What You Need To Know About Jamaica’s Signature Cocktails

March 22, 2018

Traveling to Jamaica is a true culinary adventure if you are willing to embrace everything that the country has to offer in this department. If you decide to taste everything that you can, you will surely be impressed by the authentic taste of jerk chicken, the rich flavor of ackee and saltfish, or the smoothness of the traditional beef pie.

And when it comes to the drinks menu, there is nothing more Jamaican than rum and rum cream cocktails. Jamaican rum is known for pairing excellently with tropical flavors such as coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, or mango, while rum cream is a delicious mixture resembling Bailey’s classic liqueur.

While it is known that the official brand of rum cream is Sangster’s, ever since its creation in 1983, many people prefer to make their own. Thus, there are plenty of variations out there that also contain spice blends and dried fruit.

How To Make Rum Cream

Fortunately, even though Sangster’s has become tricky to procure outside Jamaica, whisking your own rum cream together at home is a pretty simple and straightforward process. The classic recipe has no more than six ingredients in total, but depending on the desired outcome you can throw various other flavors into the mix. Check out rum review for more rum choices.


  • 1 can unsweetened condensed milk;
  • 1 ½ cups rum, either white or amber;
  • 1 cup whipping cream;
  • 2 tbsp chocolate syrup;
  • 2 tsp vanilla;
  • And 2 eggs.


Mix all the ingredients together using a blender and that is about all that needs to be done in order to achieve authentic rum cream. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for a week tops. If left any longer than that, it will spoil, so keep that in mind.

Top Jamaican Cocktails

1.    Mudslide

To celebrate the importance of rum cream in Jamaican cuisine, the Mudslide cocktail is the perfect drink to mix at home or at parties. And if the main ingredient is already prepared, the rest is a piece of cake.


  • 1 oz. Jamaican rum cream;
  • 1 oz. vodka;
  • 1 oz. Kahlua;
  • 1 oz. vanilla ice cream;
  • And some ice.


Just like with any creamy and icy cocktail, simply mix all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour the resulting drink into a glass and enjoy. If you want to give it a visual mudslide effect, use some chocolate syrup as a garnish.

2.    Hurricane

Of course, many Jamaican cocktails are prepared using plain rum. One of the essential names on this list is the Hurricane. But to achieve that authentic feel, do not use a blender to mix, but rather a classic cocktail shaker.


  • 2 oz. dark Jamaican rum;
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup;
  • And 1 oz. lemon juice.


As mentioned before, shake all the ingredients together. Avoid serving it on the rocks, because it will dilute the sweet and sour taste. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice for a full holiday feel, however do not overdo it with colorful umbrellas and other accessories. It would not do it justice.

3.    Old Jamaican

Not every cocktail in the land of Bob Marley has to be rich and creamy or beachy and tropical. Some of them are classy and straightforward, like the Old Jamaican. Here is how to make one in style.


  • 1 ½ oz. amber rum;
  • 1 oz. lime juice;
  • ¾ oz. pure cane simple syrup;
  • 1 spring fresh mint;
  • 1 dash bitter and champagne.


Muddle the mint and lime juice gently in the shaker, then add the rest of the ingredients, but the champagne, and fill the remaining space with ice. Shake well and pour into a high class, then drizzle the champagne right on top.

Final Thoughts

Traditional Jamaican drinks are made with rum and rum cream, although there will always be a lot more to discover when it comes to the country’s cuisine. So, if you plan on traveling there soon, do not hesitate to be surprised.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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