Cocktail Recipes

December 11, 2006
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Traditional Mai Tai: Recipe from The Royal Hawaiian hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu

  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1 oz orange curacao
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • dash orgeat
  • dash simple syrup

Painkiller: The official drink of the BVI; recipe from Pusser’s Rum

  • 2, 3 or 4 oz of Pusser’s Rum
  • 4 parts pineapple juice to one each of cream of coconut and orange juice
  • grate fresh nutmeg on top

Rum Swizzle: Traditional cocktail from Bermuda; recipe from Swizzle Inn, Bermuda’s oldest pub and home of the Rum Swizzle. Serves 6.

  • 4 oz Goslings Black Seal Rum
  • 4 oz Barbados Rum (or any amber rum)
  • 2 oz triple sec
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 5 oz pineapple juice
  • 5 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz Bermuda Falernum or simple sugar syrup
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Mix in a pitcher with cracked ice and shake vigorously until frothing head appears. Strain into cocktail glasses.

The Caipirinha: Recipe courtesy of the Asalem Seaside Hideaway on Brazil’s Ilha Grande.

  • 1 lime (cut-up, middle removed)
  • Small amount of sugar
  • 2-3 oz. cachaca
  • In the bottom of a glass, mash together lime wedges and small amount of sugar. Fill glass with ice and add cachaca. Stir well. Place a lime wedge on the rim of the glass for decoration.

Cuba Libre: Personal recipe courtesy of Ramin Ganeshram. Ramin contributes to ISLANDS magazine and is author of Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene Books, NY). Serves four.

  • 1/2 cup of dark rum, such as Meyers
  • Juice of ½ of a fresh lime
  • 16 ounces of cold cola
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • Pour rum into four tall glasses filled with ice. Add lime juice. Swirl around and gently add cola so as not to lose fizz. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Dad’s Ginger Beer: Recipe from the book, Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene Books, NY), by Ramin Ganeshram. Available at

  • 1/2 lb. of fresh ginger, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 ½ cups of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 sprigs mint
  • Put ginger, lime juice, mace and 3/4 cup of the sugar into a wide mouthed gallon glass or ceramic jar. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into jar and add the pod. Add 12 cups boiling water to jar and stir until sugar dissolves. Set ginger mixture side to steep and cool to room temperature. Cover jar tightly and refrigerate for 1 week.
  • Line a large sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain ginger mixture through sieve into another wide mouthed gallon glass or ceramic jar, firmly pressing on solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard solids. Add the remaining sugar to ginger beer and stir until it dissolves. Serve in glasses over crushed ice, garnished with mint sprigs.

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