Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

7 Classic Caribbean Cocktails to Try Now

Let these tropical favorites take you away.

Daiquiri cocktail
Daiquiri. Image: / Tim Nusog

While these seven drinks aren’t the only Caribbean cocktails, they’re among the best known and most beloved. Odds are you’ve heard of most of them, but have you tried them all?

Tiki expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s essential tome “Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean” was an invaluable resource for compiling the list. His tome also helped ensure these are indeed Caribbean drinks, not imports from Hawaii or the South Seas. (Sorry, Mai Tai). Some of these drinks have gotten a bad name over the decades––the Piña Colada, for example––but as you'll soon see, the recipes are solid. It's all a matter of the right proportions and good, fresh ingredients, which happen to be available in abundance in the tropics.

Whether you're on the beach, by the pool or in your living room, these Caribbean classics will have you feeling like you're in the tropics in no time.

  • Piña Colada

    Piña Colada cocktail / Tim Nusog


    Originating at the Caribe Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1954, this frothy pineapple-coconut cocktail has become a symbol of tropical vacation paradise. It’s also one of the best-known blender drinks, spawning hundreds of variations. This recipe is unplugged, instead using pebble ice and a good old-fashioned shaker.

  • Mojito

    Mojito cocktail / Tim Nusog


    Tall, cool and refreshing, this rum staple is usually made with white rum, lime and sugar, served with plenty of ice and lengthened with soda water. Bartenders claim to hate making Mojitos, due to the time and effort needed to muddle fresh mint in the bottom of the glass. But they’re still a pleasure to drink—maybe more so when you know the work that's gone into a good Mojito.

  • Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Though it’s just a Rum & Coke with a squeeze of lime, what makes this cocktail iconic is that it supposedly doubled as a toast to a free Cuba: “Por Cuba Libre!” Another fun fact: The hit Andrews Sisters song “Rum and Coca-Cola” helped boost the drink’s popularity throughout the 1950s.

  • Ti’ Punch

    Ti' Punch cocktail / Tim Nusog

    The Ti’ Punch—short for “petit punch” or “little punch”—is an ideal way to drink rhum agricole, the robust, grassy rum style made in Martinique and other French-speaking Caribbean islands. Usually mixed with rhum, cane syrup and a fresh lime half squeezed into an ice-filled glass, this is a forgiving drink, and everyone seems to have their own variation. No wonder it’s Martinique’s national drink.

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  • Rum Punch

    Rum Punch cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Is there any drink more unapologetically quaffable than rum and juice? This medley of fruit juices––pineapple, orange and lime––dosed with light and dark rums delivers a pretty convincing answer and it's a resounding no. Grenadine imparts a splash of color to a cocktail that, when made right, swims safely on the tangy side of sweet.

  • El Presidente

    El Presidente cocktail / Tim Nusog 

    Not necessarily what you imagine when you think of a Caribbean classic, this sleek drink is probably best enjoyed in a dark, wood-paneled bar rather than a sunny swim-up one. Yet another Cuban offering, the Prohibition-era El Presidente blends white rum, orange curaçao and dry vermouth, with a dash of grenadine for a romantic red hue.

  • Daiquiri

    Daiquiri cocktail / Tim Nusog

    At heart, it’s just a simple Rum Sour, made with the Caribbean holy trinity of rum, lime juice and sugar. At its best, made with good rum, it’s magical. On a sultry summer day, a Frozen Daiquiri is nothing to sneer at, either. The house daiquiri uses demerara syrup for extra depth, shaken to lip-smacking perfection.