Famous for idyllic beaches, perfect year-round weather, Rastafarianism and the birthplace of Reggae music, Jamaica is a land rich with culture and beauty. Shaped and redefined by the various colonial powers that influenced the country’s vibrant food, drinks and culture, Jamaica is the jewel in the Caribbean that delights and charms visitors around every corner.
Jamaican drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, perfectly match the country’s unique traditions and spirit. Its bountiful plant life birthed some of the world’s best coffee and rum. Jamaica’s drinking scene is a melting pot of British staples and timeless Caribbean delights, which promises an explosion of vibrant colours and flavours that makes this tiny down-to-earth nation a treasure trove for curious travellers.
- 20 Jamaican Drinks
- Jamaican Alcoholic Drinks
- Jamaican Beer
- Jamaican Non-Alcoholic Drinks
- Jamaican Cocktails
20 Jamaican Drinks
Jamaican Alcoholic Drinks
1- Tia Maria
Made from famous Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, Tia Maria is a delicious liqueur that combines two of Jamaica’s most favourite products, coffee and rum, to create an exquisite alcoholic drink.
Although Tia Maria is produced in Italy, Tia Maria producers still import authentic Blue Mountain coffee and Jamaican rum from halfway across the world to make this classic liqueur.
Perfect to enjoy over ice or with milk, Tia Maria is perhaps the tastiest when combined with coffee, banana liqueur and dark rum to create the super delicious and trendy Dirty Banana cocktail.
No matter how you decide to savour your bottle of Tia Maria, it’s bound to treat the senses to some of the best flavours of Jamaica.
2- Jamaican Rum
Without a doubt, the liqueur most associated with Jamaica and the surrounding Caribbean region, rum, or more specifically Jamaican rum, is a liqueur that you must try when visiting this part of the world.
Pirates and buccaneers might have given rum its start in Barbados, but it’s in Jamaica where this famous liqueur was perfected.
Full-bodied, fruity flavoured and with a rich “funk” aroma, Jamaican rum is unique among other types of rum brands as it’s made by fermenting sugar cane and yeast in a mixture of lime water.
Consisting of an alcoholic content that can range between 40% and 75% alcohol, Jamaican rum is notoriously strong, however, it’s the smoothest rum you’ve ever tasted.
3- Jamaican Rum Crème
Jamaican Rum Crème, much like the other rum crème varieties found throughout the Caribbean, is a traditional Irish cream liqueur with a unique island twist.
Produced from authentic Jamaican rum, coconut extract, coffee, cream, and other top-secret ingredients, Jamaican Rum Crème is a little bit of paradise in a bottle.
Delicious to enjoy on ice, by itself or as an additive in a cocktail, Jamaican Rum Crème is readily available thanks to the two major Jamaican Rum Crème producers, Sangster’s and O’Riley’s, producing this tasty liqueur on a large scale.
While Jamaicans love to debate which brand of Jamaican Rum Crème is the best, this delectable liqueur promises to be a delight to the tastebuds no matter which brand you pick to enjoy.
4- Dragon Stout
Only produced in Jamaica, this dark, high-alcohol beer was one of the first beers brewed in the Caribbean in the early 1900s.
Dragon Stout gets its unique dark brown appearance from the roasted barley and chocolate malt mixture used to create this mildly sweet, creamy beer.
Due to its mild aromas and flavours, Dragon Stout is the perfect gateway beer for first-time dark beer drinkers who’d like to sample this proudly Jamaican classic.
Its distinctive chocolate and coffee undertones make it a perfect beer for any occasion.
5- Red Stripe
Red Stripe beer is Dragon Stout’s milder and more famous cousin and has become a staple in Jamaican bars and restaurants since the beer was first introduced on the island in 1928.
Although Red Stripe beer originated in the United States, a consortium of British investors bought the recipe and moved the production to Jamaica.
A lager made from hops, water, cassava starch and malt, Red Stripe beer is a slightly sweet beer with a faint yet noticeable hint of apple.
It has a smooth texture and aftertaste.
Simplistic, delicious and easy to drink, cracking open a bottle of Red Stripe beer in Jamaica is sure to be an enjoyable experience, even if beer isn’t your usual drink.
Jamaican Non-Alcoholic Drinks
6- Soursop Juice
Soursop juice is a refreshingly thick fruit juice made from the Soursop plant, which grows abundantly throughout Jamaica.
