Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a pink sand beach on a three-and-a-half-mile-long island, someone is drinking a Goombay Smash while they stare off into crystal clear water. I can’t bring you to Harbour Island in the Bahamas, but I can bring a Goombay Smash to your backyard this spring.
The Goombay Smash is a common drink in the string of islands known as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, but if you’ve never been there you’ve probably not heard of this tiki style drink.
By now, you probably have two questions:
1. Who, where or what is a Goombay?
2. What exactly is a tiki style drink?
When I first heard of the Goombay Smash, I thought maybe there was some old time Bahamians named the Goombays. You know, maybe it was mayor Goombay or governor Goombay, but I couldn’t find that bloodline in the intriguing history of the islands. Then I thought there might be a place called Goom Bay, but I couldn’t find that place anywhere on Google Earth.
It turns out a Goombay is actually a goatskin drum often used in a style of Caribbean music by the same name.
Now, for the sake of brevity, I’m going to offer my own definition of a tiki style drink. A tiki drink is a vehicle for delivering large amounts of rum to your liver usually accompanied by tropical juices.
It’s also the name of the first man on Earth according to Polynesian mythology, but let’s stay focused on the drinks and the livers.
In the Bahamas there are as many recipes for this drink as there are places that serve it. And I researched as many as humanly possible. I did it for you. I did it for this article. I didn’t do it for my liver, but we’re in the middle of a permanent feud anyway.
While visiting this little peace of paradise, I was also fortunate enough to work with a resort staff training them on cocktails and hospitality. This gave me a test lab to work out what I think is the best recipe for a Goombay Smash that stays true to its island roots.
This is a strong and surprisingly easy-to-drink cocktail. Be careful. The Myers’s Rum float adds a little extra kick. Do not operate any M. Night Shyamalan movies while drinking it. It will just make you confused and angry.
However, if you ever take a trip to Harbour Island in the Bahamas, make sure to stop by the bar at Valentine’s Resort and Marina and ask for the best Goombay Smash in all the islands. Tell them I sent you. In the meantime, bring some of the Bahamas to your backyard this spring.
¾ oz Bacardi Light
¾ oz Bacardi Gold
¾ oz Malibu Rum or Coconut Rum
¾ oz Nassau Royale or Orange Curacao
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Myers’s Rum
Mix all ingredients except Myers’s Rum in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 7-10 seconds. Strain into a pint glass with ice. Float Myers’s Rum gently on top of drink. Garnish with an orange slice and brandied cherry.
Kevin D Barrett is the owner of Dram & Draught.