Since I had a chance to lure you guys in with my Jamaican desserts and pastries article, I guess by now I should let you in on a little secret about Jamaican Drinks. And that is that they are proud produces of some of the most amazing and tastiest drinks in the world. In fact, you know how famous Peru is for their coffee, but actually Jamaican coffee might be more delicious and actually more expensive. They also produce a famous beer that most people may have heard of called Red Stripe. This is a very popular beer worldwide as well. So who would have imagined that such a small country could produce so many different Jamaican drinks?
Let me introduce you to a few of their amazing products:
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Blue Mountain Coffee
As mentioned before, one of the most famous drinks in all of Jamaica is the Blue Mountain Coffee. This coffee is sold worldwide. Jamaicans have a very hands approach when it comes to growing, picking, and processing their coffee. This process, in turn, makes for less production and a more expensive export. Also, there is not a lot of output of coffee from Jamaica, as they only grow about 4 and 5 million pounds a year. Whereas, larger regions in the Caribbean area produce between 13 million and 118 million pounds per year! Their growing season high up in the Blue Mountains also takes longer to produce a crop, in the upwards of about 10 months for a growing season from bloom to harvest. This, in turn, slows down the production of this amazing Jamaican drink. It is also quite labor intensive. And even once they are picked, they are graded and sorted by quality, so as you can see, the process takes quite some time to make this delicious and famous Jamaican drink, the Blue Mountain Coffee.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Red Stripe Beer
Surely you have either drank or at the very least heard of a Red Strip Beer? Bet you didn’t know it was from Jamaica! It is one of the most famous Jamaican drinks and I saw it being served almost everywhere. In fact, it is the quintessential Jamaican beer. According to those who like beer (not me), it is a glorious tasting beer. However, this is the beer that is often associated with and used to make the famous Jamaican Jerk Chicken!
Red Stripe Beer also have several flavors of this beer: Ginger, apple, sorrel, and lime!
If your taste buds are craving some beer, then you must also try the Jamaican Ginger Beer when visiting this Caribbean country. You can even try making your own homemade been using honey, lime and bay leaves, click here for the recipe. The Jamaican type of ginger beer is also made from cane sugar and not corn syrup.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Jamaican Rum!
Jamaican Rum is the stepping stone for all other rums to follow. One of the best and most well known Jamaican Rums is the Appleton Estate Extra Dark Rum. You can find it everywhere. Also, rum is the basis of most of the drinks they serve to tourists.
It is also with this that they make the most well-known cocktails served in Jamaica*:
The Bob Marley – a three-layered liquor drink of equal parts strawberry syrup, crème de banana, and crème de menthe mixed with some overproof in order to float atop the heavier alcohol below.
The Dirty Banana – a tropical chocolate/banana milkshake with rum
The Jamaican Bobsled
The Pretty Lady
The above-mentioned drinks were the ones that I heard mentioned and ordered quite often while out and about in Jamaica.
And while we are on the subject of rum, there was another widely known brand called Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. I saw it quite often for sale in the local liquor and grocery stores.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Jamaican Rum Crème
And who can forget rum crème? I often heard this talked about lovingly and that once you try it you will never one to give it up! In general, these Caribbean rum crème’s are the equivalent to the Irish’s crème liquors such as Bailey’s and similar to Mexico’s Kahlua Coffee Crème. There are two major distilleries in Jamaica that make this rum crème: O’Riiey’s and Sangster’s. The better one, of course, is the big debate around town and each person seems to have a preference of one or the other. It is typically served on the rocks, but can also be put in cocktails.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Guinness Punch
If you are looking for a delicious and easy alcoholic punch to make, then try the Guinness Punch. This punch is made from Guinness, condensed milk, nutmeg, and oats. You will never try anything else like this amazing drink.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Non-Alcoholic Variety
And you don’t even have to drink alcohol to get some classic Jamaican drinks. There are plenty of varieties of Jamaican drinks without alcohol in them.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Bag Juice
Bag juice is a popular Jamaican sugary drink. In fact, on my return trip to Jamaica, my son asked me to bring him some “bag juice”. I really didn’t know what he was talking about, but apparently, this is a very popular Jamaican drink for the kiddos. They drink it during school and playing afternoon sports. My son lived in Jamaica over the summer twice volunteering to work with underprivileged kids in the Kingston area and evidently, this was something they drank every day. You freeze the bag juice and then cut the corner of plastic off, and they sip it ice cold.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Ting Grapefruit Soda
Another non-alcoholic drink is Ting, a Jamaican Grapefruit Soda. This soda is like Pepsi to Americans, you cannot have a meal without this scrumptious grapefruit soda says the Jamaicans I talked to!
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Jamaican Sorrel Drinks
Jamaican Sorrel drinks are commonly sipped among locals and tourists alike in Jamaica. These drinks include Jamaican sorrel and sorrel tea, which is made from the Sorrel flower.
So what is the sorrel flower? It is actually hibiscus. Since this Jamaican drink is red, it is often a traditional Christmas punch. It is made by steeping dried hibiscus flowers with fresh ginger and sugar and then chilled overnight. This flower is known as sorrel in Jamaica and not to be confused with the pungent green flower that can be found in most Caribbean markets. Typically it is served over ice with a splash of soda water and a lime.
✦ Jamaican Drinks: Well-Known Jamaican Cocktails
*There is a list of the many cocktails you can find at almost any resort on the island here on TripAdvisor.
Recommended Reading About A Trip To Jamaica:
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, I was provided with accommodations, meals and other compensation for the purposes of review by the Jamaica Tourist Board in conjunction with Blogilicious. While it has not influenced my review, PointsandTravel.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. All Photos were taken by the author/or were given permission from the photographer. Affiliate links are located in this article.