If you’re planning a vacation in Jamaica, you’re probably already looking into the best beaches, best waterfalls, and best drinks you can enjoy while there. Luckily for you, Jamaica has quite a few options for juices made with vitamin-packed fruits, local coffees, amazing cocktails, and so much more.
In terms of non-alcoholic drinks, there will be plenty of exciting options available on this island to keep you happy and hydrated during your vacation. For alcoholic options, well, Jamaica is one of those islands where you'll find quite a few rum-making estates including some you can tour. This means you can enjoy lots of vibrant drinks, many of which will be the perfect accompaniment to the delicious food Jamaica is known for. Of course, you can simply enjoy these amazing drinks beachside at an all-inclusive resort with the people you love most!
Without further ado, here are some of the best Jamaican drinks to try during your vacation!
The Bob Marley cocktail is one of those that stands out right away with vibrant red, yellow, and green layered coloring. This drink serves as a tribute to legendary Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley and it features traditional Rastafarian colors. The Bob Marley cocktail was invented by Sandals in Jamaica and the popularity of this drink has seen it pop up in resorts and bars across Jamaica.
If you're wondering what to expect from the Bob Marley cocktail, definitely think fruity. Typically, this cocktail is made with frozen layers of mango and strawberry daiquiri. This Bob Marley-inspired drink tends to feel a bit like an adult slushy and it will go a long way in helping you to cool off while having fun under the Jamaican sun!
Red Stripe Beer is worth a try in Jamaica. This is one of the most famous drinks available on this island. It is so light-bodied, it goes well with just about any meal. While in Jamaica you'll find Red Stripe Beer at most places where refreshing drinks are sold including bars and restaurants. There are a few vendors who offer Red Stripe Beers at popular tour stops and excursions, so be on the lookout. Red Stripe Beer is one of the Caribbean beers that will be included with your stay at all-inclusive resorts like Beaches Resorts.
Good to know: There are various Red Stripe versions to try in Jamaica including the classic Red Stripe, Red Stripe Light, Red Stripe Bold, and flavors including lemon and sorrel.
There's nothing like a Dirty Banana to confirm that you are in fact on vacation. This is another cocktail favorite for vacationers in Jamaica and it is made with Tia Maria, rum, milk, and a ripe banana. The Dirty Banana cocktail is usually served with a dash of chilled cream.
In terms of what to expect, this is a sweet, silky, and decadent frozen cocktail delight — it is the perfect drink to sip on while lounging beachside during the day, or while watching the sunset later on. No one really seems to know where this cocktail gets its name from, but you just might be asked by the bartender how dirty you want it. Witty answers are required here!
Hummingbirds are known for their beauty just as much as they are known for their agility and quick movement. These birds actually move quicker than most people would be able to get a good picture of, but fortunately, this won't be the case for your hummingbird cocktail. You can have this cocktail served up in style while relaxing at Beaches Resort in Jamaica.
The Hummingbird cocktail is made with Appleton Special and Rum cream. This is a simple cocktail that is filled with Jamaican flavors and it just might be one of the things you remember most about this island. Even better than enjoying this amazing cocktail during your vacation will be the opportunity to make it yourself once you're back home with these Beaches cocktail recipes.
Creamy rums have a whole different vibe and one of the ones you can try in Jamaica is Jamaican Rum Cream. Consider this your spiked vacation dessert and sip on this drink slowly as you take in the breezy and scenic ambiance around you. As you get familiar with these drinks, you’ll quickly realize that rum creams are pretty much the Caribbean equivalent of Irish cream liqueurs.
In Jamaica, you’ll find two major distilleries that make rum cream: O'Riley's and Sangster’s. You can serve up Jamaican rum cream made from these producers either on the rocks or as part of the most delicious island cocktails. Another option is putting a small amount of rum cream into your local coffee for a tropical buzz!
