Archives for August 2013

Authentic Rum Punch Recipe

1 of sour
2 of sweet
3 of strong
4 of weak

This is the rhyme commonly used to recall the recipe for an authentic rum punch. Just try remembering it after trying one
(or two!)

Can’t quite remember where we sampled our first rum punch. Barbados? Jamaica? Hmmm – I know we’ve enjoyed them on many islands, and they all seem to have a completely different taste. Is it the rum used? Is is the “sweet” ingredient or the “weak” ingredient? I think it’s safe to say – all of the above – with a huge dose of “who you’re enjoying it with and where”.

For this recipe we used Grenadine as the “sweet”, although it’s common in countries such as Jamaica to use a strawberry or cherry syrup. A simple syrup (1 part sugar to 2 parts water) can also be used, but you will forfeit the fruity taste and red coloring.

In this recipe we used water as the “weak”. In other rum punch recipes, such as our Caribbean Rum Punch, different fruit juices are used instead of water, creating endless opportunities to vary the taste depending on the juices used. As water seems to be used in the most authentic versions, that’s what we used here – and liked the result!

By using the measurement in the rhyme above, it’s easy to make a large batch of this tasty rum concoction for parties and gatherings by multiplying the measurements – that way you can mix it ahead and just sit back and enjoy….

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Authentic Rum Punch

(makes one but can easily be increased to make a large batch)

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 oz. simple syrup (we used Grenadine, but it is common to use a strawberry or cherry syrup as well)

3 oz. rum – we used Appleton V/X because we have Jamaica on the brain this week, but have also used Mount Gay Eclipse with very good results. Some use Wray & Nephew for all of the rum or in combination for a very potent punch. Every rum has it’s own unique taste – so experiment to see which you like best!

4 oz. water

Freshly grated nutmeg (optional in the authentic recipe, but we always use a sprinkle!)

Pour all ingredients over ice and stir. Sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg and garnish with a lime or orange slice.

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory
Rum Recipes by Category

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sandbox Bar & Grill, Prickly Pear Island, BVI

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On a beautiful white sand beach on the uninhabited Prickly Pear Island in the BVI, sits a great little beach bar called Sandbox Bar & Grill. In the picture above, taken from Hog Heaven, which sits high atop Virgin Gorda, you can see North Sound, Prickly Pear Island and Sandbox. Sandbox is only accessible by boat.

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During our most recent visit to Virgin Gorda, we rented a luxurious dinghy (last one available – that’s what we get for not planning ahead!) from Leverick Bay Resort & Marina and set off to explore the beautiful North Sound.

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Sandbox was our last planned stop of the day, so we tied up our dinghy at the dock at Vixen Point and scurried ashore to check it out.

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There were just a few people sitting at the bar that early afternoon, but the bartender said it would soon be VERY busy as a huge private party was was making their way to Sandbox from the Bitter End Yacht Club for some fun in the sun, beautiful water and the white sand.

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Due to the incoming party, there were a lot of beach chairs situated that day on the beautiful beach.

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Since we still had the place nearly to ourselves, we picked out a prime spot and ordered a really tasty Rum Punch.

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We enjoyed the beautiful view of the North Sound, all the boats, and watched a seaplane land in the water not too far away. If we had more time, we would have really loved to take the hike on the path from Vixen Point around the salt ponds to what we heard were two more beautiful and secluded beaches on the north shore of Prickly Pear Island – another reason to go back I guess…

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Having arranged ahead of time which one of us would be the designated dinghy driver that day and to avoid a DDD (drunk dinghy driving), we thought it best to stop at one Rum Punch (although we REALLY wanted another!) As we made our way back to the dock, we noticed that it was starting to get busy at the Sandbox.

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As we headed back to Leverick Bay (with Mosquito Island off to the right), we realized just how many great things there are to see and do in the North Sound area and how we’d love to come back and stay for a week, a month, or maybe a lifetime??

Find Sandbox (and Prickly Pear Island) on our Virgin Gorda Map


To see other posts on Virgin Gorda and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Take our survey and enter to win a GoPro Camera!

We’re growing. Yep. And it’s a good thing! But we want to make sure we’re growing in the right direction – you know, the way that will continue to provide you, our friends and readers, with information you find useful. So…we’re asking that you take a few moments out of your very busy schedule to help us. We’ve assembled a survey with some questions that will help us plan for the future of Rum Therapy.

