April 10, 2022

The Mary Pickford

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A nod to Old Hollywood and a little taste of Cuba come together in this Prohibition Era Mary Pickford Cocktail.
A cherry red-colored Rum cocktail displayed in a vintage coupe cocktail glass, garnished with a Bordeaux cherry on a silver cocktail pick, and resting on a white, square, agate coaster with a gold rim around its edges

The Rum fun continues, and this time with another famous cocktail originating from Cuba!

This is one of those drinks that I’ve come across a hundred times, but have never actually seen on a menu or made myself. So when I happened upon the recipe again while reading Dale DeGroff’s “The New Craft of the Cocktail.”

This Rum-based tipple is a Prohibition Era drink created in the early 1920s at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba by either Eddie Woelke or Fred Kaufmann – the debate continues as to who deserves credit! There’s also great debate surrounding how the drink came to be, but the most popular story is that it was named in honor of famous hotel guest Mary Pickford, one of the most popular and powerful actresses and producers of the time, who was visiting Cuba with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. The drink is often described as “sweet, but with a kick – not unlike its namesake.”

There are so many different recipe variations of this cocktail that despite lots of research, I honestly don’t know which one is the true original! So I decided to try out DeGroff’s version and work from there to figure out ratios that work for my own palate.

But I have to admit something: I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Maraschino Liqueur. I know, I know – you cocktail aficionados may scorn me for saying so, but the flavor of it often overwhelms me. I love it as a layer in a drink for the nuance it adds, but I don’t enjoy it as much when it’s a primary flavor, so I dialed it way back. This recipe is essentially my own version of this well-known drink, which makes the Rum the primary star!

I’m curious, though: For those of you who drink cocktails, do you have any strong opinions on Maraschino Liqueur?

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A cherry red-colored Rum cocktail displayed in a vintage coupe cocktail glass, garnished with a Bordeaux cherry on a silver cocktail pick, and resting on a white, square, agate coaster with a gold rim around its edges

The Mary Pickford

A nod to Old Hollywood and a little taste of Cuba come together in this Prohibition Era Mary Pickford Cocktail.

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

2 oz White Rum

2 oz Pineapple Juice

2 teaspoons Grenadine

1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur

Garnish: Bordeaux Cherry

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice and garnish with a cherry.

A cherry red-colored Rum cocktail displayed in a vintage coupe cocktail glass, garnished with a Bordeaux cherry on a silver cocktail pick, and resting on a white, square, agate coaster with a gold rim around its edges

The Mary Pickford

A nod to Old Hollywood and a little taste of Cuba come together in this Prohibition Era Mary Pickford Cocktail.

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

2 oz White Rum

2 oz Pineapple Juice

2 teaspoons Grenadine

1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur

Garnish: Bordeaux Cherry

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice and garnish with a cherry.

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