Friday, March 22, 2013

Thinking of Drinking: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion

By: Jennifer McNinch
Capital Cooking Contributor
Union Market hosted a Cocktail Seminar “To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion” with member of The Museum of the American Cocktail and author of the newly released book of the same name, Philip Greene. 

Philip Greene, Author, and Gina Chersevani, Mixologist and owner of Buffalo and Bergen.

The event provided guests the opportunity to learn about the history of various cocktails specific to Earnest Hemingway’s life and writings while sampling a few snacks provided by some of the incredible vendors of Union Market.  Although the appetizers were tasty (i.e., delicious mini-crab cakes, cheese, charcuterie and fruit), the main attraction was the spirits, so to speak.

The evening started out with an introduction to the “Jack Rose,” a cocktail featured in “The Sun Also Rises.”  Hemingway was known to frequent a bar in a certain part of Paris where the bartender was famous for his concoction.  It is a bit complicated as far as cocktails go, but well worth it.

The Jack Rose

While living in France, Hemingway was invited to the South of France (before it was what it is today) for holiday.  Here, his host, Gerald Murphy, introduced him to a new cocktail refreshment called “The Bailey” made with Gin, grapefruit and lime juices, simple syrup and mint.  The spirit of this cocktail and the approach to life his friend Murphy represented inspired Hemingway in his book, “A Moveable Feast.”

Our mixologist extraordinaire, walked us through the proper way to prepare this refreshment, down to the specific and delicate way to handle the mint so as not to lose any of the essence of the mint oils.  It was thirst quenching!

Moving on to Hemingway’s time in Key West, he often visited the Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba whose bartender/owner perfected the Daiquiri.  Again, this varies from modern-day ‘alcoholic Slurpees’ but the simple ingredients make it a perfect beverage for a hot day in Havana - just rum, grapefruit and lime juice, maraschino and ice and you’ve got the “E. Henmiway” Special (original translation typo preserved).

The final cocktail of the evening took us back to Hemingway’s experience in Italy during World War I where he served as an ambulance driver.  Here he most likely discovered Campari, an aperitif he also mentioned in “A Moveable Feast.”  The concoction of Campari and sweet vermouth with a splash of seltzer is an acquired taste but one that Hemingway came to embrace…me, not so much!

At the end of the evening, as Mr. Greene graciously signed books for all attendees we were treated to a special tasting of brand new “super-premium” rums (Dark and Blonde) called “Papa’s Pilar” which is named after Hemingway’s beloved boat.  What a tribute to a great American writer!  For more information on the rum, visit 

I definitely think I’ll have Another!

Proceeds from the event benefited The Museum of the American Cocktail ( 

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