What you have to say is VERY important to us, so in return, we will be randomly choosing one person who fills out the survey to receive a brand new GoPro Hero White Edition Camera*! Additionally, 10 others will be chosen to receive a Rum Therapy Rum Bum Cap and Decal Set*!

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How do you take the survey and enter your name to win?

First of all, make sure you “like” us on Facebook. Then, click this link to take the survey:

Rum Therapy Survey

At the end of the survey, be sure to enter your name and email to be entered to win! Winners will be chosen randomly on September 8, 2013. The individuals chosen will be notified by email on September 8 and will have until September 10 to respond with their mailing address. If we do not hear back from individual winners by September 10, new winners will be chosen and notified.

ALL information is completely confidential – we NEVER share your information with anyone – and any info provided will be solely used by Rum Therapy for development purposes.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to give us your feedback!

*Prize shipment available only to US addresses

Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, Bequia

To be truthful, I wasn’t all that excited about going to see a turtle sanctuary on our first visit to Bequia. I thought there had to be SO many other things to check out on this lovely island that I really didn’t want to spend time looking at turtles in captivity. I mean it’s thrilling to see turtles in their natural habitat while snorkeling, diving or swimming in the Caribbean, but turtles in a pen? Reluctantly I went along, and not only enjoyed the experience, but came away with a lot of respect for the man behind the sanctuary, “Brother” King, and the time and effort he has put in to saving the Hawksbill turtle from extinction.

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The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is located on the north east side of Bequia and we found a taxi in Port Elizabeth to drive us over for a tour. It was a beautiful drive and we got to see some of the Bequia countryside as well as beautiful vistas and beaches along the way.

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The grounds around the sanctuary are pretty scenic themselves with many tall palms and meandering goats and chickens.

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Orton “Brother” King started the sanctuary in 1995 as a way to protect Hawksbill turtle hatchlings during their most vulnerable time and collects eggs from nearby beaches. He raises them until they are about 14 inches long  and then releases them into the ocean. According to his website “This gives them a better chance to survive, and instead of one from one thousand reaching maturity, this project will help repopulate the ocean sooner with about fifty from one hundred.”

The entrance fee and any donations he receives help to fund his continued work.

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Inside the building that houses the sanctuary, there are several pools, each housing turtles of different sizes. The smallest turtles were plentiful and active.

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Besides varying in size, the turtles varied in shell color and it was interesting to see that some really had their own personality.

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This turtle like to have his back rubbed. He would swim over to people at the side of his pool and when you rubbed his back in the right spot, he’d wiggle his leg – just like a dog!

We spent some time talking to Brother King and asking questions about his operation – which he gladly answered. He’s passionate about what he does and increasing the number of Hawksbill turtles that swim in the waters around this beautiful island.

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On the way back to our boat, we were treated to more beautiful views of Bequia and it’s quiet and beautiful countryside.

Find the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary on our Grenadines Map

To see more posts on this and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Goombay Smash

We were recently alerted to the fact that we didn’t have a recipe for a Goombay Smash on our website by one of our FB rum friends and set out to find out a little more about it.

First of all, what’s with the name? Well the Goombay is the name of a drum sometimes used in Bahamian music. Makes sense. Smash? Drink one and I think you’ll figure it out…

Turns out that we can’t give you the actual recipe for a Goombay Smash, because, well, the recipe is a family secret. This potent and tasty rum drink was created by Emily Cooper of Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas and rumor has it, the actual recipe has never been divulged to anyone outside of the family. The recipe listed below was given to us by the same FB friend J.W., who feels the taste is pretty darn close to the ones he has enjoyed at Miss Emily’s, but even he says there could be some secret ingredient missing.

As far as the authentic version? I think a trip to the Bahamas and a little research at the Blue Bee Bar may be in order…

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Goombay Smash
(an approximate replication of the real deal!)
(makes one)

2 oz. Dark Rum

1 oz. Coconut Rum
1/2 oz. Apricot Brandy
3 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Orange Juice

Shake all ingredients over ice and until cold. Pour into rocks glasses over ice. Garnish with orange and a cherry, if desired.

Let us know if you’ve enjoyed a real Goombay Smash at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar!

