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Dec. 12 Ernest Saves Christmas

How can you truly enjoy the world, when you only see things as they're presented? How do you know what's truly good, when you've only had what you're told is good? I ask myself these things everyday, especially when making new drinks. Sometimes, what others might initially find ridiculous, or even "wrong," turns out to be better than the original. You just needed an extra nudge out the door to make it happen, to bring it to life.

We're here again, my thirsty readers, so welcome back! There are certain things that just seem to intersect and find each other. Sometimes they were in different places or even a different time, but either way, they never seemed to intersect. Two people, responsible for drinks in one way or another, have this very connection, and better yet, they have the same name.


We've all probably heard the stories of Ernest Hemingway and his legendary love of drink. While living in Havana, he fell in love with the Daiquiri, and no bar prepared them better than El Floridita. Being a man of exceptional thirst, it's said that Hemingway ordered his Daiquiris with double the rum and no sugar. It doesn't take a seasoned cocktail maker to know this wouldn't taste very nice. Just imagine a large pour of rum with some lime juice and no sweetener whatsoever rolling down your throat. It's said the bartenders eventually added a bit of maraschino liqueur and grapefruit to balance things out, and the Hemingway Daiquiri was born.

Just a few years before Hemingway was slurping down Daiquiris in Havana, another Ernest was making some liquid history of his own. I've mentioned him on here before. His name was Ernest Gantt, the world would come to know him as Donn Beach, and I generally refer to him as the GOAT of cocktails, creating the template we know today as the tiki bar.

Among his many great creations, I've always been particularly impressed by the missionary's downfall. This beautiful medley of rum, lime, peach, pineapple, and mint, is a far cry from the simplicity of the Daiquiri, but it owes it's roots to the Cuban beverage. I sometimes wonder how blown away Gantt's guests must have been, sipping this cocktail, which would be impressive even by modern standards, at a time when cocktails were still rather classic in form.

As I've mentioned before, rules were meant to be broken. Both of these drinks have summer written all over them, but they lend themselves to the holiday treatment quite well. We could have just named this "A Tale of Two Ernests," but giving a nod to Jim Varney felt a bit more playful. Let's blend these up and combine, Miami Vice style!


Papa Christmas (The Hemingway Half)

1oz Multi-Island White Rum

.75oz Vanilla Syrup

.25oz Maraschino Liqueur

.5oz Lime Juice

.5oz Grapefruit Juice

4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

Evergreen Terrace (The Donn Half)

1oz Aged Jamaican Rum\

1 barspoon Green Chartreuse

.5oz Cinnamon Syrup

.5oz Honey Syrup

.25oz Allspice Dram

.5oz Lime Juice

.5oz Pineapple Juice

4 Mint Leaves

Large footed glass such as a hurricane or thistle.

Blend each drink separately with 1.5 cups ice each.

Combine by layering in the glass.

Garnish with tea leave of pineapple fronds, cinnamon stick, orchid, and parasol.


Layering frozen drinks tends to get a bad reputation. Usually they are bland, sugary concoctions being poured from machines. I think this one breaks that misconception and puts it to rest. I know this one can be a bit daunting, especially if you don't have two blenders, but give it a whirl. Maybe this is just what's needed to save Christmas this year. With so much left to do today, I must say goodbye, something about promises to keep and miles to go I think. Anyways, until next time, keep shaking.


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