by Craig Maltby for Club LT

Happy Holidays! It’s time to hang out with family and spread some holiday cheer. Those two things aren’t always compatible without a bit of extra help so we’ve pulled together a couple holiday cocktails to help get you through the days and weeks ahead.

When it comes to great men of history, Ernest Hemingway is often near the top of the list. Known simply as Papa to friends, he was a man of adventure and excitement that lived a life that few men could even dream of. His exploits included firing a machine gun at sharks trying to eat his catch to surviving a plane crash, hunting Nazi U-Boats with hand grenades, and even being an international secret agent (unfortunately working for the KGB!).

Of course, many of his adventures involved his famous boat, Pilar (named after his third wife) and now the namesake of the brand Papa’s Pilar Rum.

Hemingway was a legendary man who deserves to be celebrated. I think he probably would have used Lucky Tiger to clean up after one of his adventures and put himself in the right mood for writing novels and of course enjoying a great cocktail.

The Hemingway’s Whiskey Distillery in Key West is actually not “his rum” but it is an official partnership with the Hemingway family trust and the folks that brought us other legendary spirits like Angel’s Envy. So when I got a chance to visit there and share a couple of their holiday recipes I jumped at the opportunity.

Here are two of my favorites …

Papa’s Hot Rum Punch (Serves 5+)

By Philip Greene, To Have And Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion


  • 1 bottle Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • 15oz water
  • 7.5oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 5oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 5oz brown sugar simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer on low head for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve in a small coffee cup or Irish coffee mug.Garnish each cup with a lemon peel.

Optional: Add a dash of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters to each serving for extra spice.

Pilar Nog (Serves 5+)

And here’s another winner for the holiday season.

  • 1 cup Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • 1 cup Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sugar
  • St. Elizabeth Allspice dram
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract

Mix together and garnish with fresh nutmeg.

So, this Christmas, let’s raise a glass and celebrate a great man from our past alongside our brothers, fathers, and friends that help make the holidays special for us today. 

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