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

 

Cinnamon Bay, St. John

We’ve been asked if we have a favorite beach on St. John, and we’d have to answer the same way that our friend Dwayne Allen of the Rum Bar in Phoenix answered when we asked him if he had a favorite rum. He said “They’re all like my children – I love them equally, it’s just that some days I prefer one over the other!”

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Map of St. John north side beaches. The umbrellas indicate beaches. For and interactive version of this map, click here
.

With so many outstanding beaches to visit on St. John, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but Cinnamon Bay will always hold a special place in our heart. When we first visited St. John some 17 years ago, we were on a cruise and had only one day to explore St. Thomas and St. John. We asked a good friend of ours who had spent time on both islands for his advise on what to do and see. This is the same friend that told us we must sample a Painkiller while in St. John…which, of course, we did, and have been sampling them ever since!

So what was his advice? Take the ferry to St. John and spend the entire day on Cinnamon Bay. That’s exactly what we did, and spent an entire, beautiful day on one of the prettiest beaches we’d ever seen, sharing it with only a family of donkeys. That’s right – aside from a couple way on the other end of the beach – and the donkey’s – we had it all to ourselves.

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Fast forward 17 years and Cinnamon Bay is now one of the most popular beaches on the island and for good reason. It not only has a mile long expanse of gorgeous white sand, good swimming and snorkeling, it now has a ton of amenities as well.

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Cinnamon Bay has a General Store, a Beach Shop, Watersports Activity Center, Restaurant, Restroom and Showers, Camping and Cottages, plenty of parking and regular taxi service.

The only bad thing about all of this? You most likely won’t be the only ones on the beach with a family of donkey’s anymore. But with a mile of beautiful beach to enjoy, you should still be able to find a great spot in the sun as you can see from a picture of a more recent visit above.

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One of the Cinnamon Bay Cottages

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View to the left from the beach

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Looking down Cinnamon Bay Beach to the right

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Cinnamon Bay – still one of our favorite places to get our toes in the sand on St. John. Can you see why?

For more information on camping and other amenities on Cinnamon Bay, check out the
Cinnamon Bay Campground Website


Find Cinnamon Bay on our St. John Island Map

To see more posts on St. John and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

National Rum Day

Today is National Rum Day. Rum. That’s right, Rum has it’s own day.

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Finding the Rhum on St. Barths

When we started the company Rum Therapy in 2010, we knew little more about rum than it was an ingredient in some of our favorite island cocktails; piña coladas, rum punch and painkillers, oh and bushwackers – can’t forget bushwackers… And that rum appeared in the lyrics of many Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett songs. And that wherever you go in the islands, there’s rum.
That’s it.

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Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar, Jost Van Dyke

See our list (and recipes!) of the 10 Best Tropical Rum Drinks

Since then, we’ve learned a lot more. I mean, when you start with virtually no knowledge of a subject, you’ve got a ways to go. We’re not experts by any means, like our friend Dave Russell of Rum Gallery, but we’ve learned more about how rum is distilled and different types of rum and what rums are good for sipping or mixing in cocktails and although it’s not our goal to become rum experts, we’re certainly up for the challenge of learning more about this spirit with a long and storied history.

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Rum Punch at Happy Island, The Grenadines

So, we’ll continue to do the research (best done in the islands on beautiful beach or at a great beach bar or on a boat, don’t you think?) with the hope of continuing to provide the best rum experiences possible (cocktail recipes, best beach bars, best locations to sip tropical libations, distillery tours, etc., etc., etc.)

In the meantime, be sure to check out the plethora of rum recipes available on our website either by category or by picture (prepare to drool just a little):

Rum Recipes by Category

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

So today, let’s lift our glasses (of rum) to Rum.
Cheers Rum!

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Rum Drinks at Hog Heaven, Virgin Gorda

Rum Therapy/Rum Gallery British Virgin Islands Flotilla

Have you always wanted to try sailing? Have you ever dreamed of visiting the British Virgin Islands and getting to see what those beautiful islands have to offer?

Well, now may be your chance!

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We’d love for you to join us on the 1st Annual Rum Therapy/Rum Gallery Flotilla!!

