Given his brooding and contemplative nature, you might peg Ernest Hemingway as a whiskey drinker. Maybe a cognac man. (And, let’s be real, he probably was both of those things.) But he had a particular penchant for the slushy sweetness of daiquiris — though legend has it he preferred his without sugar. In his Cuba days, Hemingway would frequent Havana’s El Floridita bar, which first popularized the concoction (with Hemingway’s help, of course.)
So to honor the 113th birthday of Hemingway and the 195th anniversary of the bar, on Saturday El Floridita staff concocted what they claim is the world’s largest daiquiri, the Associated Press reports. Tipping the scales at 71 gallons, the drink filled a 6.5-foot tall fiber-composite cocktail glass and required the work of a dozen blenders. Their work began at 9 a.m. — the unapologetically hard-drinking Hemingway would have been proud.
Rumor has it that “Papa” once threw back 13 double daiquiris in one sitting. The drink traditionally consists of lime juice, sugar and rum — in Hemingway’s case, quite a bit of rum. But even Hemingway, with his love of the Caribbean cocktail, would have had trouble knocking back the monster daiquiri created in his honor. Two waiters had to stand on an elevated platform to fill the giant glass to the rim, hoping to set a new record.
The crowd, which included a jury to judge the attempt, cheered and sang “Happy Birthday” to Hemingway, also known in Cuba as “Ernesto”. El Floridita has become a popular destination for tourists who crisscross through Cuba, tracing Hemingway’s path, hitting his favorite spots and taste-testing his favorite drinks. There’s been no official confirmation as to whether or not this is truly a record-breaking beverage, but the event organizers have been in touch with Guinness officials and are awaiting a response.