Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
7 Caribbean Cocktails to Take an Island Vacay at Home

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Your co-worker won’t stop recounting her recent visit to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, your brother-in-law won’t quit raving about the crystal clear waters off Barbados, and everyone seems to have squeezed in a trip to Cuba while you weren’t looking. If you can’t seem to get away to the Caribbean (or if you just returned from the islands and want nothing more than to feel the sand between your toes again), grab some rum and mix up these Caribbean cocktails ASAP.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
In case you were unaware, Puerto Rico is both part of the U.S. and the Caribbean, making it the perfect getaway for anyone whose passport is expired. The island is also responsible for perhaps the most popular beach vacation drink of all time: the Piña Colada. Heavy with rum, pineapple juice and Coco Lopez, the slushy white drink is instantly recognizable and evocative of an island escape. Just let the whir of the blender wash over you like the ocean waves.

The Essentials

Rum
Coco Lopez
Pineapple Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

The Rum Swizzle’s origins are a little murky. It began as a non-alcoholic drink of molasses, water and ice, notable for its unique preparation, requiring you spin a pronged swizzle stick between your hands. While the alcoholic version swaps rum for molasses, and adds falernum and lime in place of water, the swizzling remains the essential feature of this rum Highball.

The Essentials

Dark Rum
Lime Juice
Falernum
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Many classic island cocktails emanate from the English or Spanish Caribbean, but the French Caribbean holds its own with ‘Ti Punch. French-Creole for “petite punch,” the incredibly simple cocktail consists of grassy, vibrant rhum agricole, a touch of cane syrup and a bit of lime—and it’s served without ice for a blast of powerful, boozy flavor. While it won’t do you much good during a deathly heatwave, the ‘Ti Punch will give you an uninhibited taste of the Francophone tropics.

The Essentials

Rhum agricole
Cane syrup
lime disc
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If you just can’t decide which of the Caribbean’s many islands you’d like to visit on your imagined voyage, consider the freeform Planters Punch, which has been adopted and remixed by every nation and drinker in the region. Sometimes called Jamaican Rum Punch, other times referred to as Creole Punch, the drink is a mix-and-match concoction of your preferred rum, lime juice, sugar and spices. Our version incorporates demerara, black tea and mint for a balanced, slightly herbal, slightly molasses-tinged tipple.

The Essentials

Dark Rum
Lime Juice
Black Tea
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Kind of like a shrunken Rum Swizzle, the Barbadian Corn ‘N’ Oil packs blackstrap rum (highly undervalued as a cocktail ingredient), falernum, lime, Angostura and a fistful of crushed ice into a lowball glass. The drink is the perfect transition from afternoon highballs on the sand to evening lowballs—also on the sand. And don’t worry, the name refers to the colors of the ingredients, not the taste.

The Essentials

blackstrap rum
falernum
lime juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall

You might not be able to find the British Virgin Islands on a map, but you can definitely pinpoint the exact moment a Painkiller hits the happy sensor in your brain. The cocktail comes from the Soggy Dollar Bar in the BVI circa 1971. It’s coconut-pineapple combo offers a compact alternative to the oversized Piña Colada (though the Painkiller still easily fills a double rocks glass), and a touch of orange juice separates it from its Puerto Rican cousin. We prefer ours dry and heavy on the rum, making this one buttery yet crisp glass of coconuty cocktail.

The Essentials

Dark Rum
Pineapple Juice
Cream of Coconut
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
There is no more perfect rum drink than the Daiquiri. A delicate ballet of white rum, lime and demerara syrup, the cocktail reveals bliss to anyone who can perfectly balance its powerfully flavorful ingredients—whether they’re sipping in a rum bar in Havana or over the sink in an unkempt apartment kitchenette.

The Essentials

White Rum
Demerara Syrup
Lime Juice

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