We tested the tennis ball tube theory and—even though we didn’t take the ice’s temperature—we can aver that the tube-shaped ice can keep any pitcher drink cold for at least a couple of hours. Just be sure to cut off the more narrow bit at the top of the tube and run the outside of the tube under warm water for a few seconds for easy ice extraction. Paired with a frozen glass and frozen cocktail onions (Hemingway’s preferred garnish), your Martinis will quickly reach chilly sub-zero temperatures.
DON’T Skip the Sugar
Hemingway did not like sugary drinks. Earlier in his life, he avoided them simply out of preference, while, later on in life, diabetes took away the option completely. There’s nothing wrong with eschewing sugary drinks, but going entirely without sugar in a cocktail is crazy—especially if that drink falls into the sour family.
One of the more well-known sugar-free drinks he enjoyed from time to time was the Papa Doble. His version included nearly four ounces of white rum, the juice of two limes and a whole grapefruit, served in a goblet. Some accounts also include six drops of maraschino liqueur—just enough to give the illusion of balance. Hemingway could drink up to six of these per sitting and once even claimed to down an astonishing 17 double Daiquiris one afternoon.
If you find yourself wanting to channel Hemingway’s Daiquiri drinking exploits, skip Papa’s recipe and go for the modern reincarnation, which, thankfully, is made with enough maraschino and simple syrup to give it more than an illusion of balance—and, please, don’t try to drink 17.
DO Champagne, Champagne, Champagne
Not only did Hemingway routinely enjoy Champagne Cocktails (bubbly with a bitters-soaked sugar cube), he also liked to top unexpected spirits with the stuff. One of the most notable drinks he helped invent the 1930s was the Death in the Afternoon, an easy mix of one-and-a-half parts absinthe to four parts Champagne. Despite its innocent minty hue, it packs a punch—especially when you follow Hemingway’s lead and put down five in a row.
Later on, during the ‘50s, when Hemingway’s health was in sharp decline, his doctor told him to lay off the booze—which meant cutting back to just a liter of wine per day, along with one cocktail. As Greene notes in his book, a diagram for a drink Hemingway often imbibed during this period was, strangely—or appropriately—found in a file called “Medical Records—1958.” It was a blend of scotch, sherry and Champagne.
If nothing else, take heed of Hemingway’s advice from a 1950 interview with Lillian Ross: “If I have any money, I can’t think of any better way of spending money than on Champagne.”