Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Mary Pickford

A bright red shaken cocktail in a coupe glass against a brown sparkly background
Image: / Tim Nusog

Mary Pickford, a classic rum cocktail, is known to be perfectly sweet but with a kick (not unlike like its namesake). The most popular origin story for this tropical favorite goes a little something like this: in early 1920s Cuba, the Mary Pickford cocktail was created and named for the pioneering star, who was working on a film in Havana with husband Douglas Fairbanks at the time (as was Charlie Chaplin, Fairbanks’ best friend). As with most classic drinks, the bartender responsible is somewhat debated—in this case, it comes down to two local bartenders: Eddie Woelke and Fred Kaufman, though Kaufman tends to get the lion’s share of the credit.

While the Cuba story is a fun one, Vanity Fair reports that “a thorough review of Mary and Doug’s schedule reveals no trips to Cuba—and they never made a film there during their marriage.” This certainly throws a wrench in the tale, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the drink wasn’t made in Pickford’s honor.

We do know that the Mary Pickford cocktail first appeared in print in 1928 with the publishing of Basil Woon’s cocktail book, “When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba,” and again in the 1930 edition of “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by legendary bartender Harry Craddock. And throughout history, one thing about this drink has been clear in that fresh pineapple juice is key (this is true for most juices where cocktails are concerned, though you can also play around with some more sustainable methods, such as citrus stock).


  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp grenadine6 drops maraschino liqueur


  1. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.

  2. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.