History Of The Papa Doble
Some of the earliest references to the papa doble come from the January 1949 issue of Life Magazine. The writer tells the story of how Hemingway earned the name papa from his fellow military officers and how to order the papa doble in Cuba.
“The officers of the 4th division had an affectionate variety of nick-names for him Ernie, … Kraut hunter, or old dr. Hemingstein, … Ernie Hemorrhoid, poor man’s Pyle, but mostly they called him papa. Those were the names he liked the best and they have followed him back to Cuba.”
“You order a Daiquiri, trying to explain how you want it made, and the waiter at the Café Florida says brightly, “Como Papá?” If you answer, “Yes, like Papa,” a double Daiquiri without sugar appears in a shaker brimful of shaved ice.”
Hemingway was both an alcoholic and a diabetic. So he took his drinks strong and sugar-free. No one ever specifics what kind of rum to use, but the papa doble is pretty good if prepared with a nice aged rum. Similar to tequila and lime or dropping a lime in beer the Papa Doble is a cool refreshing drink of rum with a little bit of citrus. If prepared this way and served as a dirty pour (ice from the shaker and all) the Papa Doble is a nice drink and the aged rum gives it enough sweetness and flavor to make up for its lack of sugar.
Keep in mind that the Papa Doble and the Hemingway Daiquiri are not the same drink. The two are often considered the same, and the Hemingway daiquiri is also called a Papa Doble. The Papa Doble was a very different cocktail that most people would not like. The Hemingway Daiquiri as we know it today started to appear around the 1960s. One of its earliest references is from the publication “Cuba, Paloma de Vuelo Popular” by Nestor Teran. Teran refers to the cocktail as the Hemingway Special at Bar Floridita. If Hemingway had this cocktail, it was probably much later in his life (he passed in 1961), and residents knew this was not the Papa Doble but a different cocktail entirely.