Oh, Bahama Mama. Where do I even begin? I could use all the adjectives in the world to describe this cocktail, but i’ll just settle for one: sublime.
My love affair with the Bahama Mama cocktail started back in 2012 when I ventured into a local watering hole one night called ‘Maverick’s 80s Lounge’ – the promise of 80’s music with good cocktails was simply too much to pass up. The group I was in was ushered past the bustling dance floor playing latest chart toppers were and up a set of stairs into an empty room with another, smaller, bar and a rather bored looking bartender stood behind it. It was then that the magical phrase ‘2 cocktails for a fiver’ was uttered by said bartender, and what followed was a long and surprisingly unmessy night sampling many of the drinks available. I remember they made a mean White Russian and a pretty good Long Island Ice Tea (although I relied on my then-boyfriend’s and now-husband’s opinion of the latter – i’m not a big fan of Long Island’s).
However, this story is about the Bahama Mama. Mavericks used a combination of (from what I could see being poured in) rum, pineapple, cream, banana liqueur and grenadine to create a creamy delight like no other. 2 of these for £5 was a triumph and I distinctly remembering handing over a £20 note and walking away with 8 of them at one point. Money well spent. Alas, times have changed since and only the standard cocktails like Sex on the Beach, Woo Woo etc are now included in the 2 for £5 deal. Excuse me whilst I go cry in the corner.
This recipe for this Bahama Mama is different to the one at Mavericks – they use some kind of banana liqueur or syrup for starters – but it’s equally brilliant. As a warning, if you don’t like rum you need to go find another cocktail sharpish as this uses 3 different type of rums. Saying that, it’s not a particularly strong drink when you consider that there’s 5 ½ ounces of non-alcoholic ingredients in comparison to the 2 ½ ounces of spirit. The coffee is the singular most important element of the drink though; it mellows out the cocktail by bringing a much needed earthiness to a drink that is otherwise full of sugar and somehow the coffee plays nicely with the tropical nature of the classic rum and pineapple combo. The actual proportions of all the spirits are balanced perfectly – nothing is overpowering and everything just blends together, enhancing not only their own flavours but those of the other ingredients too. Even without the cream of the original, there’s still a distinctly creamy texture to the drink which is perplexing at first but quickly turns both miraculous and welcome.
This is one that everyone needs to try.
♦ 1 ounce dark rum
♦ ½ ounce coconut rum
♦ ½ ounce white rum
♦ ½ ounce coffee liqueur
♦ 4 ounces pineapple juice
♦ 1 ½ ounces lemon juice
Vigorously shake all the ingredients barring the cherry and the white rum together. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the cherry. Float the white rum on top of the drink if you can. Enjoy!