The Caribbean is home to the world’s best rum.
It’s hard to argue with such a statement, with the likes of Havana Club from Cuba and Mount Gay from Barbados some of the most beloved and popular rum names on earth. Whilst yes, the Caribbean is a rum-lovers paradise, it’s easy to forget the array of other specialty drinks to be enjoyed whilst cruising the islands on your chartered yacht, from locally brewed beers to imaginative cocktails and brightly coloured spirits.
Here’s a guide to the drinks to consider adding to your Caribbean yacht charter menu.
One of the most recognisable spirits in the world thanks to its often distinctive blue colour, Curaçao (the spirit) originates from Curaçao, the tiny island off the coast of Venezuela, which, along with neighbours Aruba and Bonaire, forms the Dutch Antilles. The liqueur, which dates from the 19th century, gets its orange-like flavour from the laraha citrus fruit which is found on the island and is commonly coloured blue, orange or red. Very similar to Triple Sec, curaçao is a key ingredient in a Mai Tai and a Blue Margarita.
Whilst you can guarantee that your favourite brand of international beer, such as Heineken and Budweiser, will be available as you cruise the Caribbean, why not take some time discovering the myriad of local beers brewed in the islands? Jamaica’s Red Stripe, Trinidad & Tobago’s Carib, the Bahama’s Kalik, Wadadli from Antigua and the ubiquitous Presidente from the Dominican Republic are just a selection of the names to look out for. The islands mainly produce lagers, arguably a more refreshing match for sunny days spent by the water than a heavier stout, although the odd pint of Guinness can be found.
Synonymous with the Caribbean, this spirit, most often made from sugar cane molasses, is an integral part of Caribbean culture and the first known production dates back to the 17th century. Lighter rums, such as Cuba’s Bacardi, are often used as mixers in a mind-boggling array of rum based cocktails, whilst darker rums, like Barbados’ Mount Gay, are more often drunk neat. A new category of aged and premium Caribbean rums is also finding their way onto the menus of the trendiest cocktail bars in London and New York, such as Appleton’s from Jamaica. Mojito’s, daiquiri’s and piña colada’s are just some of the better known rum-based cocktails.
The islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe are famous for their rhum agricole, made from cane juice rather than molasses. It’s a key ingredient in Ti’Punch and no Caribbean yacht charter is complete without indulging in a glass or two.