• Weekly Cocktail #47: Hemingway Hated Hawaii

    The Hemingway Hated Hawaii cocktail.

    The Hemingway Hated Hawaii cocktail.

    Did Hemingway really “hate” Hawaii? It’s hard to say, but he didn’t seem to like it all that much…but more on that later. Meanwhile, the Putney Farm crew is enjoying our trip to Kauai the rainy “Garden Isle”. Knowing that the weather can be terrible unpredictable, we started to build ourselves a tropical bar to help pass the time and make our umpteenth hand of bridge a bit more enjoyable. It is a riff on our “basic home bar” of citrus, sugar, gin, rum, Cointreau and Angostura bitters, but instead of whiskey we have tequila and we slip in some Bittermens Tiki bitters. Tiki drinks, Margaritas, Palomas and old school British colonial cocktails like the Pegu Club and Pink Gin are all on our fingertips. Life is good my friends, very good.

    The "tropical bar". All you need while in warmer climates.

    The “tropical bar”. All you need while in warmer climates.

    hem1But what about a cocktail book? Don’t we want to educate ourselves whist we imbibe? Of course we do. So we brought along “To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion“, Phillip Green’s excellent cocktail book inspired by Hemingway’s love of booze. And whether you liked Papa’s writing or not (we are fans, but with a wink), the man knew how to mix a drink and throw a party. Our kind of guy.

    Our alarm clock.

    Our alarm clock.

    hem4As we worked through the book we found a great recipe for a basic highball of gin and coconut water, and it was extremely tasty. (It may not be an intuitive mix, but the coconut water takes any rough edges off the gin while keeping the best herbal notes.) We then found a recipe for the “Green Issac’s Special” or “Tomini” a combo of gin, coconut water, lime juice and Angostura bitters. Even better. And as we are in Hawaii and exploring long drinks, we wanted to go a bit more tropical/tiki so we added a dash of Cointreau (Hemingway disliked sugar in his cocktails, we like a touch of sweet) and some of the Tiki bitters. The sweet orange and extra spice took the cocktail over the top. So now we had a new cocktail, but no name. Not yet.

    hem5But as we read on, it turned out that Hemingway didn’t really take to all the “Aloha” you get in Hawaii, or at least what you get on cruise ships in Honolulu. Go figure. We would have thought that the big wave surfers, free divers and watermen of Hawaii would have appealed to Hemingway. But Hemingway died in 1961 and missed out on a generation of special athletes and personalities that would match any bullfighter or Caribbean rum runner. His loss. But he was dead, so we will give him a pass.

    hem8But Hemingway’s dislike for Hawaii did give us the name for our cocktail, and we do love a touch of alliteration at the farm. The Hemingway Hated Hawaii is a light, but very flavorful, long drink. You get an aroma of herbal gin, spice and lime, followed by the clean cold taste of the gin and coconut water with a touch of sweet orange from the Cointreau, and a finish of tart lime and spice from the Angostura and Tiki bitters. This drink goes down easy and is perfect on a warm day. We will drink this all summer, wherever we are- even if it is in Hawaii. Sorry Papa, but we think you might understand.

    The Hemingway Hated Hawaii.

    The Hemingway Hated Hawaii cocktail.

    Hemingway Hated Hawaii:

    Ingredients:

    • 4 oz. coconut water (found at most markets these days)
    • 2 oz. dry gin
    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • 2 dashes Bittermens Tiki bitters (or a drop of Allspice dram)
    • Lime wedge, for garnish

    Assemble:

    1. Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a highball or collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve.

    —–

    The Green Issac’s Special or Tomini:

    Ingredients:

    • 4 oz. coconut water
    • 2 oz. dry gin
    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • Lime wedge, for garnish

    Assemble:

    1. Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a highball or collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve.
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