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 –advertisements all over the country for Campari, the bitter Italian amaro that’s key to cocktails like the Negroni. This made no sense to me. Why would the people of a Caribbean island – with all that rum and lime and pineapple, rich spices and coconut – drink bitter, bitter Campari? So I asked a bartender and he told me that St. Lucians 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. Lucians actually drink. And I think I came up with something pretty interesting and pretty good: The Last Ship Home. – Andrew
Illustration by Shauna Lynn 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 also amaro 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 complicated but somehow all works together, balancing the richly sweet tropical flavors with a classic bitter Italian aperitif.
Weird. But good.
Don’t forget to let us know if you try any of our recipes. And if you do make one at home, you can use #osbphappyhour to share photos of these (or your own creations) on Instagram.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper