Easy Does It

Born in a Prohibition-era bar in Havana, christened with the establishment’s name (along with a close relative, the Floridita Daiquiri), witness to a thousand awkward moments as Hemingway mumbled nearby over his Papa Dobles, the Floridita happens to be one of the most counter-intuitive, paradigm-shifting drinks I can think of. It also happens to be incredibly delicious.


  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • 1 dash white creme de cacao

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

While the Floridita is suave and mysterious in the glass and surprising to the palate, it’s also–and there’s no gentle way to put this–quite easy to fuck up. When mixing these, precise measurement is essential, especially when it comes to the dashes–DASHES, mind you, not splashes!–of grenadine and creme de cacao. A cavalier attitude around the cocktail shaker will give you a glass of sweet, weird-tasting goo; take a little time and give it some attention, however, and you’ll wind up with an incredibly complex drink–the sour citrus first on the palate, giving way to the depth of the rum and sweet florals of vermouth, and finishing with the deep, gentle hint of fruit and chocolate. Impress your friends, or just yourself–this one is worth the work.

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3 Responses to Easy Does It

  1. This cocktail is surprisingly complex. I love the aroma. It feels like it’s not perfect to me for some reason… and I think that reason is the quality of my ingredients, but I’m not sure.

    Could you recommend what brands of liquor you used in this drink?

    Thanks so much. I forsee me commenting a good bit your blog, as I have just discovered what appears to be a wonderful resource.

  2. Thanks for the note–

    The Floridita is a favorite of mine. You can make it with a common white rum like Bacardi or Cruzan with perfectly acceptable results, but I’m currently fond of Flor de Cana’s white rum, which is aged for four years then filtered. Much more flavorful.

    But the quality of other ingredients can really mess with the outcome–I use Cinzano sweet vermouth (which seems lighter and fruitier than Martini Rossi), DeKuyper white creme de cacao (by default–it’s about the only brand you can find in Seattle, though I understand the Marie Brizard version is excellent), and a homemade grenadine, since the common commercial types like Roses are just depressing.

    Another variable is your lime–I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but here in Seattle, during the winter, we seem to import some variety of lime with a very thick, dark-green peel, that has a much more bitter juice than the smoother-skinned, lighter-colored variety.

    Anyway, this is a drink worth exploring–once you hit the right note, it’s just excellent.

    Thanks for the kind words, and come back soon.


  3. i’ve always made mine with a grapefruit lime sour…

    no vermouth no grenadine to play on the classic chocolate grapefruit pairing….

    your so right about easy to fuck up especially with the cocoa…that flavor has to subliminal…. wine makers use that blending technique all the time….

    i want to give this recipe a whirl…

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