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A Classic and a Cocktail

A Classic and a Cocktail

The Old Man and the Sea and a Hemingway for Me 

Editor’s Culture Corner 
by Laureen Young

Nothing compares to the feeling I get when holding a great book in one hand and a great cocktail in the other. For me, this is a match made in heaven. When it comes to the classics, there is no greater pairing than The Old Man and the Sea and the daiquiri named for its author.  

This short story is one of my favorites for a reason. It is not just a classic. It is classic Ernest Hemingway. His short, declarative sentences are like a well-timed reel, pulling you deeper and deeper into the story until you find yourself rowing alongside Santiago on the open water.  

Yet, the simplicity of his prose also beckons you to dive into the deeper waters of the character’s perspective. More than just a fisherman’s adventure, this story is one of profound determination, quiet strength and the love of a true friend.  

I recommend The Old Man and the Sea as often as I can because its themes are accessible to anyone. Santiago fails. He is courageous. He does the hard work when no one is watching. He questions himself through the struggles. He loves.  

This quiet masculinity reminds me so much of my own beloved sailor, my dad. Because he knows no other way, just like Santiago, he works his hands to the bone, even as he grows old. My husband, I am sure, will be the same way.  

The best takeaway from this novella is that victory does not always look the way you think it might. Santiago may not come away with the enormous marlin, but I would still handily declare him the winner of this epic high-seas battle.  

Just as refreshing as this literary escapade is the cool, tarte Hemingway Daiquiri. Of course, this drink has a story as rich and colorful as the waters of the Caribbean. Hemingway frequented the bars during his time in Cuba and was known to sip on this concoction between bouts of writing and big-game fishing. Legend has it that he proudly held the 16-daquiri record at the El Floridita bar in Havana.

The flavors of this cocktail, much like the grizzled old fisherman Santiago, are bold and complex. With tangy lime, sweet grapefruit and potent rum, this drink instantly transports you to the shores of paradise.   

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 So, raise your glass and toast to The Old Man and the Sea, to adventure and friendship, and to the joy that can only be found in a classic and a cocktail.  

Hemingway Recipe 


  • 2 oz. Bacardi white rum  
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo cherry liqueur 
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice 
  • 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice 


  1. Add the rum, cherry liqueur, lime juice and grapefruit juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. 
  2. Strain into a coupe glass. 
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel. 

Laureen Young is the editorial director of Guide to Greater Gainesville, Guide to Greater Tampa Bay and HOME: Living in Greater Gainesville magazines. The Editor’s Culture Corner is a monthly column where she shares a variety of arts and culture-related topics.    

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