There’s an endless list of fun things that come along with a beach getaway, but I think we can all agree that the exposure to authentic food lands at the top of that list. It’s nice (and delicious) to have a change in your daily diet. Plus, when you’re eating what’s unique to the location you’re visiting, it can really add to the whole experience.
With that being said, if you’re heading to one of these tropical spots in the near future, make sure to add these drinks and dishes to your bucket list!
It turns out the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico’s most beloved cocktail. Spanish for “dove,” the Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail. This drink is most commonly prepared by mixing tequila with a grapefruit-flavored soda served on the rocks with a lime wedge. There’s also the option of adding salt to the rim of the glass.
Dish: Corn Tortillas
Today, the process of making corn tortillas is mechanized in all but remote areas. Despite this mechanization, tortillas in Mexico are far from standardized. They are made from white, yellow, blue, or red corn and come in a wide range of sizes — between 2 inches in diameter and as wide as 10 inches.
Mamajuana is a traditional Dominican drink, comprised of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and herbs. It was originally prepared by the native Taino Indians as an herbal tea, but they eventually started to add alcohol as a way to act as an extract that pulls the herbs’ curative properties. Aside from being an aphrodisiac drink, the Mamajuana is also consumed for its medicinal value such as: flu remedy, like a digestion and circulation aid, blood cleanser and kidney and liver tonic. Usually consumed at room temperature , Mamajuana is usually taken as a shot, the effects of which are almost immediate — which caused the drink to be referred to as the “Baby Maker.” (LOL)
This meal could be translated to “7-Meat Stew,” as it’s made with seven different types of meat from four types of animals, then mixed with root vegetables and plantain. The combination produces a very rich, thick, meaty stew, unlike anything you’ve tried before. A simplified version might contain solely beef and maybe chicken.
Jamaica is basically synonymous with Red Stripe, the classic crisp lager. Jamaicans also particularly love stout beer, which is sometimes considered a surprising choice for the tropics. Guinness is also popular here.
Dish: Jerk Chicken
You can ask just about anyone to name a traditional Jamaican food and they’ll most probably mention jerk chicken. Ever-present throughout Jamaica, from roadside shacks to all-inclusive resorts, jerk chicken is a Jamaican staple. If you’ve never experienced, just imagine chicken rubbed and marinated in a blend of hot spices before being smoked.
Drink: Sky Juice
The Bahamas’ most popular any-occasion cocktail is Sky Juice, also known as Gully Wash: a combination of gin, coconut water and sweet condensed milk. The local favorite comes in degrees of sweet and extremely sweet, with (or without) coconut chunks. True “Gully Wash” always comes fully loaded with gin. Be careful with this Bahamian concoction: it can creep up on it’s victims.
Dish: Cracked Conch
Cracked Conch (pronounced “konk”) is widely-known as the Bahamian version of British fish and chips. The meat is pounded and breaded in a way similar to a veal cutlet, and can be served in a number of ways, including curried or with a Creole sauce. This dish is light, flavorful and is commonly paired with french fries or Bahamian peas n’ rice.
Drink: Seco Herrerano
Panama’s most famous drink is seco– a sugar cane-distilled form of alcohol produced in Herrera and commonly served with milk and ice. You won’t always find this beverage in trendy bars or high-end restaurants; it’s consumed mostly in rural communities and cantinas. Also popular in Panama are rum, vodka, and scotch.
Dish: Guacho de Mariscos
A local favorite. Translating to Seafood Guacho, the dish is basically a thick rice soup with yams, yucca, mixed vegetables and mixed seafood. It can also be served with beef instead of seafood, but the first option is the most popular.
This drink recipe first began as a shot order in Playas del Coco on the northwestern coast, but the hot sauce, lime juice, guaro and salt combo quickly caught on and soon after, bars in the capital were mixing pitchers of the stuff. The liquor is well-disguised and the shot tastes spicy and delicious, even though it gives you “dragon breath.”
Dish: Gallo Pinto
Gallo Pinto, simply-put, is a breakfast dish made of rice and beans. The cuisine has roots in both Costa Rican and Nicaraguan culture, and is typically referred to as just “pinto” by the locals. The rice and beans are mixed together and paired with other ingredients to incorporate some spice, such as peppers, cilantro, and onions. When the beans and rice are mixed together, it creates some coloring variations that makes it look like the rice is speckled. (This is how the dish got its name, because gallo pinto means “spotted rooster!”