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Celebrating the Soggy Dollar

The final stop on the British Virgin Islands slice of our rum research trip brought us to the world famous Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke.  Check it out.


At just 3 square miles, Jost Van Dyke is no more than a tiny speck of land in the British Virgin Islands.  It has long been a popular destination for boaters, backpackers and adventurous souls looking for something more than t-shirt shops and fast food restaurants.  With only 200 (or so) full time residents, Jost is a sleepy island with an abundance of natural beauty, tranquility and not much else.  Oh, it also has one hell of a bar scene….seriously.

Of all the famous watering holes on Jost Van Dyke, and there are several, one stands out above the rest.  Like most of the others, this particular place has great bartenders with personality and mixology skills that keep their patrons in good cheer.  It serves wonderful fresh seafood that comes directly from the bountiful local waters no more than a few hours before it hits the grille.  It even lays claim to a perfect location on the sandy shores of White Bay, one of the prettiest spots in the BVI.  But above all, what sets this bar apart from the others is a popular rum-spiked cocktail that was invented here many years ago.  A drink so popular that it has a fan club and near cult following.  The place, of course, is the world famous Soggy Dollar Bar, and the drink is the Painkiller.

The Soggy Dollar has long been a popular hangout for the many sailors that pass through the waters of the British Virgin Islands.  In fact, the bar’s name is a nod to the sailing community. There is no dock on this sandy beach, so boats anchor out and patrons swim in for drinks and food at the bar.  Their money is wet by the time they reach shore and it’s not uncommon to see soggy dollars clipped to a makeshift clothesline behind the bar, hence the name Soggy Dollar.

This is no longer just a hangout spot for intrepid sailors.  Thanks to favorable write-ups in travel books, magazines and websites, tourists from all over the world converge on this tiny beach bar in swarms creating a wild rum-fueled party 365 days a year.  It is definitely one of the busiest bars you’ll set foot in down here and my advice is to embrace the crowd, have some laughs, make new friends and enjoy everything that this unique spot has to offer.

Yes, the crowds come for the beautiful beach and good food, but above anything the Painkiller cocktail has put the Soggy Dollar on the map.   They’re just rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, orange juice and nutmeg but proper Painkiller technique is difficult to perfect.  Maybe it’s the weather or the beautiful scenery, but I can guarantee you that you’ll never have one as tasty as at the Soggy Dollar. 

Our visit occurred on the last day of our week long rum research trip in the Virgin Islands and a day of rum fun at the Soggy Dollar was the perfect way to complete an incredible journey.  We met some wonderful people, sampled some great rums, knocked back an incredible amount of island cocktails and soaked up as much of the BVI vibe as we could.  It’s safe to say that this trip will be repeated again and again with the same good friends and hopefully a few additions to the crew.  If you’re interested in tagging along, drop us a line and we’ll keep you informed about upcoming expeditions.  Cheers! 

Stay tuned for coverage of the second week of our rum research trip aboard the official Rum Cruise.  First stop, Barbados.