What do you think of when you close your eyes and envision your next Caribbean holiday? White sand beaches, flawless sunrises and sunsets, warm waters, gorgeous weather, and of course, at least one classic or iconic cocktail. After all, a holiday in the Caribbean is going to bring you directly to the locations where many of the key ingredients are made or found.

Just think of the most famous – Pina Colada, rum punch, Planters Punch, Bahama Mama, and so on. These are drinks that feature coconut, pineapple, rum, coffee, grenadine, citrus…ingredients that naturally occur or were once the primary products of the regions. A visit anywhere requires you to sample some of the native foods and drinks, and though cocktails of the Caribbean may not be “everyday” menu items for those who live there, they are a wonderfully delicious way of enjoying “local foods”.

What are some of the most iconic? A simple list would feature:

Rum punch (there is a different recipe for almost every island)

Pina Colada

Bahama Mama

Planter’s Punch


…and many more!

Let’s look at the recipes for some of the best to help you choose just the right drinks to enjoy on your next visit to the Caribbean.

Rum Punch

You will discover that there are recipes that use as many as four or five different kinds of rum. An iconic recipe would include:

1 cup lime juice (fresh)

2 cups simple syrup

4 cups orange juice (fresh is best)

3 cups dark or amber rum

4 dashes bitters

freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Blend together in a pitcher and serve over ice.

Pina Colada

To say this is an iconic cocktail is not an overstatement, and it uses some of the most delicious ingredients imaginable.

2 cups ice

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cubed

2 ounces pineapple juice

2 ounces coconut cream

1 1/2 ounces white rum

1 ounce dark rum.

Blend all in a blender and divide between two cocktail glasses.

Bahama Mama

This is also another that emphasizes rum, but also tropical fruits.

1/2 ounce coconut flavored rum

1/2 ounce rum (your choice of dark or white)

1/2 ounce grenadine syrup

1 ounce of fresh orange juice

1 ounce fresh pineapple juice

1 cup crushed ice

Using your blender, pulse and combine all of the ingredients and pour into a tall glass, over ice if desired.

Planter’s Punch

This is a drink that many believe originated in the United States and then made its way to the Caribbean area. It uses tropical flavors and rum, making it perfect as a holiday cocktail.

1 1/2 ounces dark rum

1/4 ounce grenadine (or 1/4 ounce simple syrup)

2 ounces orange juice (fresh) or you can use pineapple if you prefer

Pour the ingredients into a mixer with ice, shake to blend, and then strain the fluids into the serving glass – pouring it over ice. Some add club soda at the end to give a bit of fizz.


This is a newer cocktail that has emerged out of the growing interest in tropical flavors and unique combinations of perennial favorites. It is amazingly simple and delicious.

1 1/4 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream (or other Irish cream liqueur)

2 ounces of Pina Colada mix

2/3 ounce of crème de bananes liqueur

Pour everything into a cocktail shaker filled half way with crushed ice. Shake well and then strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass and serve immediately.

To find the local favorites, simply find your local beach bar and your new best friend (the bartender) to create a memorable drink for you.

Enjoying drinks before, during and after your Caribbean holiday will allow you to savor the differences in the flavors, and will certainly inspire you to make many return journeys to this wonderful part of the world.

Where to Stay

Our favorite Caribbean islands to relax, drink and unwind are St Barts, BVIs, St Martin, Barbados and Turks & Caicos.

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