You can’t talk cocktails in Havana without mentioning Ernest Hemingway. When “dry-laws” stopped alcohol production and sales in the United States from 1920 to 1933, those who could, left for Cuba. Among them was the American novelist and future Nobel prize winner, who left home, entered the El Floridita bar in Havana, and never left. In fact, he’s still sitting on his favourite stool near the entrance, cast in bronze.
It’s no surprise when you learn that Hemingway’s favourite bartender at El Floridita is the man responsible for the daiquiri. The El Floridita was his laboratory, and its patrons were his taste-testers. After years of experimenting, he finally perfected the recipe and technique sometime around 1920, and The El Floridita has been calling itself "La Cuna del Daïquiri" – or “The Cradle of the Daïquiri” – ever since.
Of course you wouldn’t expect Hemingway to ignore the many other bars in Havana, and he didn’t. He was also a regular at La Bodeguita del Medio, home to the classic Mojito, and openly declared his admiration for the cocktail on many occasions.
Where Hemingway went, the rest of the world followed -- the Duke of Windsor, Jean-Paul Sartre, Errol Flynn, and Greta Garbo, were among the many A-listers to flock to Havana. When these thirsty tourists arrived, they soon fell in love with the city’s world-class cocktails and passionate bartenders. After all, this is where the Cuba Libre, Mojito, and Daiquiri all first achieved fame.