Six Drinks Inspired By Reggae Music’s Moment-Defining Rhythms
Reggae, with its roots firmly planted in the heart of Jamaica, offers a rhythm that's as distinctive as the island's own history. It’s a genre that doesn’t just play in the background but boldly defines moments, creates movements, and invites people in. Similarly, for bartenders, every ingredient and every shake (with or without ice) is part of a larger experience that’s ultimately about sharing the joy of mixology. Want more show and less talk? Witness the magic of reggae and mixology with our selection of cocktails and mocktails inspired by all things reggae.
The Natty Dread
It’s almost a muscle memory to picture Bob Marley strumming his guitar under a leafy Jamaican palm when thinking of reggae. This cocktail, The Natty Dread, is an ode to his seminal style. Mix 30 ml Captain Morgan Dark Rum with a splash of coconut milk and pineapple juice. The rum's rich warmth pays tribute to Marley's deep, resonant voice, while the tropical flavours echo his Rastafarian roots. Versions of this cocktail have made the rounds, but the original recipe has our hearts, just like Marley’s timeless hits like No Woman, No Cry.
The Blue Mountain Brew
When in Jamaica, you can’t not have their local coffee. For this drink, we are seeking inspiration from the contemporary reggae beats of artists like Chronixx. Combine a generous pour of strong cold-brew coffee with a touch of honey to your liking and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Top with whipped cream, if you are a coffee-and-cream kind of person. This caffeinated kick is the perfect homage to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, known for their world-class brews and stunning terrain.
The Rocksteady Cooler
Taking you back to the late 1960s, the Rocksteady era was all about smooth transitions from ska to reggae. The Rocksteady Cooler captures this smoothness. Stir 30 ml of Smirnoff Vodka with a fresh 100 ml brew of chilled hibiscus tea and a squeeze of fresh lime. This cocktail is reminiscent of Alton Ellis’s melodies, blending the old with the new in an unexpected package.
The Lovers' Rock
Reggae is often mistaken for being about upbeat rhythms, but it has a tender, soulful side, best represented by Lovers Rock. For this genre, try The Lovers' Rock mocktail—a blend of passion comprising 50 ml of mixed fruit juice, a hint of vanilla, and a splash of sparkling water for that energetic lift. Like the sweet romance of Gregory Isaacs’ crooning ballads? This drink is for you!
The Dancehall Fizz
Doesn’t everyone love a bit of dancehall to wrap up a rager? This is a genre that transformed the reggae landscape with artists like Sean Paul. The Dancehall Fizz is a vivacious mix of Ciroc Vodka, about 10 ml of pineapple syrup, a dash of Black and White ginger ale, and a squeeze of lime. It's effervescent, spicy, and bold, mirroring the energetic pulse of dancehall music that gets everyone on the dance floor.
The Kingston Mule
In addition to being the heart of Jamaica, Kingston is also where the reggae story began. The Kingston Mule is a tribute to this vibrant city and its bustling art scene. Blend 30 ml of Singleton 12 whisky with a splash of Johnnie Walker’s refreshing mixer and a few drops of lime. Equal parts edgy and refined, this drink pays an ode to the city where traditional reggae rhythms meet urban beats.