The Travel Experts’ Guide to Umbrella Drinks
We’re having a pre-summer heatwave here in Luggage Factory’s home state of New Jersey. The 90° temperatures have left us dreaming of sitting under an umbrella, or swimming up to a bar, and sipping delicious tropical cocktails. While we’re traveling, we’ve discovered many favorite adult beverages and compiled a list of cool drinks at cool bars both near and far. Hopefully our favorites will inspire you to try something new and thirst quenching when you’re traveling this summer, or at home entertaining on your deck! Most tropical drinks start with rum and one of the most delicious cocktails is the mojito. This mix of rum, fresh lime juice, fresh mint, simple syrup or sugar and club soda is refreshing and flavorful. Mojitos originated in Cuba and while the above recipe is the traditional one, you can often find fresh pineapple mojitos, like the one below from the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. If you happen to be on a cruise on either Norwegian Getaway or Norwegian Escape, be sure to check out Sugarcane Mojito Bar. Their mojito flight features a variety of flavors, including a spicy one! Invented in the mid-1970s in St. Thomas, USVI, the bushwacker is another delicious cocktail. With 2 kinds of rum, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, amaretto, vodka, crème de cacao and cream of coconut, topped with whipped cream, nutmeg and a cherry, bushwackers will cool you off. As this is a frozen drink, sip slowly so you don’t get a brain freeze! You can enjoy these drinks atop Paradise Point in St. Thomas, overlooking the town of Charlotte Amalie. Ride the sky ride to the top, order a bushwacker and some lunch and take in the stunning views. You’ll often see at least one cruise ship as well. Another frozen delight is the piña colada. Invented in Puerto Rico, this delicious blend of cream of coconut, pineapple juice and rum, the piña colada has been quenching the thirsts of millions of visitors to Puerto Rico since the 1950s. Several restaurants and bars claim to have made this drink first; but regardless of where it was invented, no trip to this beautiful tropical island is complete without having at least one! Bermuda has two famous drinks: the rum swizzle and the Dark & Stormy. Both of these drinks are traditionally made with Bermuda’s famous Gosling’s rum. The rum swizzle is made with both gold and black rums; lemon, orange and pineapple juices; Bermuda falernum (a sweet syrup with almond flavor, lime and some spices) and Angostura bitters. The Swizzle Inn, whose motto is “swizzle inn, swagger out” is the bar that’s most often associated with this drink. Sometimes this writer has a pitcher full ready to go in her refrigerator! A Dark & Stormy, the name of which is trademarked by Gosling’s Rum, is made with ginger beer (which can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic), Gosling’s Black Seal rum and is garnished with a slice of lime. When correctly poured, the drink will resemble a dark, stormy sky! Next time you visit the beautiful, pink sand beaches in Bermuda, try a rum swizzle and a Dark & Stormy! You’ll be a very happy traveler! Heading over to Mexico, you’ll be able to try wonderful margaritas. While margaritas can come in a wide array of flavors, traditionally, the drink is made with tequila, triple sec or Cointreau (both orange flavored liqueurs), lime juice. Glasses are generally rimmed in salt and margaritas can be served on the rocks, frozen or up. Margaritas are another cocktail whose origin is also debated. Regardless of where the cocktail started, you’ll want to sample this famous cocktail on your next Mexican vacation. Also, try some añejo tequila that is best sipped slowly to fully enjoy the smooth taste. Last, but certainly not least is the mai tai. While this popular cocktail is often associated with Hawaii, it was invented in California at the famous Trader Vic’s. Or maybe not. Perhaps it was invented at rival restaurant Don the Beachcomber. Either way, the usual recipe for a mai tai includes rum, Curaҫao liqueur, orgeat (or almond) syrup and lime juice. Regardless of the recipe, one sip of a mai tai and you’ll be transported to your favorite tiki bar! We hope that you’ll have some new cocktails to try this summer when you’re on vacation. When you’re out exploring a new place, ask to try the local specialty cocktail! You might discover something refreshing and delicious. As for me, I think there’s a rum swizzle waiting for me after work!