One of the best parts of enjoying a Caribbean cruise is sampling all the local cuisines in exciting ports such as Cozumel, Montego Bay, and Amber Cove. If you like to partake in cocktails, your cruise vacation also offers you the chance to try authentic Caribbean drinks at each port of call.
Below is a comprehensive list of some of the best beach cocktails and island drinks you can sample and savor at many of the ports you might stop at on a cruise to the Caribbean. Many of the islands have their own classical tropical cocktails, signature Caribbean rum drinks, and other unique concoctions. So why not drink like the locals so you can really experience all the vibrant flavors of tropical island life?
You’ll definitely flash your pearly whites when you try this island drink from Antigua. An enticing combination of rum, fresh pineapple juice, and crème de banana, the Antiguan Smile typically features locally made rum.
On the island of Aruba you’ll get the chance to try a sweet red liquor called Coecoei (pronounced cocoa-ee). Made from a combination of rum, sugar, and sap from the agave plant, the liquor has a flavor similar to that of passion fruit. It will be difficult to find Coecoei anywhere else, so be sure to ask for the island’s classic tropical cocktail, the Aruba Ariba. It’s highly refreshing, flavorful, and a true taste of the tropics!
Rum plays a big part in many of the Caribbean cocktails served on the island of Belize. You’ll find establishments offering the traditional rum punch, but you can also ask for a signature cocktail by name–the Panti Rippa. It’s a favorite among the ladies, made with coconut rum and pineapple juice.
You can’t visit the tropical paradise of Bonaire without trying one of their best beach cocktails made with Cadushy, a vibrant green liquor made from cacti that grow locally on the island. Try the Green Bonaire, a unique libation made with Cadushy, vodka, triple sec, and a bit of apple juice.
Those who have visited the British Virgin Islands before, already know that one of the best beach cocktails to try is the Painkiller. It’s a delicious Caribbean rum drink that also features pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut, and just a hint of nutmeg. It’s called the Painkiller, because after drinking just a few, you’ll definitely be feeling pretty good!
Bars and lounges in Colombia will offer a variety of traditional Caribbean cocktails, but if you want to prove you can drink with the locals, you’ll want to try Aguardiente. This strong drink is also referred to as “firewater,” and is made from sugar cane and anise.
The Guaro Sour is the national drink of Costa Rica. It’s a slight variation of the American Sour made instead with local cane sugar liquor, simple syrup, and lime.
Cuba actually has quite a few famous cocktails, such as the Cuba Libre or the Daiquiri, but the most famous is likely the Mojito. You may have had one already, but when you try the white rum drink mixed with mint, lime juice, sugar, and soda water while on a tropical island, you’ll gain a newfound love for this refreshing and exciting cocktail.
The citrus-flavored Blue Curaçao liqueur comes from the island of Curaçao, and is mixed into a wide range of island drinks. Try taking a tour of one of the liqueur distilleries to taste the premium drink made with the locally grown laraha plant.
Dominica is another island famous for its rum, as well as the Coco Loco cocktail, which features rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, grenadine, almond liqueur, and milk.
This drink is loved by everyone in the Dominican Republic, both locals and visitors. Called Mamajuana, it’s made with rum, of course, along with honey and red wine that have been steeped with local herbs, barks and twigs. It’s quite tasty, but also considered a medicinal drink and an aphrodisiac.
On Grand Cayman, you can try the island version of the famous Mudslide. It’s made with vodka, Kahlua, and Baileys Irish Cream, but uses crushed ice instead of ice cream. Traditionally garnished with cinnamon and a cherry, it’s a delectable treat to enjoy on the sandy shores of the island.
Grenada Calabash Rum Cocktail
The island of Grenada has its own delicious version of rum punch, made with blue curacao, and sprinkled with nutmeg. It gives the rum punch a unique and enticing flavor.
In Honduras, the traditional drink is Horchata. It is made with rice and spices, which produces a milky beverage that is then complemented by cinnamon, vanilla, and a bit of sugar. Spike it with rum and you’ve got an amazing Caribbean cocktail!
In Jamaica, you can find original versions of the Planters Punch cocktail, which inspired the current Charleston recipes. Made with dark rum, lime juice, a bit of fruit juice, and a splash of grenadine, it’s one of the best beach cocktails you will savor locally.
One of the most popular Caribbean rum drinks on the island of Martinique is ‘Ti Punch. Made with white rum, cane syrup, and lime juice, it is a simple drink yet quite strong. Enjoy it in the morning as many locals do to start their day!
You can’t go to Mexico and now try a cocktail made with tequila. There’s the Margarita, of course, but you can also try the Charro Negro. This drink mixes together tequila and coke, along with lime juice, and salt. Poured over ice, it’s quite refreshing and delivers a good kick.
It’s fairly obvious that when in Puerto Rico, you’ve got to try a delicious Piña Colada made with Bacardi rum. The frozen concoction and national drink of La Isla is the perfect Caribbean cocktail to keep you cool beneath the shining sun.
Ting with a Sting
The St. Kitts locals and visitors in-the-know enjoy mixing the Jamaican-made grapefruit soda Ting with locally made rum, especially strong rum. Called Ting with a Sting, the drink also sometimes features other ingredients, such as honey, club soda, nutmeg, and more.
In addition to rum, St. Lucia also produces Marigot Bay’s Banana Cream and Coconut Cream liqueurs. Subsequently, many traditional and classical tropical cocktails on the island will feature one of these liquors. Try the Coconut Cloud, a blue, frothy delight made with coconut cream, blue curacao, coconut rum, amaretto, and milk.
A traditional island drink enjoyed on St. Maarten, it’s a fabulous take on the traditional pina colada, but made with the island’s famous guavaberry liqueur.
Seek out this delicious cocktail when in Turks and Caicos. Made with a combination of coconut rum, vodka, melon liquor, and pineapple juice, its bound to be one of your favorite Carribean rum cocktails.
Made in the US Virgin Islands, the Bushwacker is a frozen drink that is similar to the Mudslide. Made with rum, of course, as well as Kahlua, vodka, Baileys, cream of coconut, and amaretto, the drink also forgoes ice cream in favor of ice. It’s the perfect mixture of a cocktail and a dessert.
Of course, these classic tropical cocktails aren’t the only reason to book a Caribbean cruise, but they certainly enhance your experiences on each island!
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.