COCKTAILS 

St. Croix

With roots dating back to 1760, Cruzan Rum embodies St. Croix, from the generations of the local family who creates it to the unique flavors of the barrels produced. Experience all this special spirit has to offer with a St. Croix classic cocktail — the Cruzan Confusion. At Louie and Nachos Beach Bar, a laid-back beachside bar with stellar sea views, their version includes four different Cruzan rums, along with orange and pineapple juices, and a splash of grenadine. 

A true tiki legend, the Mai Tai dates back to the 1940s. Try it at Breakers Roar Tiki Bar, located in historic Christiansted at the King Christian Hotel. This beautiful nautical bar serves a classic Mai Tai with two kinds of rum (Plantation Dark Rum and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum), orange liqueur, house-made orgeat, fresh lime juice and perfectly crushed ice. 

Like its name suggests, the Painkiller is a rich and fruity cocktail said to cure what ails you. Perhaps even more true, if the cocktail comes with seductive ocean views and sand between your toes, like at the Beach Side Café at Sand Castle on the BeachHere, light and dark rums, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a splash of orange juice and a light dusting of nutmeg become the answer to your problems.

St. John

Lim’In De Coconut is an innovative cocktail pairing two ingredients, lime and coconut, that on the surface don’t seem like they go together — and therein lies its charm. Starting with coconut rum produced in its own distillery, this Lovango Rum Bar drink includes cream of coconut, coconut milk, a toasted coconut rim and lime. Throw in live music, pizza and spectacular sunsets from its waterfront location and it’s easy to see why Lovango Rum Bar is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.

As the story goes, the first Piña Colada was crafted in Puerto Rico back in 1954. The pineapple-forward cocktail (its name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish) quickly found fans who couldn’t get enough of its creamy mix of rum, coconut, lime juices and pineapple. Located on Cruz Bay Beach, Rum Hut offers the perfect easy-breezy spot to enjoy a frozen Piña Colada. 

A refreshing trio of dark rum, ginger beer and lime, the Dark ’N’ Stormy’s name is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually an easy-sipping drink. And that’s especially true at The Banana Deck, which features Gosling’s Rum and a splash of bitters, along with ginger beer and lime, in its version. Beyond the cocktails, this popular Cruz Bay spot is well known for its hand-cut ribeye steaks and views of bobbing boats from its outdoor deck.

With some 20+ years under its belt, The Beach Bar (located steps from the ferry dock) has attracted many loyal fans who appreciate its laid-back vibe, live music, prime beach spot and some of the best sunset views on the island. Served on the rocks, its Pirate Punch features a rainbow of flavored Bacardi rums mixed with orange and pineapple juices.

St. Thomas

There’s a lot to love about Mountain Top. There’s its breathtaking panoramic views courtesy of its location 1,200 feet above Magens Bay. Its duty-free shop is the largest on St. Thomas. And then there’s Mountain Top’s signature drink — the Banana Daiquiri. Invented on-site by a cocktail-loving sea captain in 1953, the cocktail is a combination of Cruzan Rum, sugar cane extract, fresh lime juice, house-made banana liqueur and ripe bananas picked from a nearby grove. It’s enjoyed by more than 3 million Mountain Top visitors each year.

Arriving at Taste at Paradise Point via SkyTram, you’ll be wowed by some of the best views of St. Thomas. The more casual sibling to contemporary steakhouse PRIME, Taste goes all out on its version of a Bushwacker. The frozen blended drink was invented in 1975 in St. Thomas and, as the story goes, named after a patron’s dog. Here, the addition of Bailey’s adds a little more kick to the cocktail that’s often referred to as a chocolate piña colada.

It’s fitting that a bar with rum in its name would offer a stellar Rum Punch — and Rum Island Pub’s signature drink does not disappoint. Crafted with house-made, fruit-infused rum and a mixture of fruit juices, its Rum Island Punch (known as RIP to regulars) is the perfect cocktail to enjoy while sitting in this casual open-air bar in the middle of Drake’s Passage on the waterfront.

DISTILLERIES 

St. Croix

Tradition and family are at the heart of the Cruzan Rum Distillery, which got its start back in 1760 with the establishment of the land on which they make their rum today. Fresh water from tropical island aquifers and high-quality sugar cane molasses are the starting point for all Cruzan rums, which includes some 24 varieties. While suspended at the moment, Cruzan’s 30-minute distillery tours — featuring a behind-the-scenes look at their unique rum distilling and aging process — are set to begin in the near future. Check the Cruzan Rum Distillery website for updates.

Learn the story behind one of the world’s most famous spiced rums at the Captain Morgan Experience Center. Here, you can join 40-minute distillery tours and rum tastings that capture the Captain’s personality and brings his story, along with the history of rum and USVI, together in one fun adventure. Rum tours and tastings are offered Monday through Friday by reservation. Be sure to pick up some souvenirs at the retail shop following your tour.

Visitors to Sion Farm Distillery can learn about a vodka like no other: Mutiny Island Vodka, which is made from breadfruit. On the tour, visitors can watch through a glass wall as their master distiller and team handcraft this unique spirit at a newly renovated zero-waste facility that includes a state-of-the-art artisanal copper still. A tasting session follows, featuring signature Mutiny Island Vodka cocktails, led by the distillery’s talented mixologists.

St. Thomas

Using a centuries-old recipe, small-batch distilling and oak-barrel aging, Bones Rum celebrates the pirate history of St. Thomas. At their waterfront distillery, learn about the history of rum as you taste free samples. Tropical frozen drinks are also available. Be sure to pick up a T-shirt or hat bearing Bones Rum’s skull-and-crossbones logo. 

Established in 2014 by two brothers from Indiana, Virgin Islands Craft Distillers is a small-batch distillery handcrafting rum, vodka and gin with the mission of sharing the passion of the place they now call home. Their 3 Queens Gin uses 100 percent locally sourced ingredients, and its name is rooted in island history. In addition to gin, Virgin Islands Craft Distillers also produces Blue Marlin Vodka and Sir Francis Rum, made with local cane sugar. Free by-appointment tours include details on the distillery’s production process and an introduction to their spirits, followed by a tasting. 

Discover more USVI bars that serve up tropical cocktails and locally distilled spirits.

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