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Bushwacked in St. Thomas

We’re not big on frozen drinks, but our research in St. Thomas leads us to a local cocktail known for its thirst quenching and intoxicating qualities. Enjoy!


On a hot day, there are few drinks that can quench your thirst and put you in a better mood than a Bushwacker.  This uncomplicated combination of coconut cream, dark rum, creme de cacao, milk and coffee liqueur is a St. Thomas original and may as well be the official drink of the US Virgin Islands.  Most of the bars that we frequented had long ago perfected the proper technique of this frozen drink and serve them up at a furious pace.

After one especially long day of rum research in St. Thomas we stumbled into a local hangout called Big Bamboo Tiki Bar in the little town of Red Hook.  I ordered “something cold with rum” from Kim, the bartender on duty.   Without missing a beat she served up a Bushwacker just moments later and said it was one of the best and easiest drinks on their menu.   “Keep it simple” she said, “this one is so easy it almost makes itself.”  In this case, simple is good.  The drink was one of the best of the week.

Like most good cocktails, the origins of the Bushwacker are in dispute.  Some say an early version of the drink was invented in Pensacola, Florida as early as 1975.  Others say the recipe that is so popular in the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean was created by a bartender at Bolongo Bay Resort in St. Thomas.  The real story may never be known, but we were sold on the VI version and it’s the one we’re often recreating at Rum Connection headquarters.  Here’s the recipe.  Let us know what you think.


2 oz. cream of coconut
1 oz. coffee liqueur

1.5 oz. dark rum

.5 oz. dark creme de cacao 

2 oz. milk
Combine all ingredients with 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth.  Serve up in a pint glass, sip and enjoy!