Celebrating the undiscovered charms of Caribbean travel & culture.

Bahamas, Nassau

Friday Happy Hour: Compass Point Switcher – Unexplained

Friday Happy Hour: Compass Point Switcher – Unexplained
Compass Point Switcher, Nassau/SBPR

Part of the unique charm of the Caribbean lies in its preponderance of, err, unique charms that one can only explain as…well, unexplained. You learn quickly growing up here that many things are the way they are simply because that’s just the way they are.

Maybe it’s due to the laid back nature of life in the region. Maybe it’s the heat, or the rum. Either way, a lot of my fellow West Indians seem perfectly content to let well enough alone when it comes to a lot of things that have always been the way they are just because.

Just look at switcher, or switcha, from The Bahamas. It’s basically just sweet lemonade. You know, fresh-squeezed lemons, sugar and water… In The Bahamas, though, they call it switcher. Why? Apparently, no one knows.

During my one-night respite at Compass Point in Nassau a few months ago, I asked almost everyone I came across. No one had the answer.

A young, 20-something-year-old waitress even went so far as to call her grandmother to inquire for me… No luck.

It seems the magic that makes switcher, switcher is just that to make it, you must use lemons home-grown in The Bahamas, the special island soils, rain water and whatever else it is that makes it Better in The Bahamas combining to create a distinctive lemon superior to the ones you might have growing in your backyard.

If it sounds like I’m being a tad skeptical it’s because I am. You see, I just can’t leave well enough alone with this one… I really want to know where the term switcher comes from, if for no other reason than to unlock the secret of the fancy cocktail pictured above – the Compass Point Switcher.

This is the signature drink at the colorful and decidedly uncommon Compass Point Resort in Nassau, which was expressly designed by the general manager, Viktor Kudrnka, to reflect the vibe of the place.

As we showed a bit here, Compass Point’s authentic Bahamian feel is complemented nicely by its modern amenities and an ultra-hip style that makes it a cool place to check out for both locals and uncommon travelers. Hanging at the bar at my one and only afternoon on-property, I met people from Trinidad, Barbados, Germany and Nassau, a surprisingly international mix to encounter over such a small time spent at such a small place.

Echoing the resort vibe, the Compass Point Switcher (price: US$10) combines 4oz of traditional Bahamian switcher with 2oz of quadruple-distilled Russian Standard Vodka. The result is a supremely refreshing lemonade with a kick, made all the better if you, like me, add a couple dashes of Angostura Bitters.

It’s more than just some lemonade and vodka, though. There was some extra, added flavor in there that to me was beyond such a pedestrian combo. I kept asking Ian, the bartender, what else was in there. Besides the ice cubes and the fruit: zero.

There’s just something about switcher… but what? WHAT?!

Alas, switcher’s secrets remained unexplained to me on my brief Bahamian adventure, but not so the obvious good time available at Compass Point. Once you check-in here, it’s easy to see why…even if some things like switcher remain a mystery.

Cheers!

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