La Floridita Cocktail Recipe

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La Floridita Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


La Floridita, also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri, is a classic cocktail originating from the famous La Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba. This bar was a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, who loved the refreshing taste of this cocktail. The drink was created in the 1930s by bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert and has since become a popular choice for cocktail enthusiasts.

  • The La Floridita bar was opened in 1817 and is still in operation today
  • Ernest Hemingway was a regular at the bar and even had a bronze statue made of him sitting at his favorite spot
  • The cocktail was originally called the 'E. Henmiway Special' after the famous author

How La Floridita Tastes?

La Floridita has a refreshing, tangy, and slightly sweet taste. The combination of rum, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur creates a well-balanced flavor profile that is both strong and light at the same time.

Interesting facts about La Floridita

  • The La Floridita cocktail is also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri, named after the famous author who frequented the bar
  • The original recipe called for grapefruit juice, but it has since been replaced with lime juice for a more balanced flavor
  • The maraschino liqueur used in the cocktail is made from Marasca cherries, which gives the drink its unique sweetness


White Rum

White rum is the spirited backbone of La Floridita. It provides a smooth, slightly sweet base that allows for the bright flavors of the fruit juices to shine. If you skip the rum, you'll just have a refreshing but non-alcoholic fruit punch. Too much could overwhelm the delicate balance, too little and you might as well be drinking juice.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

The lime juice adds a sharp, acidic contrast to the sweetness of the syrup and maraschino liqueur. Eliminating lime juice would result in a flat-tasting cocktail that’s overly sweet. Just the right amount and it's a lively dance of flavors on the tongue!

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Liqueur

Maraschino liqueur brings a hint of cherry almond-like flavor which adds complexity and depth. Omitting this would make the cocktail less sophisticated and more one-dimensional. It’s like the secret ingredient that gets people asking, 'What is that intriguing flavor?'

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

This sweetener, simple syrup, is essential for balancing the cocktail’s acidity. Too much of it and you’re sipping syrupy liquid candy, too little and the tartness might cause you to pucker a bit too aggressively.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Juice (Optional)

The optional grapefruit juice adds a subtle bitter note that plays well with other flavors. Skip it, and you still have a delightful cocktail, but include it, and you've got a wider spectrum of fruity taste.

Mary Mitkina


Ice chills the drink, making it more refreshing, and subtly dilutes the mixture to mellow the flavors. The drink would definitely lose its cool factor without it!

Emma Rose

Cherry and Lime Wheel

Finally, the cherry and lime wheel are more than just garnish; they hint at the flavors within and act as a visual cue to the freshness and zest of this playful drink.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make La Floridita Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the white rum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice (if using) to the shaker
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a cherry and lime wheel

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor. Bottled juice can't compare.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail into it. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.
  • If you don't have maraschino liqueur, you can use a cherry-flavored liqueur instead.

Perfect Pairings


  • Shrimp Ceviche: The citrus notes of the cocktail will enhance the lime-marinated shrimp.
  • Grilled Octopus: A slight char on the octopus will complement the smoky notes that white rum can sometimes bring to the table.

Spicy Dishes

  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken: The heat from the chicken will be cooled by the cocktail’s lime and grapefruit juices.

Light Salads

  • Arugula Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette: The peppery leaves mingled with a citrus dressing will echo the flavors in La Floridita.


  • Key Lime Pie: The tartness of the pie will be an excellent companion for the sweet and sour flavors of the cocktail.

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What you could change in La Floridita

  • White rum: You can use any light rum. If you want a stronger flavor, you can use dark rum.
  • Maraschino liqueur: If you don't have this, you can use a cherry-flavored liqueur or cherry brandy.
  • Simple syrup: You can make your own by dissolving sugar in water, or use agave syrup or honey.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Floridita

  • Replace White Rum with Mezcal: Swap out the light white rum for mezcal to introduce a smoky note.
  • Use agave syrup instead of simple syrup: Adds a touch that pairs well with the mezcal.
  • Add a pinch of salt: Enhances the smoky flavor.
  • Serve over a large ice cube in a rocks glass: Changes the dilution rate, making the drink last longer.

This twist adds a smokiness that elevates the cocktail from beachy to bonfire. Perfect for those who want to bring a little edge to their sip.

Spicy Floridita

  • Add a few slices of jalapeño to the shaker: For those who love a spicy kick.
  • Rim the glass with chili salt: A spicy greeting before the sweet citrus hits your taste buds.

This variation turns up the heat and is great for anyone looking to spice up their cocktail experience. It's zesty, it's tangy, it's a party in a glass!

Berry Floridita

  • Substitute maraschino liqueur with blackberry liqueur: Introduce a berry sweetness to the mix.
  • Muddle fresh berries before shaking: For a fresh fruit explosion.

Replacing the maraschino liqueur with blackberry liqueur gives this drink a summery berry twist. Best enjoyed on a warm evening as you pretend you're on vacation.

In case you forgot basics how to make La Floridita

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on La Floridita

What type of rum is best for the La Floridita cocktail?

A high-quality white rum is usually recommended for La Floridita. However, investment in a premium rum such as Havana Club 3 Year Old would elevate the taste of the cocktail.

Is the La Floridita cocktail typically served stirred or shaken?

The La Floridita cocktail is shaken. This adds dilution, chills the drink, and properly mixes the ingredients.

How important is the order of ingredients in a cocktail?

The order of ingredients can be crucial. Some ingredients mix better than others, and it can affect the overall taste and presentation.

Is it acceptable to replace fresh lime juice with bottled lime juice in a pinch?

Though fresh lime juice is always preferred, bottled can be used as a last resort. However, be aware that it will alter the taste and quality of the cocktail.

What's the difference between maraschino liqueur and maraschino cherry juice?

Maraschino liqueur has a distinct, sophisticated flavor profile, made from Marasca cherries and aged in wooden casks, while maraschino cherry juice is simply a by-product of the cherry preserving process, sweet and less complex.

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