After months sequestered away due to COVID-19 and with Canadian weather reuniting with Old Man Winter, we yearn for the Caribbean’s blue skies, warm breezes, sandy beaches and luxury resorts. We patiently wait to sit by the pool or at the beach on a lounge chair sipping delicious, thirst-quenching Caribbean cocktails. But have you ever thought of recreating these favourite cocktail recipes at home?
Discover a bit of the history and culture behind these classic beverages, but be warned–just like the Caribbean, these cocktail recipes can be intoxicating.
If you can’t wait to fly off to the Caribbean, why not start by bringing the islands to you. Start dreaming about your next Caribbean holiday as you stir up these delicious and refreshing cocktail recipes.
Puerto Rico – Piña Colada
The origins of Puerto Rico’s national drink may be in dispute, but the sinfully sweet and delicious taste of the Piña Colada certainly isn’t–International Piña Colada Day is celebrated every July 10. Some say the fruity cocktail dates back to an 18th century Puerto Rican pirate serving it to his crew, while modern lore dates it to between 1954 and 1963 in San Juan with three different San Juan bartenders all claiming its invention. No matter its origins, the sweet mix of coconut cream, pineapple juice, white rum and ice is the perfect libation for sitting seaside in a Puerto Rican hotel bar.
- 60 ml of coconut cream
- 120 ml pineapple juice
- 4 cubes of ice
- 60 ml white rum
- Cherries, pineapple wedges and whipped cream for toppings
In a blender, mix coconut cream, pineapple juice, ice and rum until all ingredients are blended smoothly. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream then garnish with cherries and pineapple wedges.
Cuba – Mojito
Despite being stirred and not shaken, the mojito was the drink of choice for James Bond in the movie Die Another Day. Some claim the mojito was born as “El Draque” when explorer Sir Francis Drake came to Cuba. Others believe African slaves in the 1800s gave it its modern name while working the sugar cane fields before it became more popular with Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s sampling his share. In any event, the mojito has gained popularity well beyond Cuba’s shores with its five essential ingredients: white rum, soda water, lime juice, sugar and mint.
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- ½ lime
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 45 ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
- 90 ml sparkling water
- 3 ice cubes
Mix sugar and squeezed lime juice with a spoon. Muddle the mint sprigs in the sugar and lime mixture. Mix again after adding Havana Club and ice cubes. Top up with sparkling water and garnish with a mint sprig. Salud!
Jamaica – Black Passion Rum Punch
Rum and reggae are synonymous with Jamaica. Add in a luxury beach resort and you have the perfect blend to enjoy another Jamaican staple, rum punch. Appleton Estate is Jamaica’s oldest distillery dating back to 1749, just one of more than 100 rum distilleries in Jamaica by the late 19th century. With scarce clean water resources at the time, rum was mixed with fresh fruit juices such as pineapple, orange and lime and rum punch was born. Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum, a dark rum that packs a liquid punch from an old family recipe, is one of the more popular rums today. It’s owned by Chris Blackwell, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and owner of Ian Fleming’s former residence, GoldenEye.
- 2 parts Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum (or similar dark rum)
- 2 parts fresh orange juice
- 1 part Passion fruit puree
- Slice of fresh orange for garnish
Combine rum, orange juice and passion fruit puree in a punch bowl and allow ingredients to sit for at least one hour (more for optimal flavour). Serve over ice with a fresh slice of citrus fruit.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) – Painkiller
As the name implies, this cocktail is not only a painkiller but a Caribbean drink guaranteed to go down smooth and easy–and more pleasurable than popping a pill. Unlike more traditional Caribbean cocktails, the Painkiller was only invented in 1970 by Daphne Henderson of the Soggy Dollar Beach Bar located in White Harbour. The Painkiller can be described as a Piña Colada without the work (no blender required) consisting of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut and grated nutmeg. Drink a couple of these cocktails and you will have a pain-free Caribbean holiday.
- 60 ml Pusser’s Rum
- 120 ml pineapple juice
- 30 ml orange juice
- 30 ml cream of coconut
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Cherry and orange slice for garnish
Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour in a large glass or goblet filled with ice. Grate fresh nutmeg on top. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.
Bermuda – Dark ‘n Stormy
It seems fitting Bermuda’s national cocktail would be called Dark ‘n Stormy, perhaps because of the mysterious disappearances of ships and planes in the so-called Bermuda Triangle? Not so. Instead, ginger beer was poured in a glass and then a splash of Goslings Black Seal Rum was added and floated on top. Due to its cloudy colour, an old salt remarked the drink was the “colour of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” Dark ‘n Stormy is a trademarked cocktail to protect the drink’s consistency using Goslings Black Seal Rum, Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, a lime wedge and ice. Drink enough and stormy seas might be ahead.
- 6 oz Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer
- 5 oz Goslings Black Seal Rum
- Lime for garnish
- Ice cubes
Fill glass with ice. Add Goslings Ginger Beer. Float Goslings Black Seal Rum on top. Garnish with a splash of lime and a lime wedge or wheel. Stir up a storm!
Bahamas – Bahama Mama
Bahama Mama is a tropical libation created in the Bahamas and believed by some to be named after a famed 1930s Caribbean dancer, Dottie Lee Anderson, whose stage name was Bahama Mama. Not so fast says Nassau Beach Hotel bartender Oswald Greenslade who proclaimed he invented the cocktail. The colourful drink’s original recipe contained coffee liqueur, but now many versions come down to a few key ingredients: dark rum, 151 proof rum, Kahlua or coffee liqueur, coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, half a lemon and fruit garnish.
- ¼ oz of Kahlua
- ½ oz of dark rum
- ½ oz of coconut liqueur
- ¼ oz of 151 proof rum
- 4 oz of pineapple juice
- Juice of half a lemon
- Cherry or strawberry for garnish
Fill a Collins-type glass with cracked ice. Pour all ingredients in and stir. Garnish with a strawberry or cherry. Optional – may add Grenadine for different colouring.
We hope these cocktail recipes bring you a bit of island excitement over the winter as you get ready for next year’s travel plans. Which of these cocktail recipes is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for some more travel-inspired recipes to bring to your table this season? Check out A Taste For Travel: Inspiring Recipes From Around the World
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