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Bermuda: An Intoxicating Island

Bermuda: An Intoxicating Island

Carrie Strong | Chef's Blade

I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful island of Bermuda last week. I was very excited to enjoy the sun, relax, and explore the island cuisine. I was especially interested in exploring the beverage category, since, as a matter of principle, I was on vacation; and, as a point of journalistic exploration, I am interested in extending beverage information to you. Acknowledging the popularity of island rum and the downtown Hamilton location of Bacardi Limited headquarters, I wanted to find out what the beverages this island of pink sands has to offer.

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Rum is a popular cocktail in Bermuda.

My first toast on the island, after landing and getting through customs, was at the Swizzle Inn, home of “Bermuda’s National Drink”, the Rum Swizzle. I couldn’t pass up the chance to become elated with the original rum drink that’s been served since the mid 18th century. This cocktail has a fascinating recipe including dark rum, Bermuda rum, pineapple and orange juices, and Falernum syrup. Falernum is a sweet syrup native to Bermuda, which exhibits flavors of almond, ginger, vanilla, cloves, and allspice, giving the concoction a layered flavor and titian effect. The liquids are blended together in a jug and then given a “burial.” The jug is literally put in the ground to ferment. This may be the “secret” part of the recipe that gives the cocktail its euphoric vigor.

The second rum drink of note is also honored as “Bermuda’s National Drink”, the Dark ’N Stormy. I found myself at Salt Rock Grill, overlooking a panoramic view of the crystal blue bay, enjoying the iced dark rum and ginger beer concoction. While the Dark ’N Stormy cocktail is trademarked, registered by Gosling’s Brothers Limited, more often than not it is made with any local dark rum. I also learned later on in the week that this refreshing beverage is sold in a 16 oz. can, perfect for a trip on the boat!