Weekly Cocktail #5: The Ernesto

The Ernesto. If Hemingway was in Baja instead of Cuba, this could have been his drink.

Sometimes with food blogging it seems there is a prerequisite to provide a pithy story along with every recipe. But, despite my deep enjoyment for cooking, eating and drinking, I often struggle for particularly pithy prose (but not for alliteration). Luckily, this week’s drink actually does have a decent story attached, so I guess my blogging karma is good today.

Recently we have been playing with rum cocktails, and one of the classics is the Hemingway Daiquiri. It is a combination of rum, lime, grapefruit, maraschino and/or sugar. Hemingway, being the “manly-man” that he, was preferred his with “twice the rum and none of the sugar”. Having read a few Hemingway bios, my guess is that he ordered it that way, but probably drank it with the normal recipe. Papa could be a showman at times…

In any event, when making the Hemingway Daiquiri recipe we tried substituting tequila (Cazadores Reposado, our standard tequila) for the rum. We also used both sugar and maraschino to slightly sweeten up the drink. (The bonus is that you can substitute more sugar if you do not have Maraschino, the drink is still good). The cocktail was great, and it’s not surprising, given that tequila plays well with grapefruit and lime.

What did surprise us, is that this cocktail is uncommon. We assumed it would be a “named” drink and searched the internet for the title, but it turns out the only reference we could find was very recent. The article from Fine Cooking (see here) called the drink the “Ernesto”, and that makes sense and is good fun, so we will use it here. But considering the relatively common ingredients, we are still thinking this drink had to exist somewhere else with some other name.

Either way, the Ernesto is a very tasty drink, is easy to make and uses grapefruit that is in season for most of us. Try it out, the internet seems to think it is a recent creation. But if you know of this drink by another name, please let us know.

The Ernesto Cocktail:

Notes Before You Start:

– You can substitute 1/2 oz. simple syrup or a teaspoon of superfine sugar for Maraschino. The drink will feature the grapefruit a bit more, but there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

What You Get: A tasty tequila cocktail that uses grapefruit. Something “new”…maybe.

What You Need: No special equipment required.

How Long? Another easy cocktail, this takes less than 5 minutes to make and can be made in batches.


(Makes 1 drink)

– 2 oz. Good Reposado or Silver Tequila. (We prefer Cazadores Reposado, it works in everything).

– 3/4 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice

– 3/4 oz. Fresh lime juice

– 1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur

– 1/2 oz. Simple syrup (or a teaspoon of superfine sugar)

– Grapefruit wedge for garnish, if you like


1. Combine all liquid ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly.

2. Strain cocktail into a martini glass or coupe. Garnish with grapefruit.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Cocktail #5: The Ernesto

  1. Pingback: Carnitas | Putney Farm

  2. Pingback: Cocktail DIY: Stocking Your Bar At Home « Putney Farm

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