As far as cocktails go, Purple Rain is a classic. Try it out for yourself during an exotic Caribbean break at an all-inclusive resort set by the seaside. At Beaches Resorts in Jamaica, Purple Rain is a guest favorite. This smooth and delicious cocktail, according to guests, is as vibrant and mesmerizing as the Prince song that goes by the same name.
Purple Rain cocktails are typically made with vodka, lime juice, blue Curaçao, and grenadine syrup. The purple color really depends on the proper proportions of grenadine syrup and blue Curaçao. Once you (or more likely your island bartender!) get this right, you’ll be able to enjoy quite a flavorful cocktail. Purple Rain just might be best enjoyed in a swim-up bar at a gorgeous resort by the ocean!
Expert tip: Ocho Rios Jamaica resorts are a great option if you want to stay in an area where there are lots of visitor attractions, beautiful scenery, and easy beach access. Here are some of the best Ocho Rios excursions to get you started on your island adventure!
Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur with quite an interesting history. As the legend goes, the recipe for this popular liqueur was owned by a young Spanish aristocrat who is said to have escaped a war-torn Jamaica in the mid-17th century. Her maid, who the liqueur is named after, preserved the recipe.
Tia Maria isn’t produced in Jamaica but many of the ingredients used to make this liqueur are sourced from the island. This includes Blue Mountain coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla, sugar, and other ingredients. If you decide to try this liqueur while in Jamaica expect sweet and delicious flavor. Sometimes milk is blended in over ice for added richness, but other times you’ll just have your drink served in a glass with ice.
Good to know: The Dirty Banana is one of the cocktails in Jamaica where you'll be able to get a taste of Tia Maria (see above!).
Dating back to the 17th century, rum punch tastes great in just about any destination. In Jamaica, surrounded by peace, bliss, and beautiful beaches, you just might feel as though you’re tasting this delicious concoction for the very first time. You can find rum punch at pretty much every watering hole in Jamaica. On this island, you might hear this drink referred to as Planter’s Punch. Jamaican rum punch tends to be made with various rums and juices. It all depends on where you get it from.
If you order rum punch in Jamaica, your glass is likely to be filled with a combination of strawberry syrup or fruit juice mixed with Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum or Appleton Rum. Both of these rums are made in Jamaica. A glass of ice-cold rum punch can be a good choice if a fruity flavor with a kick is what you’re going for.
While in Jamaica, some of the local rums you can try to include are Appleton Estate Rum, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Hampden Estate Pure Single Jamaican Overproof Rum, Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum, Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve, Xaymaca Special Dry Rum and Plantation. You can try some of these during an island rum tour. A couple of the tours available in Jamaica include the Appleton Rum Tour and the Hampden Estate Historical Rum Tour.
Good to know: Rum making in Jamaica dates back to 1494 when Christopher Columbus is said to have brought sugar cane to the island. The rum industry in Jamaica did not begin to thrive until around the mid-17th century. In comparison, Barbados, the birthplace of rum in the Caribbean, started producing the oldest brand of rum in 1703.
Sea Cat Punch is probably one of the most interesting beverages you can find in Jamaica. You might agree as well once you hear what it's made out of! Two words — “sea cat”. This is the Jamaican slang for octopus. Sea Cat Punch is named after octopus because it is made with the milky white liquid produced by boiling octopus and other ingredients like white rum, rum cream, peanuts, molasses, Supligen (a protein supplement), and malt powder.
You'll most often be served Sea Cat Punch blended with ice. Once blended, this drink transforms into a thick, salty-sweet shake. You might wonder about the strange ingredients of this punch — locals, particularly Jamaican men, are of the firm belief that it enhances virility. Sea Cat Punch is definitely an acquired taste but it is certainly one of those things you might want to check off your list of authentic Jamaican drinks!
Dragon Stout is a stout exclusively produced in Jamaica. This stout is made using caramel, roasted malts, brown sugar, and other ingredients. With a rich and smooth texture, Dragon Stout is a drink definitely worth trying in Jamaica. Many people love this dark stout for its distinctive smokey taste.
