Known for white-sand beaches, water clear as glass, and lush tropical landscapes, the best Caribbean islands are also a destination popular for whipping up some of the best rum cocktails. Made with local island liquors, syrups, fruit juices, and spices, Caribbean rum drinks are usually sweet and out of this world.
Generic pina colada and rum punch recipes served on a ship don’t come close to drinking a rum cocktail made authentically by the locals.
The Caribbean’s legacy of rum means most islands have a signature drink, and the best Caribbean rum drinks really do pack a punch.
The options are endless, but these Caribbean rum drinks stand above the rest.
Turks and Caicos
Another island that has a signature rum punch drink, head to Providenciales for the best takes on this classic. Called Caribbean Rum Punch, it is made using orange juice, grenadine, lime juice, and Bambarra rum, Turks and Caicos’ very own rum. Some of the best places to grab one include Somewhere Café & Lounge and Da Conch Shack. If you find yourself at Somewhere Café, be sure to check out their signature Green Flash Pina Colada. Every sip is a delight.
In South Caicos, Sailrock Resort is another can’t miss area with a rum drink you’ll want to taste. When you book a stay at this resort, you get the highest quality and top professionals, which is why it makes sense that their rum punch is delicious.
The South Caicos Martini, made with vanilla vodka, coconut rum, and pineapple juice blends strong flavors into a sophisticated and pretty tropical drink. Looking at the gorgeous scenery beyond the edge of the resort’s infinity pool with the South Caicos Martini in hand is an experience all its own.
The Bahamas has several rum drinks worth tasting while you’re visiting. For a 100% genuine Bahama Mama, the secret ingredient is the rum-based Nassau Royale liqueur, made by Bacardi. With a greater hint of vanilla, this liqueur combines with pineapple juice and more rum to create the signature drink.
Another noteworthy drink in the country is the Goombay Smash, a drink that combines light, gold, dark, and coconut rum with orange and pineapple juice. Ready to immerse yourself completely in the local drink culture? Try a Gully Wash, a concoction of frothy coconut water sweetened condensed milk and gin.
Jamaica and Barbados
Caribbean rum punch recipes can be found on just about every island, but Planter’s Punch is Jamaica’s version and it packs a punch. The undisputed Jamaican party drink, the punch is made with Jamaican rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, and orange juice.
In Barbados, the signature punch is Bajan Punch. While it shares many of the same ingredients as its Jamaican counterpart, a dash of nutmeg and Angostura bitters are added in the Bajan drink recipe.
Anything made using Bacardi is synonymous with Puerto Rico, but the best Caribbean rum drink to get here is the pina colada, allegedly created in the beachfront bar of Caribe Hilton. For a more exotic drink ask for the coquito, a holiday drink reminiscent of eggnog. It combines egg yolks, condensed and evaporated milk, crème of coconut, vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon with rum.
Casa Bacardi, the largest rum distillery in the world is in Puerto Rico and the Bacardi family even offers free tours that include two free rum cocktails – because why not? It’s worth checking out if you have the time and a love for Bacardi.
Several of Cuba’s cocktails are famous far beyond the nation’s shores. One of the best Caribbean rum drinks in Cuba is the mojito, a white rum drink muddled with lime juice, mint, club soda, and sugar.
Born in the Cuban town of Daiquiri, comes the Daiquiri, which is also a white rum-based drink. Finally, there’s the Cuba Libre, the simple, yet satisfying, rum and coke.
The British Virgin Islands
A Caribbean classic, the painkiller is one of the best Caribbean rum drinks, blending rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut perfectly.
Hailing from the world-famous Soggy Dollar Bar, bartenders will shake up the recipe now and then with flavored rums but you can count on a pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg garnishing this cocktail – which will leave you feeling wonderful.
Don’t leave this beautiful country without having an Aruba Ariba, one of the best Caribbean rum drinks that every tourist should try. Made from several fruity liquors and ingredients, it usually contains vodka, white rum, banana liqueur, fruit juice, fruit punch, and the very rare Coecoei.
Coecoei is a very key ingredient. A unique blend of sugar, agave plant sap, and rum, Coecoei is quite the delicious blend, but don’t get excited thinking about buying it once you get home. This Aruba export does not make its way across the United States borders.
Though there are many Caribbean drinks you can replicate in your home, the Aruba Ariba is a drink that can only be enjoyed when you’re on the island itself.
The French Caribbean
Rhum Agricole, a basic mix of cane sugar, lime, and white rum is the key to unlocking the flavor of Ti Punch. The best Caribbean rum drink in Guadeloupe and Martinique, it’s served straight and usually as a pre-meal drink. In the French Caribbean, a bartender will likely set the ingredients before you and let you mix the rum cocktail as strong and sweet as you want.
There is s no doubt that the best Caribbean rum drinks are made by local bartenders and mixologists and give the palate an unforgettable tropical experience, but sometimes you want to kick back with a comfy fave. Rum punch is a good option, but the everyday drink that everyone loves throughout the region is rum and ting.
The ting is a grapefruit soda that is mixed with white rum and served over ice. Available at absolutely every bar, this rum drink will not steer you wrong.
Found at dive bars, shacks and food crawls and fine dining, the best Caribbean rum drinks transport the senses, giving your taste buds the vacation they deserve.