Ready for a cold Papa Doble?

Cocktails with Hemingway Expert

Ernest Hemingway loved Spain more than any other country,  and he kept coming back for over half of his life. He first visited as a young man, for the bullfights of Pamplona and the San Fermin fiesta. Later, as a foreign correspondent he reported from the front lines of the Spanish Civil War. As an older, world-famous author he mixed with the likes of Frank Sinatra at Madrid’s Museo Chicote. His favourite bars in the capital are basically unchanged, even if they recently had to close for the longest period in their history.

Join us for an exclusive online history lesson and drinking session with resident expert Stephen Phelan. Stephen is the journalist who runs our regular tour of Hemingway’s Madrid. He’ll talk you through all the grit and glamour, writing and fighting of ‘Don Ernesto’ (Hemingway’s pen name) and his Spanish adventures. Stephen will fill you in on the real-life events that inspired many of his best novels and stories, including The Sun Also Rises and For Whom The Bell Tolls. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy this virtual romp through his life and times – Hemingway was absurdly macho even by the standards of the day. Any modern appreciation of his work must also allow rolling eyes at his behaviour, and poking a bit of fun at his expense.


Stephen Phelan Writer Hemingway Expert Insiders Travel
Cocktails Aperitif Hemingway Orange Insiders Travel
Cocktails Aperitif Hemingway Insiders Travel
Preparation Cocktails Writing Hemingway Insiders Travel

Throughout the chat Stephen will also show you how to mix Hemingway’s cocktails of choice. The Dry Martini, as he used to drink it at Madrid’s Hotel Palace Bar, and the Papa Doble, invented by Hemingway himself and still served in his honour at Museo Chicote. So, while you’re hearing all about Don Ernesto’s life and times in Spain, you can raise a glass to the man himself.

What to Expect

Cocktails Aperitif Hemingway Orange Insiders Travel

Drinks prepared and mixed as Hemingway liked them at his favourite bars in Madrid.

Hemingway at Bullfight Insiders Travel

Richly detailed anecdotes that show the legendary author at his best and worst.

Hemingway Writing Insiders Travel

Readings from some of Hemingway’s best stories, giving context for his love of Spain.

Details & Booking

Price: Your own private session is US$ 250 / £ 195 / 215 € / AU$ 352  – from 1 to 10 people.
Available: Every day
Start time and duration: TBD, 1 hour
What’s included: Zoom class with Stephen, resident Hemingway Expert

RESERVATION must be made up to 1 week before.

  • We will email you cocktail recipes prior to the class so you can be prepared.
  • This class is held on Zoom. If you aren’t familiar with the platform, we would be delighted to send you information on how to get started and linked up!

From the taste to... all five senses. Try our private, award winning, art tour through Madrid's top museums that focuses on all five!


writing a review for Insiders Travel

Daniel W

Hemingway Tour w/Stephen

“We had such a fantastic time exploring Hemingway’s Haunts with Stephen. My girlfriend and I landed in Madrid earlier that day, and met Stephen outside of Botin around 7:30. We briefly stopped into the restaurant to see Hemingway’s table. We then moved downstairs to see the lineup of suckling pigs and the famous over.

From there, Stephen brought us to five or six other bars and restaurants where Hemingway would sit and write. Stephen did a wonderful job in providing background on Hemingway’s times in Madrid, his famous writings, and his literary style, while also asking us about ourselves, telling us about himself, explaining Spanish history, etc. It was an absolute 10 out of 10 night, and we cannot thank him enough.”

writing a review insiders travel

Mike T.

Hemingway Tour - Amazing!

“Can’t stop talking about how much we enjoyed the Hemingway Tour! Stephen was great! Very knowledgeable about Hemingway’s time in Madrid, but the tour is much more than that. It is a wonderful way to see the city, experience places you would likely not know about, and have a blast while doing it! Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Madrid!”

writing review for insiders travel


Insider’s Hemingway Tour of Madrid

“A fascinating look around Hemingway’s old stomping ground, great for old fans and new. Stephen is very knowledgeable about all aspects of Hem’s writing and his time in Madrid. Felt transported back in time! It’s incredible to see that these old haunts are still hidden away, and this was a wonderful way to discover places that we’d hoped to find but could never have on our own. Stephen was a lovely guy and would recommend him and his colleagues to any Hemingway fans or travelers in Madrid.”