There’s no shortage of bars, restaurants, clubs, and hotels in the U.S. Virgin Islands where the traveling cocktail lover might indulge his or her hankerings for some seriously inventive adult beverage concoctions. Every time I’m back home it seems there’s another new place or mixologist around further raising the bar on all things cocktalia in our islands.
This is great for for anyone who appreciates variety and bold new flavor combos in their booze, but if you want to drink like a real local – a tried and true Virgin Islander – well, there’s really only one mix that fits the bill: Cruzan Rum and Coke.
The old standby is as much a part of the cultural milieu in our islands as Carnival, beach limes, boating, fishing, and shooting the breeze. In many ways, you simply can’t have any one of these things without the other; Rum and Coke just goes with everything in the USVI.
Correction: CRUZAN Rum and Coke just goes with everything in the USVI.
Virgin Islanders, particularly us Crucians, are rightfully quite proud of our home-grown Cruzan Rum. At no time does this pride manifest itself more than when we’re ordering a Rum and Coke at a bar, party, or gathering anywhere in the world. Trust me, if there’s no Cruzan in the house, then we ain’t drinkin’!
Cruzan Rum and Coke wasn’t always so popular, of course. As the old folks in our islands will tell you, Coca-Cola used to be way more expensive than rum years ago, making what is today the most common of cocktail mixes a bit out of reach for most.
No matter where you roam in the USVI nowadays, though, you’ll find Cruzan Rum and Coke quite easy to come by. If you’re ordering one somewhere in the USVI (or anywhere else), be sure to ask for the two-year-old Cruzan Dark preferred by locals for Rum and Cokes (and just about anything else).
Despite the rum’s dark color, if your Cruzan Rum and Coke is made correctly – that is to say, with lots of rum and ice – then light should be able to pass through your glass when you hold it up to the sun.
Add a squeeze of lime, and the lime wedge itself, and you’re good to go with the classic taste of the USVI.