Destination: British Virgin Islands
Date: April 5 – 12, 2014

We are teaming up with rum expert Dave Russell of Rum Gallery to provide you with an
itinerary that will include some of the prettiest beaches and best beach bars that the BVI has to
offer. In addition to the great stops and sailing adventure, Dave will also be holding a rum
tasting to learn more about different rums of the region! We have a limited number of boats and
cabins available and will fill them on a first come, first served basis, so if you’re interested, let us know right away!

Boat Options

A Fully Crewed Charter on a Catamaran
Why a crewed charter?
This option is probably the best for you if you have never sailed before and just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. We have 21 crewed charter cabins (6 boats total) available and they are through Festiva Sailing Vacations.

What’s included in the price?
Festiva is giving us a discount off of their normal Spring price per cabin (see pricing below) and the deposit and booking of these cabins will be through them. Check their website (http://www.festivasailingvacations.com/) to see the Lagoon 450 and Lagoon 440 and how the cabins are configured. Each cabin on either vessel has it’s own bathroom and each cabin sleeps 2 in a queen size bed.

The rate below includes: Captain, Chef, 5 dinners, 6 lunches, 7 breakfasts, appetizers, snacks, standard bar, snorkel gear, sea kayak, and taxes. That’s right – it even includes your beverages (standard bar – premium liquor can be purchased and brought aboard or furnished by them for an additional fee). AND this rate will include  a Rum Therapy goodie bag per cabin which will contain 2 Rum Therapy Flotilla Tees, 2 Rum Therapy Caps, 2 RumHuggers, and lots of other surprises! The rate does not include the crew gratuity and a cruising permit fee of $39 per cabin.

Crewed Charter Cabin Rates:

Lagoon 450: 4 cabins per boat $3, 951 per cabin

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Lagoon 440: 3 cabins per boat $3, 921 per cabin

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How do we reserve a cabin?

Contact Pamela ([email protected]) to let her know if you’d be interested in a cabin on the 450 or the 440. She will provide you with the Festiva contact information to put down your deposit. If you have friends that would like to come as well, let us know so that we can put you on the same boat. If you have either 3 or 4 couples and would like to have an entire boat to yourselves, that can be arranged. Solo couples will be given a cabin based on a preference for the Lagoon 450 or Lagoon 440.

What’s the deposit and when is it due?
A deposit of 50% of the cabin rate will be due by August 22 to reserve your cabin with the balance due 60 days before our sail. Upon booking, Festiva will send you a questionnaire about food allergies, likes and dislikes.

We have sailed 3 times with Festiva and it’s been a great, relaxing experience. If you have specific questions about the boats or itinerary, please let me know. Contact me to let me know if you would like to reserve a cabin on one of the crewed charters!
[email protected]

 

A Catamaran with a Skipper
Dave Russell will be the Skipper on this “sure to be a blast” catamaran and this is what he has to say about the experience.

Thank you for expressing interest in sailing in the BVI’s with Skipper Dave.  The Rum Gallery and Rum Therapy would love to welcome you to the Flotilla.  You probably have many questions, so let’s tackle the biggest ones first to see if this boat is the right one for you.

How much will this cost, and what is included in the price?
46-foor Sunsail 464 catamaran – $3700 per cabin.  Each cabin has a queen size bed, a door that closes, private head (toilet) and shower.  The price is fully inclusive of all breakfasts and lunches onboard, one dinner aboard, beverages and refreshments aboard.  Meals ashore and beverages ashore are paid by the passenger.  No tipping is required.  A $925 (25%) non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your cabin.

