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  El Floridita

  On a hot noon in Havana, Ernest Hemingway first visited ‘El Floridita’, a restaurant-bar located on Obispo Street. He sat down – and he would always do it on the same seat. El Floridita was like a refuge where he shared with many friends and even with fellow-citizens who came to visit him. There, he practically created a special drink of daiquirí with his name. It is called ‘Papa Doble’ or ‘Hemingway Special’, a variant made with Cuban white rum, grapefruit, and lemon juice, maraschino, and ice cubes. He never put sugar in the original drink, but he doubled the quantity of rum.
He sometimes drank about twelve glasses of those daiquiris in just a few hours and, as if it weren’t enough, he took one in each hand to continue with his hobby as he traveled back to La Vigia.
Papa Hemingway’s visits were more frequent from 1940 on. There, he created a club of Cuban friends who got together around him on “his corner”.
In ‘El Floridita’ he enjoyed the company of notable friends such as: the Dukes of Windsor, Errol Flynn, Gene Turney, Jean Paul Sartre, Gary Cooper, Dominguín, a famous bull fighter of those years, Tennesse Williams, Charles Scribner, Spencer Tracy, Rocky Marciano, Ava Gardner, Samuel Eliot Morison, Buck Lanham, and Herbert Mattews.
The foot of a drawing in the Esquire magazine that identifies the exact place the novelist used to visit frequently, read: The bar ‘El Floridita’, in Havana, is an institution of probidity, where the spirit of a man may be arisen through conversations and company. It is an international crossway. Rum, necessarily, prevails and, as in the case of other bars, the presence of a famous man provides a special atmosphere, a feeling of a quiet friendly philosophy for drinks: the Cuban resident, Ernest Hemingway.

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