Captivating Caribbean Cocktails
Posted by Jamie Solomon

Bahama Breeze Island Grille is a casual dining restaurant that makes you feel as if you have escaped to the Caribbean...and what is a true vacation without a cold cocktail in your hand? Bahama Breeze has just introduced a new line of premium tropical drinks known as the "Legendary Island Cocktails." This list of eight authentic custom-made drinks are sourced from world-famous bars such as the   Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, the famed five-star Hotel Nacional in Havana and San Juan's Parrot Club.

Peter Olsacher, Executive Chef and head of menu development for Bahama Breeze, told THE TASTING PANEL that he looks for "tropical cocktails that have an authentic source of origin and an interesting, memorable story." Olsacher also searches for drinks made popular by their famous island bars, but which are not easy to find in the U.S.

When asked which tropical bar was Olsacher's favorite, he told THE TASTING PANEL it was, without a doubt, the Soggy Dollar Bar on the tiny island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. With no dock nearby, the only way to get to the Soggy Dollar Bar is to swim ashore...hence the overload of soggy dollars! The bar dries the wet money by hanging it on a clothesline, all the while serving up its famous Painkiller cocktail, a tropical rum-based drink.

Click here to watch Peter Olsacher's visit to the Soggy Dollar Bar

Although the Soggy Dollar bar might have been his favorite locale, Olsacher tells us that his favorite Legendary Island Cocktail would have to be the Havana Hotel Special. "Whenever I drink it, I envision myself in the Hotel Nacional in Havana, where amongst others, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra used to be regulars."

So for those looking for a bit of island escape, you can find these unique drinks at Bahama Breeze Island Grille locations across the U.S. They stick to the original recipes and ingredients in order to reflect the beautiful and rich culture and diversity of the tropics.


  The Original Daiquiri was named after a small beach on the East Coast of Cuba. Legend has it that The Original Daiquiri was developed in the late 1800s as a medical treatment for tropical ailments but quickly found other fame and became a favorite in old Havana, especially of Hemingway, who'd sip on the drink at Cuba's famed La Floridita bar. Created with a blend of Bacardi Superior Rum, fresh lime, two types of ice, and fresh squeezed sugar cane pressed daily in house, The Original Daiquiri is hand-shaken (not blended as is common today) and served in a tall glass.


The Painkiller was invented at the famed Soggy Dollar Bar against the beautiful setting of White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, where guests swim in to the bar. With a smooth mix of cream of coconut, pineapple, orange and finished with freshly ground nutmeg, the Painkiller can only truly be called a Painkiller when made with Pusser's Dark Rum.


  Legend for the origin of the Dark 'N Stormy has it that a bartender poured a sailor a glass of ginger beer, but left out the rum and then added the rum afterwards. With the rum floating on top, the sailor remarked it resembled a storm cloud over the ocean-thus coining the name. Now often referred to as Bermuda's National Drink, the Dark 'N Stormy is a distinctive mix of Gosling's Black Seal Rum and ginger beer. A Dark 'N Stormy must be made with local Bermuda favorite Gosling's Black Seal Rum, known for its rich, flavors of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel.


The Goombay Smash, known as the Bahamian National Drink, was initially created in the 1960s by Miss Emily at the Blue Bee Bar in Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay. Legend has it that the grandmotherly Miss Emily, who passed away in 1997, never drank and therefore never actually tasted the creation that made her bar famous as a watering hole for the local community in the Abacos, the group of Bahamian islands touted as the sailing capital of the world. The drink is named after the Goombay ,a form of music in the Bahamas, and the goatskin-covered drum used to create it. It's made with the combination of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rumand Myer's Original Dark Rum, mixed with fresh orange and pineapple juice.    


   Batida de Coco is Brazil's answer to the classic piña colada. This quintessential coconut cocktail is made with Leblon Cachaça, cream of coconut and pineapple juice. An indispensable part of Brazilian bar culture, Batida cocktails (pronounced "ba-chi-da" in Portuguese, meaning shaken) often contain condensed milk in addition to fruit juices and sugar, which is why they are sometimes referred to as milkshakes.


The official welcome drink at the famed Sandy Lane Resortand other luxury hotspots in Barbados, Barbados Rum Punch is touted as the best rum punch in the region, made with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, sweet and sour mix, fresh lime juice with Grenadine and Angostura bitters, finished with freshly ground nutmeg. Mount Gay Rum was created in Barbados in 1703 and is known as locally as "the rum that invented rum."   


  The Havana Hotel Special is the signature drink at the famed five-star Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba. For more than 80 years, Hotel Nacional has been "the destination" in Havana to see and be seen, with fans from Winston Churchill to Marlon Brando to Frank Sinatra. The refreshing pineapple punch is made with the tantalizing trio of Bacardi Superior Rum, pineapple and fresh lemon juice rounded out with splash of DeKuyper apricot brandy. 


Parrot Passion is the premiere cocktail at the world-renowned Parrot Club in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Parrot is actually one of the world's rarest birds with only 30-40 still in existence. Puerto Rico's tribute to these famous icons is the Parrot Passion, a blend of passion fruit juice, orange juice,   Cointreau and Bacardi Limon.  




Posted by Jamie Solomon on July 10, 2012 11:34 am | Permalink 

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