The alcohol content of Dragon Stout is about 7.5%. This is about twice as much as what you’ll find in Red Stripe. Though Red Stripe is more mainstream, Dragon Stout definitely has its fans. In terms of availability, you won't have a hard time finding Dragon Stout in Jamaica. When you do manage to get a hold of a few of these, you might want to save some to make your own Dragon Stout punch when you get home. There are various recipes available online to make this punch.
The Jamaican Zombie is definitely not for everyone. If you really want to live a bit on the edge you can try this cocktail while in Jamaica. The Jamaican Zombie is known for its high alcohol content, hence the name. If you drink too much of it, you might actually be left feeling ... well, like a zombie.
Intrigued? Now for the ingredients! The Jamaican Zombie is made with both light and dark rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, and a touch of bitters. These ingredients are blended together and served over ice. On a night out with friends, family, or a loved one, you’ll be able to find the Jamaican Zombie at most pubs, bars, and restaurants.
If you're into punches and also love stout, you might want to try the Jamaican Guinness Punch during your island escape. This drink is made with Guinness, vodka, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and ground nutmeg. It has a creamy texture that can be extremely satisfying. In terms of the flavor, you can expect the signature bitterness of Guinness infused with a bit of sweetness from the condensed milk for a strong and delicious finish.
Guinness Punch is a popular drink in Jamaica and might be best enjoyed out on a sunny and serene beach, or in a bar rocking with the latest reggae tunes. This drink is relatively easy to make so you'll also be able to try it when you get back home to relive those precious vacation memories.
In addition to the things you can see and do, a great vacation is dependent upon the quality and range of things to eat and drink as well. On the drinks side, the Old Jamaican cocktail is worth a try on this island. This cocktail is made with aged rum, lime juice, bitters, cane syrup, and a few ice cubes. The magic happens with this drink when you put just the right age of rum (anywhere between 12 and 18 years) and combine it with the other ingredients for a taste that’s deep, complex, and sweet.
If your Old Jamaican is made just right and with the ideal aged rum, you can decipher those tiny hints of roasted sugarcane. You’ll find Old Jamaican at local pubs, bars, or drink stalls in Jamaica.
On a night of bar hopping, the Jamaican Crawler is one of those drinks you can try if you really want to push the limits. This drink has a high alcohol content and it is the Jamaican equivalent of the Porch Crawler. The Jamaican Crawler is made with white rum, melon liqueur, and pineapple juice. This drink tends to be a bright yellow color but there are some versions that are light pink because of the added dash of ruby grenadine. The Jamaican Crawler should be served with lots of ice. This cocktail, though not as common as some of the other Jamaica favorites, is available at most Jamaican pubs and bars.
In Jamaica, the Caribbean Delight is considered a festive drink. On Good Friday and Easter, you'll quite often see locals sipping on this island staple. Caribbean Delight is a cocktail that combines coconut rum, vanilla schnapps, vodka, and lime soda. This drink has a fruity flavor and can be found on the menus of local pubs, bars, and restaurants. Once you've tried this drink, you'll likely want to find ways to recreate it when you return home!
If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, you'll have a host of options to choose from in Jamaica including Blue Mountain Coffee. This authentic blend has a reputation for being one of the best and most expensive coffee brands in the world. Blue Mountain Coffee is grown in the Blue Mountains, the longest mountain range in Jamaica and also one of the highest peaks in the Caribbean at 7,402 ft (2,256 meters). The altitude is said to have something to do with the richness of this coffee, which is handpicked and roasted as part of a process that is quite intricate.
While in Jamaica, you can try Blue Mountain Coffee at Beaches Resort. You can sip on as much Blue Mountain Coffee as you’d like during your stay. There are a number of local shops where you can pick up Blue Mountain Coffee as well during your vacation.
