rum recipes to celebrate the day in Hemingway style. So, in true Hemingway fashion, make a drink, grab a pen and paper and let’s do some writing! Or just make a drink . . . Hemingway won’t object.
Step 1: Make a toast to one of history’s greatest writers.
“I drink to make other people more interesting.” – EH
The perfect way to toast to summer, rum, and Hemingway himself is the Hemingway Daiquiri: a blend of sweetness, tart grapefruit, and spirited white rum.
1.5 ounces white rum (#Bacardi)
.75 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
.25 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
.25 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
.25 ounce simple syrup
Lime Wedge, for garnish
Shake all ingredients until chilled, then double-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Toast to a great writer — and a delicious tipple.
In Havana, in front of the El Floridita — where the Floridita cocktail originated — there is a statue that stands at the bar. It’s called “The Old Man” (and the sea) in Hemingway’s honor.
1.5 ounces light rum
0.5 ounces Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
0.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bar spoon Creme de Cacao
.25 ounce Grenadine (pour over)
Lime Wheels, as garnish
Combine all ingredients — except the grenadine and lime wheel — into a cocktail shaker. If you have Hemingway’s resolve, round up the rum to 2 ounces. Add ice, and shake as if Hemingway was looking over your shoulder.
Garnish with lime wheels and pause to think of the “old man” for a moment.
Step 2: Crack open a classic.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – EH
Choosing just one Hemingway novel to celebrate National Rum Day in style is no easy task. Over his lifetime, Hemingway penned at least 27 different novels. We’ve gathered a few of his most prized works that pair well with a cocktail. This a good day to indulge in any of Hemingway’s works (or even reach for his pal Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby).
The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea follows an old fisherman and his search for a comeback. Like Hemingway himself, the old man had been a champion in his youth and is now looking for new glory. This story captures the famous “code” that Hemingway developed for living a valiant life despite adversity.
The Sun Also Rises
This was Hemingway’s first novel, and still one of his most loved. In these early pages, we see the beginnings of Hemingway’s code of life, the bridge between ugly and beautiful, and the contrast between traditional values and the Lost Generation.
A Moveable Feast
This book is not a novel, but a memoir of Hemingway’s life in 1920s Paris. The memories follow the writer himself, as well as several of his artistic friends (like Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Wyndham Lewis), as they start to make their way in the world. This is a must-read for budding writers and creative types, or anyone who dreams of making famous friends in French cafés.
Step 3: Put pen to paper.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – EH
Despite Hemingway’s solemn advice, you don’t have to be an aspiring author, a crazed creative, or a tortured artist to reap the benefits of the art of writing. In fact, many people claim that the simple act of journaling helps to relieve stress, calm anxiety, and invite inspiration.
Still, many people shy away from writing down their thoughts. For some, the process seems too daunting or they don’t know quite where to start. Others feel they aren’t good at writing.
Here, we’ll put all those issues aside with some inspired journal prompts that will get your mind flowing and the pen moving. Hemingway would be proud!
Hemingway often found himself in eccentric Parisian social clubs or saloons in Key West. Think about your favorite vacation spot, piece of paradise, or familiar dive. Why do you love it? How do you feel when you’re there? How would you describe it to someone who’s never been there before?
Hemingway was never short of a good cocktail or good company and was often found hanging around the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. What is the most memorable cocktail you’ve ever had? What was the occasion, the atmosphere, the company?
Known for his simple writing style, Hemingway used short sentences and simple phrasing. Scholars say his writing has an “iceberg” effect – it offers minimal details with deep meaning. For this entry, start writing about anything you like, but challenge yourself to use only short, simple sentences. Can you find deeper meaning through fewer words?
A Toast to Hemingway – and Rum!
To enjoy National Rum Day to its fullest, take a page from Hemingway’s book and let life be a bit more… interesting. Cheers!