Posted on 21/06/2015
A Guide to Signature Cocktails of the Islands
Cuba – Mojito
No competition here – Cuba’s signature drink is the Mojito, whose history goes back to the 16th Century, when Francis Drake and his comrades drank a mixture of crushed mint leaves, lime and unrefined rum.
Grenada – Calabash Rum Cocktail
Grenada grows 20 per cent of the world’s nutmeg – hence its name, the “Spice Isle” – so it’s not surprising that the ingredient makes its way into the island’s classic drinks. The Calabash rum cocktail sees white River Antoine rum mixed with Grenadian nutmeg syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, a spoon of caster sugar and – for colour – a dash of Blue Curacao. All this is topped with more grated nutmeg.
Dominican Republic – Mama Juana
Described by Lonely Planet’s guide to the Dominican Republic as the ‘islands’s homemade version of Viagra’, this concoction is not exactly a cocktail, but rather a potent blend of herbs, honey, wine, rum and dried bark, steeped together for a month, that is believed to have medicinal properties, curing illnesses and replacing vitamins.
Jamaica – Planter’s Punch
Planter’s Punch is an International Bartenders’ Association Official Cocktail that combines dark rum, lemon juice, grenadine syrup and Angostura bitters, a potent mix of 44.7 per cent alcohol, herbs and spices that comes from Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad – Blanchisseuse Rum Punch
Blanchisseuse Rum Punch is unique to Trinidad and was named after a beach party at Blanchisseuse, a village on the northern coast. The addition of Portugal juice means it is a little more challenging to make than your average cocktail, but these tangerine-like fruits – grown extensively on Trinidad and pronounced poo-tee-gal(s) – add an extra zing.