When not plundering bounty or burrying treasure on the high seas, Pirates were the original functional alcoholics. With the majority of colonialism occurring in Southern climates, Pirates spent much of their time attacking trade ships en route through warmer waters.
And rum was their drink of choice.
Originating in the Caribbean and made from fermented sugarcane, rum was a favorite among the bearded and hooked community.
But rum alone will only get you so far. So set sail with these contemporary takes on classic pirate cocktails that will take you from landlubber to swashbuckler as quickly as you can say “Yo-ho-ho.”
The Daiquiri gets an undeserved reputation for being a weak vacation drink — mostly due to its slushy sister — but it’s essentially a modern interpretation of grog. Pirates often mixed rum, sugar water, and lime juice to make the alcohol easier to drink, rid their water-cask of bacteria, and stave off scurvy.
Just tell people that the next time you order one.
- 1 1/2 oz White Rum
- 1/2 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Another oldie but goodie, the Bumbo is another surprisingly sweet, yet health-conscious cocktail created by pirates of yore.
- 2 oz Dark Rum
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Grenadine
- 1/4 tsp (grated) Nutmeg
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine all of the ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.
3. Dark and Stormy
This drink didn’t surface until the mid-20th century, but its Caribbean roots and seafaring imagery make it worthy. The ginger beer takes a warm bite from the rum while maintaining the integrity of its spice.
- 2 ounces Gosling’s or Myers’s dark rum
- 5 ounces ginger beer
- Lime wedge
Pour the rum over ice in highball and fill with ginger beer. Squeeze in the lime wedge.
4. (Nouveau) Sangaree
This is not Sangria. Though there are several variations, sangarees are typically less involved than their Spanish counterparts.
- 2 oz Beaujolais Nouveau wine (you may substitute another red wine)
- 1 ½ oz apple brandy
- ½ oz gin
- ¼ oz dark maple syrup
- 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- thin apple slices
- Grated cinnamon
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with thin apple slices and grated cinnamon.
5. Barbary Coast
Here is one of those “I’m mostly alcohol, and you’re about to call your ex” cocktails. If it’s good enough for 19th century San Franciscan sailors, it’s good enough for you.
But you should probably give your phone to someone else beforehand.
- ¾ oz. Scotch
- ¾ oz. gin
- ¾ oz. Creme de cacao
- ¾ oz. cream
- grated nutmeg
Combine ingredients in a shaker, shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
6. Fog Cutter (Trader Vic’s version)
“After two of these, you won’t even see the stuff.”
These are terrifying words from the Fog Cutter’s creator, “Trader Vic” Bergeron. This cocktail bullied the Long Island Iced Tea in middle school. You can swap out the sherry from grenadine if you want to lessen the alcohol content, but you’ll wake feeling keelhauled regardless.
- 1/2 oz Orgeat
- 2 oz gold rum
- 1 oz Pisco (a strong, colorless grape brandy)
- 1/2 oz gin
- 1 oz orange juice
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz sherry float
Place all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice and float sherry on top.