Nothing screams vacation like laying out in the sun with a cocktail in hand. And luckily, the Caribbean has no shortage of either sunshine or cocktails. In fact, the myriad of islands which make up the Caribbean is home to countless cocktail recipes specific to each destination.
We've curated eight of our favourites, along with a recommendation for where you should try each one. Allow these traditional beverages and their absorbing stories to kickstart your Caribbean yacht charter vacation.
What's in it? This grown-up take on tropical punch combines white rum, coconut rum, orange juice, fresh pineapple juice, a shot of grenadine and plenty of crushed ice. All the ingredients are thoroughly blended, and it's usually garnished with a maraschino cherry for the full effect.
What's the story? This rum-packed drink is a staple in the Bahamas; it used to be made with a shot of coffee liqueur, but now it's typically much more fruity and fresh. The highball was supposedly named after 1950's Calypso singer Dottie Lee Anderson.
Where can I try it? Staniel Cay Yacht Club in the Exumas is the best place to sample this Bahamian classic. Enjoy overlooking the setting sun on the terrace, or down on the white sand beach with your toes in the water.
What's in it? A twist on the classic Pina Colada, the Painkiller is made by mixing coconut cream, orange juice, pineapple juice and Pusser Rum. It can be garnished with a light sprinkling of fresh nutmeg to really bring out those vibrant flavours!
What's the story? Originally created in 1970 by Daphne Henderson at the Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay, this cocktail became so popular with tourists and natives that, with the help of Pusser Rum, it became the official cocktail of the Virgin Islands. The aptly-named painkiller is certain to take the edge off of anyone holding on to work-life stress and really set them on the path to relaxation.
Where can I try it? Every cocktail bar in the British Virgin Islands has its own version; go to the Soggy Dollar Bar for the original, but head to Foxy's Bar and Restaurant for an updated twist.
What's in it? This syrupy-sweet cocktail is made by blending equal parts coconut rum, blue curacao, amaretto, and coconut cream to 2 parts milk until thick and frothy.
What's the story? The Coconut Cloud is the perfect blend of creamy, sweet, and nutty, and its hue is so beautiful it's like the bartender scooped some blue right out of the skies of St Lucia. Considering coconut palm trees are perched everywhere in the Carribean, it comes as no surprise that this very popular St. Lucian drink is a sure-fire way to kick off your vacation.
Where can I try it? The best place to try Coconut Cloud is right where the drink originated: the Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa. Alternatively, Marigot Bay Resort and Spa has its own marina for visiting motor yachts coupled with a host of luxury amenities including a world-class bar where you can sample this traditional tipple yourself.
What's in it? Banana is the signature flavour here, and it pairs beautifully with rum and pineapple. The drink is made with two parts rum, four parts fresh pineapple juice and part of creme de banana. Garnish with a pineapple or orange wedge or a glace cherry if you're feeling extra.
What's the story? Pineapple is in abundance in Antigua and can be found in almost everything during peak season. In fact, they have a variety called the Antigua Black that is native only to the island and regarded as one of the sweetest. This cocktail supposedly came from the all-inclusive resort, Curtain Bluff, but since 1947 has been trademarked by Antigua Distillery.
Where can I try it? Head to Jacqui O's Beachouse to sample this classic cocktail for yourself.
What's in it? A chocolate-lover's dream, this smooth highball is made by blending a cup of ice to equal parts coconut rum, dark rum, Kahlua, Amaretto and dark creme de cacao with two parts fresh milk. It can be garnished with nutmeg, or treat yourself to chocolate shavings and whipped cream.
What's the story? Indulgence is necessary when chartering a luxury yacht in the US Virgin Islands, and corners must not be cut! Spoil yourself with this decadent cocktail that's somewhere in between a pina colada and chocolate milkshake. Invented in 1975 by a bartender Angie Conigliaro, and named after a visiting guest's pet dog who, much like his owners, spent all his time basking beachside.
Where can I try it? Although this exact recipe isn't on the menu, you can request this cocktail, as well as many other decadent dessert cocktails at Oceana Restaurant and Bistro. If you're travelling further afield, Nisbet Beach Plantation makes a mean version of this classic cocktail.
What's in it? This refreshing cocktail is made by blending three parts fresh pineapple juice to one part creme of coconut and two parts Guavaberry Liqueur until smooth and glossy.
What's the story? Guavaberry is a delicacy of the Carribean. Growing locally in Saint Martin, the deep and sweet liqueur extracted from the berry is an integral part of local culture and tradition. The liqueur itself has a fruity, spicy, and bitter-sweet flavour with a woody undertone, which you wouldn't expect from such a delicate-looking cocktail. It's a national treasure of Saint Martin, with this cocktail being as a signature to the island as the Cosmopolitan is to New York.
Where can I try it? This drink is best accompanied by ocean views and toes-in-the-sand relaxing, and where else to experience this bliss than Belmond La Samanna's gorgeous boutique hotel.
What's in it? Chose whatever flavour of St. Kitt's Brimley Gold Shipwreck Rum and mix with a tall iced glass of Ting.
What's the story? Don't let the simplicity of this cocktail throw you off as you'll be surprised how refreshing and moreish this drink can be. Ask the locals in St Kitts and St Nevis what their drink of choice is and it will more than likely be Ting With a Sting, or also commonly known as Rum and Ting. Ting is a Jamaican carbonated beverage made from grapefruit, and its deliciously tart and sweet flavour is the best way to cool down after exploring what the islands have to offer.
Where can I try it? The simplicity of this drink should be complemented with scenery that is a little more luxurious, so for this, we recommend Nisbet Beach Plantation.
What's in it? This drink is made by shaking equal parts dark rum, vodka, gin, and peach liqueur with three parts freshly squeezed orange juice, and two parts cranberry juice. Add a squeeze of lime to give it a zesty kick.
What's the story? If you want a cocktail that packs a punch then look no further than Goaties Hammer, named after Noel 'Goatie' Victory - one of the longest-serving employees of Petit St. Vincent! Powered by dark rum, gin and vodka, one would think that it would have a very overwhelming or even unpleasant tang, but actually, the ingredients mingle well together, creating an interesting flavour profile.
Where can I try it? Many locations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have a similarly styled cocktail. However, we implore you to visit Petit St. Vincent to try the most authentic and original version. You may even meet Goatie himself!
To find out what superyachts are chartering in any of these exotic destinations, please speak with your prefered yacht charter broker.