Cocktail Kingdom Library (home)
From the collection of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry

Constantino Ribalaigua Vert


Proprietor of El Floridita, dean of Cuban bartenders, instigator of the frozen Daiquiri

Constante, as he was known, emigrated to Cuba around 1899 with his family and began bartending as a teenager. In 1918, Constante managed to purchase the already-100-years-old restaurant at which he was then working, Restaurante Bar La Florida (later known as El Floridita). There, Constante worked for the rest of his life, serving a mostly Cuban clientele, but also attracting personalities such as Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene, who were seeking to avoid the tourists at bars like Sloppy Joe’s. Constante created drinks, but was most famous for his embrace of the electric blender, with which he popularized his legendary frozen Daiquiris. Constante was an eventual member of the Club de Cantineros, and he succeeded Emilio “Maragato” Gonzalez as the de facto “dean” of Cuban bartenders.

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