Whether you are perched poolside, cruising through central George Town or walking along Seven Mile Beach, staying cool in the Caribbean sun can be a challenge. Treat yourself to one of these chilled cocktails to quench your thirst.
The Classic Mojito
A light, crisp cocktail, the classic mojito at Macabuca is the go-to beverage for a hot day. Locally-grown peppermint leaves — which are gently mashed with a muddler in a mix of lime juice and simple syrup to release the mint’s essential oils — are the base for this Caribbean cooler. Bacardí white rum and a splash of soda water complete the simple cocktail. Add fruit flavours like mango or strawberry if you want to mix things up. Either way, the Macabuca mojito is the perfect refreshment to accompany the legendary golden sunsets at this dive bar on the northwest tip of Grand Cayman.
Pop into Carlos and Martin’s along Seven Mile Beach for the ultimate in Tex-Mex food … and 21 margarita flavours! Served by the glass or the pitcher, frozen or on the rocks, all margaritas are made with premium Jose Cuervo tequila. Try the house margarita, the Martin, for a traditional experience of Jose Cuervo and Grand Marnier; or try an El Toro and give your margarita wings with Red Bull. Other margaritas include El Bandido, which is made with Jack Daniels; the twisted Sangrita, a blend of margarita with their equally-famous sangria; or the Mexican Italian, made with amaretto. The range of flavoured margaritas is twice as nice, mellowing the bitter lime base of this cocktail with melon, mango, peach, lychee, pomegranate or passion fruit.
Go rogue and ask to have your favourite margarita as a beer-garita, where a margarita happily marries your beer of choice in a single-serve pitcher. For a flavourful Mexican experience you’re sure to enjoy, try the Corona-ita.
The Ultimate Mudslide
Inside a chocolate syrup-coated glass, you’ll find the mystical wonder of a Sunset House mudslide. Said to be one of the best mudslides on the island, this indulgent cocktail includes a frozen blend of Baileys Irish Cream, crème de cacao, pure vodka and a straw filled with Kahlúa coffee liquor; but according to the menu, there is one ingredient that makes this beverage a specialty drink at the Sunset House bar: a whole lot of party spirit. Visiting divers, as well as locals who frequent this well-known hideaway, can vouch for this. With super friendly bartenders, a lively energy any day of the week and a stunning ocean view of the George Town harbour, sipping a mudslide here is a must-do on a scorching day.
Are You Swanky?
Head over to Cayman Cabana along the George Town harbour for Swanky, a Caymanian variation of the traditional lemonade. Made with key limes — instead of lemons — water and brown sugar, this beverage is uniquely local. A simple recipe made with ingredients that were usually on-hand, Swanky was a staple drink in most homes in the “olden days”. It is sometimes mixed with a touch of Seven Fathoms Rum, a gold rum aged in barrels beneath the Caribbean Sea, so be sure to tell your sever if you prefer it virgin.
Natural Coconut Water
Ask any Caymanian and they will tell you chilled coconut water is the ultimate in satisfying beverages. Coconut trees abound across all three Cayman islands, but it can be a little difficult to find a local to “husk” a coconut for you — the act of cutting off the top just enough to create a small hole for drinking or, in some cases, removing entirely the outer-layer of coconut shell. Bottled coconut water, along with other local produce and products, can be purchased at the farmer’s market at Camana Bay on Wednesday afternoons or at the Market at the Grounds at Agricolaon Saturday mornings. Local vendors are sometimes found along the roadside as well, and Kirk Market is also reliable for having a steady supply of pure coconut water. Serve chilled or on ice.
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Published: Skies Magazine, July 2014
Featured Photo: Billie Bryan