The Flighty La Floridita Daiquiri

Ad from Holiday Magazine, '52

The inspiration for this delectable rum cocktail came from signature Daiquiri of the Floridita Restaurant-Bar in Cuba.  Its tart and only lightly sweet flavor, with subtle hints of floral is considered  to be one of the most significant cocktails the post-prohibition era.  Made from Havana Club Rum (currently unavailable in the U.S. due to the embargo), Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and fresh lime juice, shaken and served over shaved ice, the La Floridita Daiquiri was hugely popular among pre-Castro tourists and expatriates visiting the “tropical playground”  and the drink’s legendary status was solidified by the dedicated patronage of writer Ernest Hemingway, who had his own variant of the recipe. The Daiquiri and Hemingway are forever linked and Miss Flighty thought it was high time for an update.

Including the Floridita on the bar menu at the Orbit Room Cafe (1900 Market St. San Francisco) back in 2004 was a bit of a challenge.  One of the key ingredients Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur was impossible to find in San Francisco and had to be special ordered and it would arrive sporadically, often covered with a thick layer of dust.  It was an exciting moment to finally be able to mix an Aviation or an authentic style Floridita Daiquiri. The drink became a bar favorite with the updated recipe presented here.  For cocktail purists it was easy to modify and with the sugar edge the Flightidita became something to offer customers who ordered Cosmos or Appletini’s.

Now, decades later Miss Flighty is proud to carry on a tradition, mixin’ it up Hemingway style…Margaux Hemingway that is, during her Studio 54 years, not her famous grandfather.  But trust me, Flighty has done her R&D, its a tasty drink and who doesn’t love a little good disco?  So cheers and watch the episode to get the recipe.

To Cocktail Purists and wearers of the Twisty Mustachio

For all you dedicated cocktail historians–WARNING –this drink is not claiming to be nor trying to be the authentic original recipe. If that is what you are seeking, please try one of the other great shows out there such as the Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess.  He is an amazing mixologist and dedicated cocktail historian. Hopefully implied in the name alone , Cocktails on the Fly was created to provide something a little different.  We are well aware of  the lack of sugar in the Hemingway Daiquiri and are knowledgeable of his health problems, no offense was intended by our little twist on the classic.

We here at COTF HQ are also very passionate about history and technique, but we  believe that drinking and making drinks should be fun, not hindered by staunch cocktail politics and limited to basement exclusivity and twisty mustaches. Your efforts to communicate the classicist methods are always appreciated, just please remember to not take yourselves too seriously. It is always a pleasure to share recipes and techniques and we all have our different styles which keeps mixology fresh and exciting.  Cheers!

Girlyhead Magazine Prints Miss Flighty’s Roamin’ Holiday

Since Miss Flighty really has nothing new to offer in the way of new information about the history of this storied drink, she though she’d throw in something kinda fun.  Its a excerpt from an article she wrote and designed nearly a decade ago for the Romance Issue of the fabulous Girlyhead – a 60s Garage Punk Culture magazine for the ladies-by Sunny Anderson Chanel.  I would put up a link for you all but couldn’t really find it–I guess Ms. Chanel was doing her thing before all the web-stuff made her brilliant efforts obsolete.  Miss Flighty recommends you pick up an issue whenever you find one, and if you see the Romance Issue, check out her 3 page article entitled, Roamin’ Holiday. The article is a Jet Age round-the-world cocktail adventure that could be had right in one’s own living room.  Miss Flighty, at this time writing as lamented the passing of the the deluxe service and style of airline travel in the 60s and recommends a series of destinations accompanied by appropriate cocktails that would help paper and re-cultivate a “romance” with one’s self.  A series of vintage postcards told the story and transportation to each destination was courtesy of Miss Flighty’s favorite airlines. For the leg of the drinking adventure that landed in Havana, Cubana was the airline and the La Floridita Daiquiri was the drink.  Check out the text and a scan of the layout from page three of the Roamin’ Holiday piece in Girlyhead.

Page from Miss Flighty's Roamin' Holiday, Girlyhead, "04

Boarding next: the stealth jet en-route to Havana, Cuba.  Ladies, time to don your  Spy-Girl Catsuits!!  Our mission: to revolutionize revolutionary fashion.  We must persuade El Jefe to purge his pea-green palate; Miss Flighty sez, “fatigues don’t have to look fatigued!  Put some color in your scheme before you start to look like the Bay of Pigs!”  Our reward:  A visit to the La Floridita Bar to sample a few cigars and their wold famous Daiquiri.  The recipe, a pre-Castro specialty that bears little resemblance to the overly sweet, frozen version so popular today.  Ernest Hemingway, rumored to be a regular in the 1930s ordered his a double with a splash of grapefruit juice.