Newsletter Archive

When Life Gives You Lemons--Make Daiquiris

To our friends and collectors, we invite you to visit Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon.  We have been curated into the "Landscape and Architecture" exhibition in the gallery for July 2020.  We are excited to be one of 24 photographers to have been chosen to exhibit our print.  It is titled "Morning Fog", and was taken in the Vinales Valley in Cuba.

Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was declared a National Nature Monument.  It is located in the Sierra de los Organos mountains in the Pinar del Rio Province in the western end of Cuba.  The valley is an outstanding Karst landscape in which traditional methods of agriculture, notably tobacco growing, have survived unchanged for several centuries.  The region also preserves a rich vernacular tradition in its architecture, crafts and music.  Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves and underground drainage systems.  It is dotted with dome like limestone outcroppings called mogotes, that are as high as 985 feet.

To visit the gallery on line, go to, then go to "exhibitions", then "Current Exhibition", then "Framed: Landscape and Architecture" and finally "gallery Exhibition".  All exhibition prints will be kept in a flat file after the show for future sale and promotion of the photographer for 5 years.

While in Cuba we stayed in Havana and had the pleasure of visiting El Floridita, a historic fish restaurant and cocktail bar.  The establishment is famous for its daiquiris and for having been one of the favorite hangouts of Ernest Hemingway.  We toasted the life sized bronze statue of Hemingway, sitting at  his favorite place at the end of the bar, with a daiquiri.  According to history, Hemingway popped into El Floridita to use the rest room and saw the bartender mix a batch of frozen daiquiris.  Being noted as a prolific drinker, he picked up the drink and tried it.  After a few tastes, he is said to have told the bartender, "That's good, but I'd prefer it without the sugar (he was diabetic) ….and double the rum."  It became known as "Papa Doble".  "Papa" was Hemingway's nickname in Havana, while "doble" (double in Spanish)  indicated his preferred octane!  It was made with 4 ounces of rum with only a splash of lime. 

El Floridita has since updated the Hemingway daiquiri for the public by using 2 ounces of rum and Maraschino liqueur rather than the traditional cane syrup.  A touch of ruby red grapefruit juice is also used to balance the drink.  It adds a slight touch of sweetness to counter the lime, but with a refreshing tartness.  Here is the recipe:  2 ounces white rum, 3/4 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur, 1/2 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice (preferably freshly squeezed), and a lime wedge for garnish.  As Hemingway said, "Don't bother with churches, government buildings or city squares.  If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars."  We visited and did all of the above!

The drink is named for where it was created.  In 1898,  after Roosevelt's  victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill,  the Americans began to exploit Cuba's iron-ore mines.  Jennings Stockton Cox led one of the initial exploratory expeditions.  Cox and his team worked in the Sierra Maestro Mountains on the south eastern shore of Cuba where the small town of Daiquiri lies.  The engineers received substantial salaries and generous tobacco rations.  After all, there had to be some inducements for these qualified engineers to leave secure positions in the USA and brave the threat of yellow fever in Cuba.  Cox added to those inducements by requesting a monthly ration of the local rum, Bacardi Carta Blanca.  He noticed that the Cuban workers often mixed Bacardi with their evening coffee.  So he began to experiment, and made a drink from ingredients he had on hand:  rum, limes and sugar, and named it "Daiquiri", the place of its origin.  It seems the daiquiri traveled back to America with US Admiral Lucius Johnson, a US Navy medical who fought in the Spanish American war of 1898.  He introduced the drink to the Army and Navy Club in Washington.  A plaque in the club's lounge records his place in cocktail history!

Sunday, July 19, 2020 is National Daiquiri Day.  So fill your glass with the delicious summer cooler and give thanks to Jennings Cox....enjoy whatever version you choose with your virtual friends and remember social  distancing with your on-site friends!!!

Our winning image is available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our this website, for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 2p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.  That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

Ernest Hemingway