Soursop juice is a blend of strawberry, citrus and pineapple flavours.
It’s often paired with condensed milk, vanilla, or lime juice to give it a hint of sweetness or tanginess, depending on your preference.
If you’d like to jazz your Soursop juice up even further to make it a drink fit for grown-ups, consider adding a dab of Jamaican white rum to the fruity concoction.
No matter how you like to savour this Jamaican summertime staple, you can never go wrong with a tall glass of Soursop juice to relax in the Caribbean sunshine.
7- Sorrel Tea
Sorrel tea is a unique reddish-purple-coloured tea made from dried hibiscus blooms popular in Jamaica, Latin America and Africa.
While each region has its technique of blending ingredients to create a unique blend of hibiscus tea, Jamaican Sorrel tea combines ginger, lime soda, ice, sugar and spices to form a refreshing summertime drink.
Although the hibiscus flower is naturally odourless, once the plant’s essence is extracted and mixed into a drink, it turns into a zesty citrus-like concoction perfect for bracing the summer heat of the Caribbean.
Jamaican Sorrel tea is a mainstay on tables during festive holidays such as Christmas throughout the island and is a significant part of traditional Jamaican culture.
8- Blue Mountain Coffee
Much like Jamaican rum, Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee is one of the country’s most popular products and is so sought after that it’s one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive coffee variants.
Blue Mountain coffee is only cultivated in the Blue Mountains, a 2,000 m (6,562 ft) tall mountain range renowned for its high rainfall and humid climate that’s essential in providing the coffee with its flavour and aroma.
Famous for its sweet, fruity undertones and rich flavour, Blue Mountain coffee is as pricy as it’s delicious.
If you ever find yourself in Jamaica and are fortunate enough to sample some authentic Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, be sure not to let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass you by.
9- Peanut Punch
Made by blending coconut milk, roasted peanuts and water flavoured with condensed milk, nutmeg and vanilla, Jamaica’s Peanut Punch drink is delectable and packed with nutrients.
This rich and creamy Jamaican staple is on the menu in restaurants and food stalls across the island.
As with all other typical Jamaican non-alcoholic drinks, locals tend to spice their plain old Peanut Punch up by adding a dash of Jamaican rum to give it a kick.
Some even say it’s an aphrodisiac of sorts, as it’s high in natural fats, vitamins and minerals, making it both tasty and relatively healthy.
10- Jamaican Ginger Beer
Jamaican ginger beer is a fizzy soft drink infused with herbs and spices to give it a unique aroma and taste enjoyed by adults and children.
Despite the first accounts of ginger beer dating back to the 1700s in England, ginger beer arrived in Jamaica via the British Empire when Jamaica first became a British colony.
Widely regarded as good for your heart and stomach due to the large quantities of ginger in the drink, Jamaican ginger beer is one of the Caribbean island nation’s most widely enjoyed drinks.
While the drink tastes great, locals love adding a dash of rum to the standard Jamaican ginger beer to create a refreshing cocktail.
11- Irish Moss
Jamaica’s popular Irish Moss drink is a healthy plant-based drink rich in omega 3, minerals and vitamins.
Made from algae growing on the rocky outcrops along the Jamaican coastline, Irish Moss found its way to Jamaica through Irish labourers who brought the drink along with them.
Irish Moss might not sound too appealing, but the drink is surprisingly refreshing and healthy, plus, locals tend to mix in honey and milk to make the algae drink more palatable.
If you’re looking for an unusual Jamaican drink, try a cup of Irish Moss.
12- Vodka & Ting
Ting is a widely consumed non-alcoholic fizzy beverage that was first created in Jamaica in 1976.
It’s known for its tangy, bittersweet grapefruit taste that leaves you wanting more.
Ting is synonymous with beaches and perfect weather and is widespread throughout the Caribbean.
Given the drink’s popularity in Jamaica, it’s not surprising it’s often mixed with rum or vodka.
One of these concoctions is the ever-popular Vodka and Ting, or ‘Ving’ as many refer to it, made from one part vodka and two parts Ting soda to create a refreshing Caribbean cocktail.
If vodka is not your cup of tea, consider adding rum to create another classic Jamaican summertime cocktail, the “Ting ‘n’ Sting”.
13- Jamaican Crawler
Part of the porch crawler cocktail family consisting of beer, spirits and a sweet fruity drink, a Jamaican Crawler is usually made from Jamaican white rum, pineapple juice and melon liqueur.
