The Caribbean in a Glass

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 22 May 2014 | 0 Comments

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22 May 2014

They are synonymous with the Caribbean isles; full of colour, vibrant spirit and topped with an elaborate sprig, fruit or flower. Sarah Woods discovers the wonderful world of cocktails.

Though any alcoholic drink can be called a cocktail, most mixologists will declare a true cocktail as one made of a liquor, water, sugar, and bitters. In the USA, an early definition of a cocktail came from a New York newspaper, which printed a reference to the cocktail as “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind of sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called "bittered sling."  This New York chapter in the history of the cocktail is an important part of its story, for the joys of cocktail drinking went on to spread around the world.

As a drinking culture, Western Europe - especially Britain – had a tradition of serving drinks and mingling on a social level. This began originally with punch, drinks made of a variety of liquors, sweet fruit juices, and bright flavours like lemon. However, by the 19th century, use of the term “cocktail” was made in British society, due to the drink being brought over by well-heeled Americans mixing with British high society. Many British aristocrats scoffed at the concept of a cocktail, little knowing that it would spread in popularity, and have longevity as a beverage that would transcend decades,so that one could order it anywhere in the world

Today the Caribbean has made the cocktail its own, using the freshest locally grown ingredients to full effect. It is very much at home in the Caribbean, with its bountiful crops of tropical fruit, freshly squeezed exotic juices and locally produced rum. Many establishments have created their own signature cocktails, complete with memorable name or ingredients – so that the Caribbean, and its cocktails, create a lasting impression. This works especially well in the age of social media, where the kaleidoscopic colours of a giant-size glass of potent punch topped with guava, mango and pineapple creates a photogenic buzz. 

Feeling thirsty? Then check out these recipes for cocktails from our friends in the islands.

These first two have been lovingly created for Antigua’s Mango festival by the bartenders and cocktail mixologists at Antigua’s Jolly Beach Resort & Spa – enjoy!

Smooth Runnings

  • 1 mango
  • ½ oz Peach Schnapps
  • ½ oz Passion Fruit Drink
  • 1 oz Dark Rum

Blend with ice and garnish



Mango Maniac

  • 1 mango
  • 1 oz passion fruit syrup
  • 2 drops freshly squeezed lime
  • 2 drops of angostura bitters

Blend with ice and garnish




Feeling fruity? Then pucker up to savour the delectable flavours in these next two delicious cocktails, courtesy of the Barbados Tourist Board. Cheers!  

Sky Martini

  • 1 oz vodka
  • ¼ oz sweet vermouth
  • ¼ oz Blue Curaçao
  • Stuffed green olives

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour in vodka and sweet vermouth. Stir (or shake) and strain into a martini glass.

Splash with blue Curaçao. Garnish with 3 green cherries.



  • 6 cups ice
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 4 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup rum
  • ¼ cup lemon-lime flavoured carbonated beverage

In a blender, combine ice, sugar and strawberries. Pour in lime juice, lemon juice, rum and lemon-lime soda. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Thank you to the cocktail gurus at the Marriot and Renaissance Caribbean and Mexico Resorts, for the next two recipes – magnificent margaritas, muyrico! 

Margarita of Horchata

  • 2 oz Aged Tequila
  • 1 ½ oz Controy (Mexican Orange Liqueur) or Cointreau
  • 3 oz Horchata Concentrate (Horchata is a concentrate mix
  • of milk, rice and cinnamon)
  • ½ oz Natural Sweet Syrup

Blend all ingredients with ice and serve.


Margarita of Hibiscus

  • 2 oz Aged Tequila
  • 1 ½ oz Controy (Mexican Orange Liqueur) or Cointreau
  • 3 oz Hibiscus Concentrate (You can do your own with
  • hibiscus flower infusion)
  • ½ oz Natural Sweet Syrup
  • Drops of lemon juice

Blend all ingredients with ice and serve.