Do we have to sail?
Yes:  A boat functions best as a team.  Active participation in the sailing, raising and trimming the sails, steering the boat, mooring, stocking the cooler with beverages and ice, managing the dinghy, etc is highly desired.  The vacation will be what we make it.  If you are new to sailing, this will be an experience in which you’ll have a blast learning what makes your boat  go.  If you’re an experienced sailor, even better!  My motto is “Safety First.”
What else do we do?
We will sail 3-5 hours each day, arriving at a different island paradise.  The sailing conditions during April in the BVI are usually perfect, with just the right amount of wind and relatively calm seas.  At each destination, we will have plenty of daylight left for island exploring, swimming, snorkeling, island-style shopping, lounging around, reading a book or doing pretty much nothing. There will be a beach, a restaurant and bar (or several) at each destination.
Who is Skipper Dave?
I’m a certified sailing instructor.  I sail all over the world, about five-six trips each year.  I’ve sailed the BVI so many time I’ve lost count.  Sailing is my passion, and with every new sail I’m as excited as my very first time.  At home I sail in San Francisco Bay.
What about the Rum?
I have a rum review website called rumgallery.com.  I judge rum at tasting competitions and tour rum distilleries all over the world several times each year.  My taste for rum was acquired while sailing in the Caribbean over 20 year ago.  A glass of rum has been known to be in my hand after the sailing is finished for the day and we’re safely moored somewhere for the night.  I am a half-decent bartender, so we’ll have plenty of nice sundowners.  We sail and drink responsibly.
Other stuff
Meals – We are the chef.  We will have plenty of food for breakfasts and most lunches aboard.  We will probably eat ashore every night except one, but cook one dinner onboard.  Dietary Needs – Before submitting the food and beverage provisioning request, I will ask each of you about your food preferences so that the boat is provisioned with things you like.
Smoking – This is a boat for non-smokers.

[email protected]


Bareboat

If you are qualified to sail a vessel on your own, there are several catamarans and monohulls
available and we can hook you up with some information on chartering. You will be responsible for setting up the charter and then you can meet up with the rest of the group for an exciting week of rum adventure! Contact Pamela for more information.
[email protected]

Are you ready to set sail? We hope so and hope to welcome you aboard soon!

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Callwood Rum Distillery, Tortola

Want to experience a slice of Tortola history dating back as much as possibly 400 years?

Then be  sure to visit the Callwood Rum Distillery on your next visit to Tortola.  Although no one knows exactly how long rum has been produced on the original Arundel Estate, the Callwood family took over the distillery in the late 18th century and has been producing rum for over 200 years in what is claimed to be the longest continuously operated pot distillery in the Caribbean.

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Just a short walk from beautiful Cane Garden Bay, you feel as if you’re walking into a very old and deserted compound, but it’s actually an operating rum distillery and museum.

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Rum is produced here from approximately March through August and during this time you can take a short tour of the distillery for a minimal amount.

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If you visit at another time, you can still get a sense of the history by touring the grounds and purchasing rum at the museum/shop. Instead of paying a $2 fee to take pictures inside the museum, you can purchase a bottle of rum and take all the pictures you want. We felt the rum purchase was well worth it and wish we would have purchased more to bring home.

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Callwood produces a gold rum called the Arundel Cane Rum “Original”, a 10 year old Gold Rum, the Arundel White Rum, the Callwood Spiced Rum and  a blend called the “Panty Dropper”. Hmmm.

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Arundel Cane Rum is made from pure cane juice, instead of molasses, giving it it’s distinctive flavor, and the hand affixed labels give it as unique and antique a look as the distillery itself. Pick up a bottle or two to bring home. Although it is now available in a few shops in the VI, it’s well worth the visit, a tour and to take a huge step back in time...

Visit the Callwood Rum Distillery website and Facebook Page for more information.

Find the Callwood Rum Distillery on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Gwen’s Reggae Grill, Anguilla

Due to erosion, Gwen’s Reggae Grill moved to the other end of Shoal Bay. Be sure to stop by and visit her at the new location!

On a prime beachfront spot on the exquisitely beautiful Upper Shoal Bay in Anguilla sits a brightly colored beach bar called Gwen’s Reggae Grill.

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Gwen’s has been through some adversity – a fire that nearly burned the building to the ground and severe beach erosion which has caused the loss of some of the beautiful palms in the area. Regardless, the owner’s, have re-built and continue to offer good beverages & food, a friendly atmosphere and great parties with live music on Sundays.

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Due to the erosion of the beach, the deck of the bar sits right at the edge of the ocean which, when we were there, made it a great place to sit and sip Gwen’s tasty and potent rum punch and look out over the stunning beauty of Shoal Bay.

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We worked up a thirst while walking down the gorgeous beach and headed back for another round, but this time we enjoyed our cocktail while lounging in Gwen’s great hammocks on the beach.

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There’s parking in the back of Gwen’s but it can get crowded, so we’d recommend getting there early. After all, you’ll want to get the hammock with the best view too :)

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Find Gwen’s Reggae Grill on our Anguilla Map

To see more posts on Anguilla and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC