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Goombay Smash

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Goombay Smash | Something New For Dinner

If you have ever spent anytime in the Bahamas, you have run into a Goombay Smash or two, the ubiquitous cocktail of the islands. There is not a bar or restaurant in the Bahamas that doesn't offer a Goombay Smash on its menu. Invented in the 1960's by Emily Cooper of Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar in Green Turtle Cay, the original recipe is top secret. They premix large jugs of Goombay Smashes each day before the bar opens to keep the recipe secret and to make it easy to pour large numbers of cocktails quickly. You can also purchase take-away half gallon jugs of premixed Goombay Smashes to enjoy at your leisure.

The History Behind the Goombay Smash

In researching the history behind this tropical drink I learned the Goombay Smash was conceived by Miss Emily during a dominoes game. She created the cocktail, but then had to ask her friend Brendal Stevens to taste it because she didn't drink alcohol. While I have not been to Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar, I have met Brendal Stevens in Green Turtle Cay.

 

Goombay Smash | Something New For DinnerBrendal took us on a dive and snorkel outing. You would never know this man is well into his 60's. 

 

Brendal is a world-renowned dive master who a few years ago took a group of us to dive and snorkel off a reef on the Atlantic side of Green Turtle Cay. Our group was all geared up and about to jump off of Brenda's boat and into the water when he said "Oh, one more thing. You will see a lot of sharks on this reef. Don't worry, they are just another kind of fish." Needless to say, that got our attention, but in we went and sure enough there were LOTS of sharks. I easily saw a good dozen, ranging from 4 - 8 feet in length. After my heart settled down, I realized Brendal was right, they are just fish, albeit pretty darned big fish. The good news is, that while I can't say I love swimming with sharks, the experience taught me to not be as afraid of them. Furthermore, the nice thing about swimming with sharks in the Bahamas is the water is so clear you can readily see them. Unlike swimming in California water, where sharks are there but you can't see them through the murky green water.  My imagination can get the worst of me swimming in the green murk.

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What is in a Goombay Smash?

The main ingredients include: orange juice, pineapple juice, apricot brandy and multiple types of rum, including coconut rum and sometimes spiced rum, also called dirty rum. In my version of a Goombay Smash, I use Cointreau instead of apricot brandy, a mix of coconut rum and amber rum and I finish it with a healthy splash of Myer's rum, because all rum drinks should finish with a splash of Myers. 

Barbie's Birthday Cocktail

I developed this recipe to celebrate my friend Barbara's birthday. Barb and her husband introduced us to boating in the Bahamas, and we haven't looked back since. Barb has been quite helpful in assisting me in my Bahamian cocktail research so I thought it only fitting that she have the most celebrated Bahamian cocktail for her birthday party. The nice thing about a Goombay Smash, is that it is easy to make in large quantities, so all you have to do is pour it over ice, and maybe add a float of Myer's. I provide both a recipe for a single Goombay Smash as well as a party-sized vat of Goombay Smashes that will serve 40. This party drink dispenser works well for mixing up a large batch and dispensing individual drinks. The Barbie Mermaids were in Barb's honor. 

What is a Goombay?

A Goombay is a goat skin Bahamian drum and a type of Bahamian music. The most renowned Goombay musician was Alphonso Higgs, better known as Blind Blake, who specialized in Calipso and Goombay music. 

More Tropical Drinks

Bahama Conch Rum Cocktail

Pineapple Moscow Mule

Tropical Sangria with Passionfruit

Thai Pearl Cocktail

 

For more on our Bahamian adventures, click here.

Goombay Smash

Prep

Total

Yield 1 Cocktail

The Goombay Smash is the ubiquitous cocktail of the Bahamas. Rum-rich and tropical fruit-forward, this thirst quencher will put you in an island mindset no matter where you are.

Ingredients

For a single cocktail:

2 ounces pineapple juice

2 ounces orange juice

1/4 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce amber rum

1 ounce coconut rum

1 splash Myer's rum

Optional Garnish:

Mint leaves

Pineapple or Orange slices

Strawberries

Lime squeeze

Angostura bitters

For a party size bowl of Goombay Smashes:

2 46-ounce cans pineapple juice

1/2 gallon fresh squeezed orange juice

1 750-ml bottle of Coconut rum

1 750-ml bottle of amber rum

1 bottle of Myer's rum for float

Optional Garnish:

Mint leaves

Pineapple or Orange slices

Strawberries

Lime squeezes

Angostura bitters

Instructions

For a single cocktail:

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add pineapple juice, orange juice, Cointreau, amber rum and coconut rum. Stir and top with a float of Myer's rum. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and a shake of Angostura bitters. Garnish with mint leaves, pineapple and orange slices and strawberries.

For a party size bowl of Goombay Smashes:

In a large punch bowl or beverage dispensing jar, combine all ingredients except Myer's rum. Stir to combine. Pour into individual ice-filled highball glasses. Top each glass with a float of Myer's rum, a squeeze of fresh lime and a shake of Angostura bitters. Garnish with mint leaves, pineapple and orange slices and strawberries.  Makes about 40 servings.

Courses Cocktails

Cuisine Bahamian

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