Mary Pickford, a classic rum cocktail, is known to be sweet but with a kick—not unlike like its namesake. The most popular origin story for this tropical favorite goes 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 at the time with husband Douglas Fairbanks (as was Charlie Chaplin, Fairbanks’ best friend). The bartender responsible, as happens with most classic drinks, 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 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.
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
6 drops maraschino liqueur
Add the white rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and maraschino liqueur to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.