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The Best Caribbean Cocktails

The crystal-clear Caribbean Sea with its gentle waves splashing along the beautiful sandy beaches sounds lovely, right? Now imagine, lying on a lounger under the palm trees. What do you think is missing in this scenario? Is your mind is drawing a blank? How about a couple of delicious Caribbean cocktails to complete the scene!

These types of thoughts peak everyone’s wanderlust, and we totally understand that! That’s why we did some research and found the three best Caribbean cocktails for you to sip under the sun. From fruity flavours to refreshingly sour notes with a touch of Caribbean rum, their tastes alone will make you feel like you’ve travelled to paradise.

So, get your cocktail shaker out, because with a little tact, you can mix these popular drinks at home. You will feel transported to your dream vacation simply from the comforts of home. What’s more, you get the opportunity to show off your mixologist skills when you have a cocktail night with your friends; talk about a chill and relaxing Saturday night.

Piña Colada

Pineapple combined with coconut and delicious rum – these ingredients make the Piña Colada a popular cocktail worldwide. However, it is often prepared wrong and written off as too sweet or too pungent. To avoid such disasters, we will show you how to mix this Caribbean classic perfectly. But before we do that, we will take a closer look at the history of this drink.

Origin

It is still unclear today who exactly invented this drink. Though, one thing is for sure though: it comes from Puerto Rico. This Caribbean island of the Antilles has over 3 million inhabitants and is home to the biggest manufacturing base of the popular Bacardi rum! Besides that, the island is a tourist paradise and a beloved vacation destination.

Many believe that the Piña Colada was invented at a hotel or a bar in Puerto Rico. To this day, there is even a little memorial spot close to commemorate its creation. However, others believe that the origin story traces further back to the times of pirates! Supposedly, they combined the three main ingredients of this cocktail in their purest form.

Piña Colada ingredients

As mentioned above, this drink is made of three components: coconut, pineapple, and white rum. We quickly want to show you why we associate these with the Caribbean.

To start, rum is produced from sugar canes, which also the plant sugar is made from. Nonetheless, sugar cane has a long history in Puerto Rico, as is cultivated in large quantities there. To obtain the white rum of Piña Colada, a fermented sugar cane mixture has to be distilled and combined with purified water.

Secondly, pineapple is also grown in Puerto Rico. In combination with the white rum, these ingredients give the cocktail a Caribbean touch. It’s important to mention that fresh pineapple should be used for a Piña Colada. After all, the sweetness of bottled pineapple juice could be too strong for the cocktail.

While not originally from Puerto Rico, but instead introduced by sailors, attention must also be given to the final ingredient of this cocktail – the coconut. With sugared coconut concentrates, they can be too sweet. But this doesn’t mean only the milk of coconut should be used. Instead, it’s actually best to use a slightly sweetened coconut cream. This gives the drinks its sweet and creamy flavour.

Recipe

You already know what ingredients you need for a Piña Colada. Now, it’s vital to mention that they need to be prepared in a blender – a cocktail shaker is not sufficient. To refine the Piña Colada, put crushed ice in it. It thins out the drink, which aids with the intense taste this cocktail can have.

If you don’t want to drink alcohol, this won’t be an issue either! Just leave out the rum and you get a virgin Piña Colada. Absolutely irresistible and perfect for anyone who likes fruity drinks!

Mojito

Our delicious journey brings us to the next cocktail – the Mojito. It is completely different from the Piña Colada but just as substantial in taste! Not to mention, it is easier to make so it’s ready in no time on your cocktail night. It entertains our taste buds with notes of lime, mint, sugar, rum, and fizzy soda water. We will tell you more about this drink in just a second.

Origin

This time we landed in Cuba, where the Mojito allegedly comes from. The island is also a beautiful, popular vacation destination and has many gorgeous sights and beaches to discover. Though, the name of the Cuban drink is very interesting. It could be African or Spanish, or it may have originated from the African slaves working in the sugar cane fields.

The inventor of this drink was supposedly a pirate, who used this recipe as medicine. The drink rose to popularity worldwide through the writer and adventurer Ernest Hemingway. It is said that next to the Daiquiri, the Mojito was Hemingway’s favourite drink.

Mojito ingredients

Like the piña colada, you need white rum to make the Mojito. We recommend using a Cuban variant, as the island is known for its alcohol specialties. It’s best to use rum that has been stored for three years. The Mojito can be made with brown rum as well, but then it’s called a Cubata. Rum turns brown when it has been stored in wooden barrels and left to ripen in both taste and colour.

Maybe you didn’t know this until now, but there are actually different kinds of mint! And no, they don’t all taste the same. That is why, for the Mojito, Hemingway mint is used. This mint plant produces leaves with a rather mild taste when compared to other types of mint.

To produce the best mojito aroma, it is best when the mint is “muddled”. This means the leaves are gently rubbed with a muddler. This process ensures that the oils of the mint are set free and give the cocktail its Caribbean appeal. Don’t tear the mint to bits, otherwise, you will drink them through a straw which isn’t very appetizing.

The final ingredient, that is absolutely necessary for this cocktail, is lime. It has a refreshing sour note and has been used in the Caribbean for a long time. To cancel out the sourness of the Mojito, some sugar is also added to the drink.

Recipe

We included a link here for the recipe that will give you a little Caribbean breather! But, as one final tip, use ice cubes instead of crushed ice. Otherwise, you can’t enjoy the drink fully as crushed ice can make the drink watery – something we want to avoid.

Cuba Libre

The third and final cocktail on our list is the Cuba Libre. Different from the fruity Piña Colada and the minty Mojito, this cocktail is mixed with Coca-Cola. Like the others, this cocktail is one of the best Caribbean cocktails and has a deeply rooted historical connection to the region.

Origin

You might now be thinking that Coca-Cola comes from the Caribbean, right? If so, you are mistaken! It was invented in the 19th century in America, funny enough, as medicine by a pharmacist.

But why is this mixed drink associated with the island? That answer is simple: historical reasons. If you think back to your Spanish lessons at school, you can probably guess what Cuba Libre means. Translating to “free Cuba”, supposedly people celebrated with this drink when Cuba became independent after the war.

Cuba Libre ingredients

Once again, rum is one of the main ingredients. Though, either white or brown rum can also be used. Regardless of which rum is used, the other stars of this cocktail are lime and Coca-Cola. In comparison, the Cube Libre is even simpler to make. Don’t believe us? Then, read on!

Recipe

One, two, three! This is the number of ingredients you need for a Cuba Libre. Okay, you got us. It’s actually four ingredients if you count the ice. But, once again, it’s better to use ice cubes. They don’t melt as fast as crushed ice and maximize the taste of this Caribbean cocktail.

Conclusion

Drumroll, please! We went on a hunt for the three best Caribbean cocktails and naturally, found them: the Piña Colada, the Mojito, and the Cuba Libre. They are not only perfect on vacation but great to make at home for a cocktail night. Your guests will love them!

What makes the difference in Caribbean cocktails? Definitely the Caribbean or Cuban rum made from sugar cane. As the base of the cocktails, the rum is further enriched by the other ingredients like pineapple, coconut, lime, and mint. Even the histories of the three cocktails make them taste even better. Of course, to appreciate them to their fullest, it would be best to enjoy those beverages at a bar in the Caribbean. Maybe they inspired you to do some backpacking there now, and why not? You only live once, so go grab a cocktail and enjoy it on a sun-kissed Caribbean beach!

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