Coconut water is a welcome treat on a sunny isle like Jamaica. On this island, you can capture the crispness and sweetness of this delight in its most authentic form - straight from a coconut! At many of the beaches in Jamaica, you'll find locals cutting off the tops of young coconuts with a machete and serving it up with a straw. The water from these coconuts is refreshing and you can even ask for your coconut shell to be completely broken open so you can taste the ‘coconut jelly’ as well.
If you want to try coconut water while on one of Jamaica's beaches, just look out for the vendors strolling the sands looking for sales. Make sure the coconut you purchase is young, fresh, and green otherwise you won't get much, if any, water.
Ginger beer is an international favorite. In addition to its trademark sweetness, the popularity of this drink also has to do with its possible medical benefits, including warding off morning sickness. Jamaican ginger beer has earned a reputation of being the best in the world. This accolade might have to do with the fact that the ginger beer produced on this island uses sugar cane, as opposed to sugar syrup which gives it a different taste.
In addition to sugar cane, some of the other ingredients used to make ginger beer include honey, sugar, and lime juice. Jamaican Ginger Beer can be enjoyed by all ages and its spicy and refreshing taste is sure to have you wanting more. For a kick, adults can add a dash of Jamaican rum into their ginger beer!
There are numerous health benefits of sorrel and you may be able to reap some of these by sipping on some sorrel tea while in Jamaica. Sorrel tea is made with the dried buds of the hibiscus flower. These flowers are a magenta/purple color. The Jamaican version of sorrel is usually steeped with ginger and sugar then chilled. This is usually served cold and some people add a small amount of carbonated water and lime. Although most people in the Caribbean associate sorrel with Christmas, you can have this pretty much all year round in Jamaica. If you want to try sorrel with a twist, try the local sorrel flavored red stripe beer.
Good to know: Around Christmastime in Jamaica, sorrel tends to be served warm and spiced with ginger, cinnamon and allspice.
Malta is quite addictive and if you've never tried it before, Jamaica might be a good place to do so. This is a popular, lightly carbonated malt drink made from barley and hops. Malta looks like a dark stout and it is non-alcoholic. Some describe this drink as an unfermented beer. It is sweet, but smells a bit like beer. You can either drink Malta straight from the can, preferably refrigerated, or pour it over ice. You won’t have a hard time finding Malta in Jamaica — try the local supermarkets, cafés, resorts, or drink stalls.
Caribbean people and their bush tea — it really is seen as a comfort drink and cure all. Bush tea is typically made from local plants or tree bark. This is a caffeine-free tea and there are many variations of bush tea made in Jamaica including bush teas made with leaves of bitter melon or soursop. Dandelion and sorrel are also popular blends.
While in Jamaica, you can take tours through botanical gardens that will teach you about the various uses and medicinal benefits of the variety of plants found on this island. This knowledge is sacred, and is passed down through generations on this island. Bush teas are frequently consumed on the island for their natural medicinal purposes.
Good to know: You may find that tea has various meanings in Jamaica. Any hot drink from coffee to hot chocolate might be referred to as tea on this island, so you’ll need to be specific about what you're asking for.
You can find various types of peanut punch in Jamaica, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Peanut punch is typically made with peanut protein powder, cream, milk, and spices. As this punch tends to be super rich, it is a favorite of athletes, bodybuilders, or just about anyone looking for a protein boost or just to consume something tasty and filling. Peanut punch is usually creamy and sweet and it is not hard to find in Jamaica — most street vendors sell this punch in bags or plastic cups.
In addition to the common ingredients used to make peanut punch, some vendors and shops add herbs and spices to their blends for the sake of having a competitive advantage. As a result, you might notice that peanut punch in Jamaica will taste slightly different based on whom you purchase it from.
Good to know: Adding white rum to peanut punch is common in Jamaica. Be sure to find out whether the peanut punch you will be purchasing in Jamaica has alcohol or not, especially if you will be buying this for children to try.
