Two years ago (!), Nole and I spent a fantastic week in St. Lucia, a tiny and gorgeous Caribbean country. I, of course, tried the local drinks, and they were as you might expect: full of rum and pineapple and coconut. Tropical. But I also noticed something interesting in between cups of rum punch â€“advertisements all over the country for Campari, the bitter ItalianÂ amaro that’s key to cocktails like the Negroni. This made no sense to me. Why would the people of a Caribbean island â€“ with all that rum and lime and pineapple, rich spices and coconut â€“ drink bitter, bitter Campari? So I asked a bartender and he told me that St. LuciansÂ loved Campari, on the rocks or with soda water, just like in Italy. Go figure. So I wanted to give something an experiment, to balance the touristy fantasy of the ideal Caribbean drink with the reality of what St. LuciansÂ actually drink. And I think I came up with something pretty interesting and pretty good: The Last Ship Home.Â â€“ Andrew
Illustration byÂ Shauna LynnÂ for Oh So Beautiful Paper
The Last Ship Home
1 1/2 oz Aged Rum
1/4 oz Cachaca
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1 oz Pineapple-Mango Syrup
1 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Orgeat Syrup
Combine all of the ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with tropical fruit. Enjoy!
There’s a lot going on in this recipe, but it works: smooth and tangy, sweet and sour, sweet and bitter, with tropical spiciness but alsoÂ amaroÂ herbal notes. I won’t lie: if you don’t have all of these ingredients at home, you can still make a really interesting bitter Daiquiri with rum, lime, sugar, and Campari. But if you do have all these handy, give it a try: it’s enormously complicatedÂ but somehow all works together, balancing the richly sweet tropical flavors with aÂ classic bitter Italian aperitif.
Weird. But good.
Donâ€™t forget to let us know if you try any of our recipes. And if you do make one at home, you can useÂ #osbphappyhour to share photos of these (or your own creations) on Instagram.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper