3 Places To Drink Like Hemingway on His Birthday | KCET
3 Places To Drink Like Hemingway on His Birthday
As you wander down Calle Obispo in Old Havana, you can't miss the shimmering green neon sign for El Floridita. Opened in 1817 and arguably the most famous bar in Havana, Floridita is best known for popularizing the frozen daiquiri.
In 1886, the original drink (rum, lime and sugar served over ice), was invented in the Cuban mining town of Santiago, and named after the local Daiquiri beach and iron mine. The drink was invented by an local American engineer, and introduced to New York clubs in the early 1900s, where it steadily grew in popularity. However, it was Floridita bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert who first blended the drink with ice and created the Daiquiri Floridita.
It's no wonder it was the favorite haunt of honorary Cuban Ernest Hemingway. His order was the "Papa Doble" (a double daiquiri with a twist of grapefruit). In fact, the legendary author boasted an impressive record of downing sixteen in one sitting. To be clear, that's thirty two daiquiris in one night. Viva Havana!
The bar itself is a testament to old-school glamour, all red leather and gleaming bronze. A life-sized statue of Hemingway holds down a corner of the bar, leaning forward and smirking at the red-tuxedoed waiters, who mix round after round of daiquiris. Hemingway's 116th birthday is this Tuesday, July 21st, so here are three bars in Los Angeles where you can drink a great daiquiri to toast the ghost of Ernie himself.
1159 North Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90029
With its secret entrance through a closet door and crowds of salsa dancers, La Descarga is an aggressively hip choice for a night out. Their daiquiri, shaken and presented beautifully in a coupe glass, is refreshingly tart without the cloying sweetness of most daiquiris, making it almost more of a gimlet. Sneak your drink into the sitting room behind the smoking lounge if you need a break from the live jazz band.
8715 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Dom's daiquiri is a classic take on the drink, just rum, lime and sugar, shaken and served up in a coupe. They occasionally offer an adorable miniature version as part of their "five o'clock meeting" menu. The happy-hour fare is far from the hot pink ham croquettes you'd be offered in a Havana bar, but just order a daiquiri and breathe in the rat-pack ambiance of the place.
Musso & Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
All in all, the experience you'll have at the bar at Musso's is the closest you can get to Floridita without buying a plane ticket. The daiquiri served at the bar is straightforward and delicious, but the real point is the atmosphere. Just as steeped in history as Floridita, Musso's will make you feel like you've traveled back in time.
Bonus: the bartenders at Musso's sport the exact same red tuxedos as the ones they wear at Floridita. Make mine a doble!
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