Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hemingway would turn in his grave…

I was in a Daiquiri mood in Berlin recently and popped into a smart looking bar (lets keep it anonymous) in the Schöneberg area. So, I go straight to the bar, pick a pew , refuse a menu and promptly order my classic, to be made with a good splash of Oronoco.

After watching (and listening) to the bartender hustle a group of guests for tips for a few minutes, I gave him a polite look of confusion (I get confused when I am thirsty, naturally) and his memory jogged enough to place the Boston on the bar. Now, being a bartender myself, I prefer not to watch others make my drinks, it un-nerves me, however, while looking around the accurately arranged back-bar I caught a glimpse of the Bartender pouring a suspiciously yellow liquid into the glass. Now I am not the man from Del Monte but I am under the impression that lime juice has a slight green tinge to it? Either way, without wanting to be a pest or a know-it-all I dismissed it as bad lighting or thirst and surely enough, my drink was soon presented to me on a belated bev-nap.

I discarded the lime wheel garnish from the rim of the glass and took a sip….immediately I cringed and the bartender saw it. He came over and asked if everything was okay. Without answering, I asked “Did you use Lemon or Lime juice to make this?”

I am still angry with myself for asking that question as I make it a general rule not to ask what I already know the answer to.

The bartender answered, “With Lemon juice, Sir.”

I nodded my head politely and asked, “Do you know that Daiquiri’s are traditionally made with fresh lime juice?”

Now this is the reason for my concern. The Bartender replied to me, with a very perplexed expression, “I have always made them with lemon juice. I have never made one with lime juice? In fact, I have never worked in a bar that uses fresh lime juice here, we have Roses Lime. Would you like me to make you another one with that instead?”

Under my breath, I whispered, “My God! Hemingway would turn in his grave.” 

Realising I had said it louder than planned, promptly followed up with, “No thanks, I have to go now, my train is due.”

Now, at that point, I think I slid off the bar stool and through the front door quicker than Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and walked all the way home in a limbo of disbelief and disgust…I was truly shocked and hence decided to write this article.

If you have any views or explanations on why the Germans are capable of making some of the most fascinating things that exist in our modern world, the Bugatti Veyron for example, however they do not find it necessary to squeeze a lime in order to make an otherwise simple but fantastic cocktail then please feel free to respond to this blog in any way you feel.


Many Thanks,




  1. I think we are responsable for this tiny problem.
    We the drinkers.
    Why are we still patronize a bar that serves shit drinks?
    It is simple, one should not go back in bars like that and if next time happens to be again in a place that does not do proper in this case Daiquiri get some info before you walk in.
    I live in Hungary, Budapest and I do drink in only two places cocktails because I know that it just not worth it anywhere else
    This to places are Mini Bar and Martinez.

    Good luck next time

  2. Is there any good reason for Roses Lime juice to exist? It tastes more like battery acid than lime juice to me.

    Is squeezing a lime so hard?

  3. I'm trying to find the source of this Hemingway image for a magazine article. I was wondering if you could please tell me where you found it, so I can contact them to get a high-resolution version?