Ting is one of the most popular soft drinks in Jamaica. You’ll be able to find this drink almost everywhere you go on this island. Ting is a grapefruit flavored drink that is quite delicious, with slightly bitter hints. This drink can be quite refreshing in the Jamaican heat. Ting is best served chilled and you can add some ice if you want something that will cool you off even more. For a bit of a buzz, adults can add alcohol to their Ting. You can add vodka to make the famous Jamaican ‘Vodka and Ting’, or add Jamaican Rum to make the drink locals refer to as ‘Ting and Sting’.
Soursop juice, unlike the name suggests, is hardly sour. This drink has more of a sweet flavor with hints of pineapple, strawberry, and even citrus. This vitamin-rich juice is one of the most healthy picks you can make while on this island and the best part about it is that it isn't hard to find. Soursop juice is made by blending the fruit which then turns into a thick and creamy drink. Some people choose to add lime to their soursop juice and that can be an interesting flavor combination as well. Another option is using condensed milk to sweet up the juice a bit with touches of vanilla and nutmeg.
Irish moss is considered a super food and it is sourced from the ocean. Also known as sea moss, Irish moss is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. In terms of the health benefits, this sea moss is said to lower blood pressure, cholesterol level, and heart disease risks. There are many other benefits as well.
There is a very intricate process to making Irish moss. First, the moss is cleaned and soaked overnight. After that, the pulp is pureed into a thick gel. At that point, usually almond milk, vanilla, spices and maple syrup are added. The concoction is blended until smooth. If you don't really have the time to make this or are apprehensive about trying, you can pick up some Irish moss at restaurants, cafés, and roadside drink stalls in Jamaica. Irish moss has a creamy texture and a rich, sweet, and slightly salty flavor.
Insider tip: Thinking of staying in Negril for your Jamaica getaway? Negril resorts, particularly resorts near the ocean like Beaches Resorts, are ideal for families with children. These resorts usually have the perfect mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, so there's something for everyone. If you’ll be staying in Negril, check out these amazing Negril excursions the entire family will love.
Bag juice is an authentic Jamaican treat. You might be curious about these small, colorful bags as you're strolling through the busy stress of this island, and if you are, you might as well try it at least once. Bag juice usually consists of water and a fruity syrup, and you can get guidance on where you should purchase this from trusted locals.
In terms of the taste, bag juice tends to be sweet and a bit syrupy. It's a pretty simple Jamaican street food item that can be found in many places. Bag juice is typically sold iced which adds to its appeal as it can be incredibly thirst quenching in the Jamaican heat. Plus, it is quite low cost and comes in a variety of colors and flavors. All you’ll need to do is bite a corner of the plastic off and sip away!
Although it probably goes without saying, while in Jamaica, you're going to want to sip on lots of water! It can get pretty hot on this island which means you're going to need to cool off and stay hydrated as much as possible. Bring bottled water with you wherever you head out on excursions or just to explore the town.
It is worth noting that the tap water in Jamaica is safe to drink. You can easily refill your bottles when necessary, or just pick up some bottled water at a local shop, bar or restaurant as you're making your way around. Although you’ll probably be busy sipping on cocktails, local fruit juice, and an array of unique beverages, don’t forget to ensure that you (and your kids if they’ll be traveling with you) consume adequate water.
Expert tip: If you want to avoid using plastics, pack and bring along a reusable bottle that you’ll be able to refill periodically. Also, you’ll want to bring along a bottle or sippy cup if you’ll be traveling with babies or toddlers.
Whether it's hydration that you seek, or you really would like to try as many cocktails as possible at your all-inclusive resort, there are lots of options of local drinks for vacationers in Jamaica. Many of these drinks serve as the perfect accompaniment for authentic and delicious Jamaican meals and some will be precisely what you’ll want to have at hand as you watch the sun go down after a fantastic day. To be best placed to try a range of Jamaican drinks, go for Jamaica resorts that cater to families. These resorts typically have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic local drinks you can enjoy as well as options to go on tours to find even more!