Hemingway’s Josie Russell Cocktail

Just the thing for a fall fishing trip

The recipe for this drink came from Ernest Hemingway’s fishing log handwritten in June of 1933, where its ingredients were listed under the simple heading “Cocktail.” The name pays tribute to Joe “Josie Grunts” Russell, a close friend of Hemingway’s who ran liquor from Cuba to Florida during Prohibition and, immediately following its repeal, opened Key West mainstay Sloppy Joe’s. Hemingway was fishing on Russell’s boat when he wrote down the recipe for this drink, a potent blend of rum, hard apple cider, lime, and sugar. Sounds like just the thing to warm up a fall fishing trip.

Photo: Courtesy: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Joe Russell and Ernest Hemingway with a marlin in Havana circa 1932, with Joe Jr. at left.


    • 4½ oz. rum

    • 12 oz. hard apple cider

    • 2 oz. fresh lime juice

    • 2 tsp. sugar


  1. Fill a pitcher with ice, add all ingredients, and stir well. Serve on ice in collins or highball glasses, garnished with lime wedge or peel. Serves two to three.

Recipe from To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion