10 Best Spirits and Liqueurs in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is a fascinating region with a rich and layered history as well as many different landscapes. The varied plants, fruits, and spices that are found throughout the Caribbean have been used over time to create famous spirits and truly unique liqueurs.

In this article we’ll tell you about the 10 best spirits and liqueurs in the Caribbean so you can check them out on your next trip!

Best Spirits and Liqueurs in the Caribbean Overview

Perhaps the most well-known and well-loved of all spirits and liqueurs in the Caribbean islands is rum. This liquor has a long history and is made from sugarcane and molasses. It comes in a variety of types (including white or light, gold, dark, and flavored) and different islands put their own spin on it. One of the most fun things to do on a Caribbean vacation is to visit a rum distillery and sample the local product.

There are also all sorts of liqueurs, which are made of a liquor base with added sugars and flavors such as spices and herbs. Read on to learn more about the best spirits and liqueurs in the Caribbean islands!

Barbadian Rum

Barbados is the birthplace of rum. There is evidence of rum production on the island beginning in the 17th century. Rums from Barbados (also known as Bajan rum) tend to have a smooth, rich flavor with hints of vanilla, caramel, and spice. Established in 1703, Mount Gay is the world’s first commercial rum distillery and it’s still operational today.

Jamaican Rum

Jamaica uses traditional techniques such as pot stills to produce bold and robust rum that has notes of spices, oak, and tropical fruits. One of the oldest Jamaican rum producers is Appleton Estate, established in 1749. Myer’s Original Dark Rum is another famous Jamaican rum. It has a smooth, rich flavor and has been made since 1879 in Kingston.

Cuban Rum

Cuban rums vary depending on the distillery from light to dark. Founded in 1862, Bacardi is the most well-known Cuban rum—and perhaps one of the most well-known rums in the world. It comes in both white and dark varieties but is most famous for the white version, which was used to invent iconic drinks like the daiquiri, mojito, and Cuba Libre. Unfortunately, the Bacardi company was forced to flee Cuba after the revolution, so it is no longer produced there.

Dominican Republic Rum

The Dominican Republic has a long history of rum production. Its largest distillery is Brugal, which is located in Puerto Plata and has been making a deep, smooth rum that is aged in oak casks since 1888.

Pier overlooking Plage de l'Anse d'Arlet in Martinique

Rhum Agricole

Found primarily in French Caribbean islands like Martinique, rhum agricole is a pure rum that is made of cane sugar juice distilled straight from pressed cane sugar, rather than molasses. This gives it a more clean and “grassy” taste than other sorts of rum. A famous rhum agricole distillery is Clement Blanc on Martinique.

Blue Curacao

Found on the Dutch Caribbean island that it’s named for, Curacao, this delicious liqueur is the bright blue of the surrounding ocean. It’s made from the dried peels of laraha citrus fruit, which grows on the island. So despite the brilliant blue color (which comes from food coloring), it has a bittersweet orange flavor. Blue Curacao is used in popular Caribbean cocktails like the Tequila Sunrise and Blue Lagoon.

Guavaberry Liqueur

Also found in the Dutch Caribbean as well as the French territories, guavaberry liqueur is made from the guavaberry fruit and aged rum. It has a tart-sweet flavor with notes of spices, almond, and vanilla, and is enjoyed on its own or in cocktails during festive holidays or special occasions.

Sorrel Liqueur

Although not as well-known as Blue Curacao, sorrel liqueur is also quite popular. It comes from when British naval officers would add rum to red hibiscus tea. Over time spices from the various islands were added, including cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. This festive and refreshing liqueur is now savored throughout the Caribbean during celebrations and holidays like Christmas.


This liquor is made on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, and is only available there. Similarly to tequila, it is made from agave plants. Coecoei is used in the island’s famous cocktail, Aruba Ariba, where it’s mixed with vodka, rum, juices, and crème de banana.

Angostura Bitters

Angostura Bitters, while not technically a liquor or liqueur, is a mixture of alcohol and a variety of botanical ingredients including orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. It is commonly used in very small amounts in cocktails. While it was invented in Venezuela, it is now produced in Trinidad & Tobago.

Tropical drink in Jamaica

What is the most famous Caribbean drink?

There are plenty of famous Caribbean drinks, but what is the signature cocktail of the Caribbean?

There is a lot of debate about this, but some of the most popular Caribbean cocktails are rum punches, daiquiris, and mojitos. Other famous Caribbean alcoholic drinks are the Bahama Mama, the Mudslide, Planter’s Punch, the Pina Colada, the Cuba Libre, and the Painkiller. Not surprisingly, these—like most traditional Caribbean drinks—are rum-based cocktails.

However, there is another liquor in one of the other famous Caribbean drinks, the margarita: tequila. Although most people think of margaritas as Mexican, a large portion of the Mexican coast is along the Caribbean so this can also be considered a Caribbean cocktail. It has certainly become as popular in beach bars across the region as many of the other drinks we’ve mentioned.

What do you think of our picks for the top 10 best spirits and liqueurs in the Caribbean islands? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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