Refreshing and bursting with tangy flavours, the Jamaican Crawler can be ordered at most bars in Jamaica.
Simple yet elegant, the Jamaican Crawler is fit for any occasion.
14- Guinness Punch
Born out of Jamaica’s love for Guinness beer, one of the country’s most popular alcoholic beverages by consumption, Guinness Punch was invented by Jamaicans who decided to mix the Guinness beer with spices and milk.
This cocktail is blended using Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, the most prevalent type of Guinness in Jamaica, mixed with milk, cinnamon or nutmeg, and vanilla to create a creamy delight fit for the Caribbean lifestyle.
Be sure to try out some Guinness Punch whenever you’re in Jamaica or make some yourself at home using whatever spices and Guinness beer you prefer.
15- Bob Marley
The Bob Marley cocktail was invented in the 1960s to pay homage to Jamaica’s most beloved son, Bob Marley, who played an instrumental role in putting the country’s slow-paced and groovy Reggae music on the world music map.
This Jamaican drink is famous for its layered multicolour look, with red at the bottom (dark rum, grenadine and strawberry), yellow in the middle (gold rum and pineapple), and green on top (white rum, melon liqueur and white juice).
The colours symbolise Rastafarianism, a cultural and religious movement from Jamaica that influenced the country’s Reggae music movement in the 20th century.
16- Planter’s Punch
While some might dispute the drink’s origins claiming it was invented in a South Carolina hotel, others insist that Planter’s Punch was born in Jamaica.
Made from authentic Jamaican rum, lime juice and syrup, the Planter’s Punch recipe was first cited in a British poem as far back as 1878.
The drink became popular in the United States during the Tiki cultural movement of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
This colourful cocktail, regarded by many as a variety of the more traditional rum punch, is the perfect cocktail to accompany the splendid Caribbean beaches and sunsets that Jamaica is famous for.
17- Caribbean Delight
Blended with coconut rum, vodka, lime and vanilla liqueur, the name of this Jamaican cocktail also describes the drink’s appearance and taste.
Often enjoyed by local Jamaicans on holidays such as Easter and Good Friday, the Caribbean Delight whisks you away to sun-clad beaches and palm trees with just a sip.
Served neat in a highball glass at bars and pubs across Jamaica, the Caribbean Highball comes in all sorts of variants, including some with lime soda or lemonade.
Regardless of how you prefer your Caribbean Delight cocktail, it’s a refreshing taste of Jamaica in a glass.
18- Rum Punch
Pairing Jamaica’s world-class rum with lime, fruit juice and ice to create this island-inspired cocktail puts Jamaica’s Rum Punch at the top of the list of Caribbean rum punches.
Jamaican rum punch can be made in various ways, with some recipes that include orange juice or pineapple juice to give the rum punch a fruitier and zestier flavour.
Substituting the drink’s white or brown rum content for a coconut-flavoured rum will give the rum punch a more savoury taste.
Regardless of how you prefer your Jamaican rum punch to taste, this Caribbean classic is heavenly to sip while sunbathing on a palm tree-clad sandy beach.
19- Dirty Banana
Though the origins of this classic Jamaican cocktail’s name remain a mystery, the delightful Dirty Banana cocktail is very much a dessert in a glass.
Made with white rum, one ripe banana, banana, coffee liqueur and a generous serving of thick cream, the Dirty Banana is a milkshake with alcohol.
Although the Dirty Banana is usually made using Tia Maria liqueur, any good coffee-flavoured liqueur will do if you fancy making some yourself at home.
The Dirty Banana cocktail is best drunk chilled on a blazing hot summer’s evening and is one worth trying in a Jamaican bar.
20- Jamaican Zombie
While the name might sound ghoulish, this fun cocktail is anything but incorporating some of Jamaica’s best spirits to create a potent concoction to party all night long.
Invented by Donn Beach, credited with starting the Tiki culture movement, the Jamaican Zombie’s name was coined because someone who drank it in a bar complained that the cocktail left them feeling like a zombie.
A Jamaican Zombie is typically made from Jamaican white and brown rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and a hint of grenadine, although some bartenders are known to add a dash of bitters to counteract the sweetness of the fruit juice.
Notoriously strong due to the high alcoholic content, this drink is certainly not for the faint-hearted, however, if you’d like to try a Jamaican cocktail that might give you a thumping headache the morning after, you can’t go wrong.
For more drinks around the world read: