drinks

All You Need to Know About National Rum Day & National Relaxation Day

Prepare yourself. This weekend has the potential to be, like, one of the best ones ever. What’s happening this weekend, you ask? Well today is National Relaxation Day and Saturday, the 16th is National Rum Day. That means kicking back with an ice-cold (rum) cocktail and unwinding is pretty much a necessity this weekend.

Here at CheapCaribbean.com, we aim to leave you feeling prepared. So we’ll start with a few of our favorite rum drink recipes to get you in the spirit of this weekend. And then we’ll give you a quick overview of our recommendations for the ultimate relaxation spots in the Caribbean & Mexico. So grab the rum and let’s start to loosen up!

Tropical Rum Punch

Tropical Rum Punch Recipe by Dreams Resorts for CheapCaribbean.com

As featured by Dreams Resorts & Spas, this concoction makes a pitcher’s worth and it perfect for the group festivities you have planned this weekend.

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup coconut rum
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pink grapefruit juice
  • Limes, sliced

How to make it:

Fill a pitcher halfway with ice. Add all the rum, liqueur and juices, mix well with large spoon and garnish with lime slices. Serves 6 to 8. Pour and enjoy!

Fresh Mint Mojito

Fresh Mint Mojito Recipe- National Rum Day- CheapCaribbean.com

The key to this light, refreshing cocktail is the fresh mint. Grab a few mint leaves and be sure to muddle in your mixing tin before concocting the rest of this drink. Sipping on this bad boy is almost a guarantee that ultimate relaxation will soon ensue.

What you need:

  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ½ ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar or simple sugar
  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
  • splash of club soda
  • Lime wedge

How to make it:

Use mixing tin to muddle 4-5 mint leaves. Add rum, agave nectar & lime juice and shake in mixing tin over ice. Pour into glass. Top off with a splash of club soda and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

Havana Lights Cocktail

Havana Lights Cocktail - Secrets Resorts - CheapCaribbean.com

Don’t worry. If you won’t be beachside this weekend, you can still drink like it. Secrets Resorts & Spas whips up their signature drink – the Havana Lights Cocktail, and you can now make it at home with this recipe.

What you need:

  • 3/4 ounce light rum
  • 3/4 ounce coconut rum
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce melon liquor
  • A few drops of grenadine syrup

How to make it:

Mix and shake the first three ingredients, then pour into a cocktail glass. Add a few drops of grenadine and then finish the drink off with a splash of melon liquor. Garnish with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Piña Colada

Pina Colada Recipe - Breathless Punta Cana - CheapCaribbean.com

It wouldn’t be National Rum Day without a classic rum drink, like the Piña Colada. This recipe comes to us from the Vegas-style resort in Dominican Republic called Breathless Punta Cana.

What you need:

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream of coconut
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

How to make it: 

  1. Pour the ingredients into a blender filled with ice.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour cocktail into a glass and garnish with the pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry.
  4. Enjoy and picture yourself lying on the beach at Breathless Punta Cana!

Okay, now that the rum situation is under control. A quick session of vacation inspiration is only fitting for National Relaxation Day. You can find some of the best spa resorts in the Caribbean & Mexico, which is why all of our favorite relaxation day resorts are those with killer spas. They include:

Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya.

Spa Resort Mexico - Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya - CheapCaribbean.com
This spa is 22,000 sq. ft. and houses the only certified thalassotherapy and anti-aging center in North America. And for those of you that aren’t sure what that means (don’t worry, we didn’t either), it’s a type of spa therapy that treats your body through the use of freshly heated saltwater, seaweed and marine mud. So lather up with some therapeutic mud treatments, grab a (rum) cocktail and prepare to escape to a place of pure bliss.

Le Blanc Spa Resort.

Spa Resort Mexico - Le Blanc Spa Resort - CheapCaribbean.com

This boutique resort is focused around wellness and pretty much guarantees that your stay will be one of peace and quiet. Not to mention it's also a recipient of the "Conde Nast's "2012 Readers Choice Award." The spa itself has 19 treatment rooms and an extensive menu of services. You can recharge with a hydrotherapy circuit, beauty rituals and even a traditional Mayan "Kukulcan massage."

Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay.

Spa Resort Jamaica - Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay - CheapCaribbean.com

Tucked perfectly away on the tip of the Jamaican Island, this all-inclusive luxury resort is great for relaxing as a couple. Sign up for couples spa treatments at Secrets Spa by Pevonia or take advantage of the Unlimited-Luxury® program that comes standard here. That means instant access to beautiful pools/beaches, gourmet dining and endless drinks.

So there you have it – great inspiration for the upcoming holiday weekend. It’s pretty much mandatory that you whip up one of these rum-laced adult beverages and do your best to unwind from it all. Of course, we won’t blame you if you’d rather spend the weekend dreaming about making one of the above spa resorts of reality. The only thing we ask is that you do your part to make it happen (not asking too much, are we?). Oh, and be sure to let us know just how you plan on celebrating this weekend. Post your plans in the comments below. Cheers!

Brittany Innes is a travel junkie with a passion for food, trying new things, and being spontaneous.

 

Mod Podge Your Way to the Caribbean

DIY Coasters - Drink Recipes - CheapCaribbean.com

It may come as no surprise that we’ve got a long list of Caribbean & Latin food and drink recipes that we love. And of course, we want to make sure you’ve got instant access to our favorites, in case you’re interested in unleashing your inner island local. Check out our guide to Caribbean cuisine if you’re ready to get down on some delicious food and drinks. You’ve got options when it comes to keeping these delish recipes handy. Download it to your phone and use it as an e-recipe book. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, turn these recipes into fabulous DIY coasters!

Here’s what you'll need:

  • Guide to Caribbean cuisine - printed (one-side)
  • White, 4-1/4" square ceramic tiles
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Felt (preferably white)
  • Spray acrylic sealer
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Cutting mat or any other clean, flat surface

The guide to Caribbean cuisine is full of great recipes, but to start off you might want to pick a few of your favorites. Once you've chosen, print them but make sure that you DO NOT fit to scale and that you DO NOT print on both sides of the paper. Once the pictures have printed, cut them out so that you end up with 4x4 in. square prints. Tip: the higher the quality of your print, the better the coasters will look.

Once you have your prints ready, you'll need to get the rest of the materials. White 4-1/4 in. ceramic tiles are recommended because the extra 1/4 of an inch provides a clean background for the image. You can get these tiles at any home improvement store (i.e. Home Depot) for about 10 cents each. You can pick up the rest of the materials at any craft store. Make sure that you get the spray acrylic sealer, or else your tiles won't be waterproof.

Now that you have all the necessary materials, follow these steps:

  1. The first thing you need to do is make sure that all your surfaces and tools are clean. You'll want to make sure of this during the entire process to make sure that you don't get anything on the Mod Podge, or else your coasters will be bumpier than a teenaged boy's face.
  2. Once you've made sure that everything is good to go, brush a layer of Mod Podge on top of the finished surface of the tile. You should brush left to right, and have even stokes to ensure the smoothest finish possible. Make sure you get all the way to the edges.
  3. As soon as you're done brushing the Mod Podge on the tile, lay a 4x4 in. square print on top of it so that it sticks to the tile. Make sure it's as centered as possible and smooth it out from the center out with your finger if necessary. You'll want to do all of this quickly, because Mod Podge dries FAST. Tip: after about 10-15 seconds of laying the picture on the Mod Podge, avoid touching it at all or you may ruin the print.
  4. Next, brush another layer of Mod Podge on top of the image, following the same technique as before. Make sure you smooth it out, if necessary.
  5. Let your coasters set for several hours to make sure that the Mod Podge completely dries.
  6. Once the coasters are dry, spray them with the acrylic sealer to ensure that they're waterproof. We recommend you get a sealer with a glossy finish, but satin works just as well.
  7. Finally, you'll need to make sure that your coasters don't scratch up your furniture. You can buy peel-and-stick felt to cover the back of your tile with, or use regular felt and craft glue to complete the task. You'll want to make sure that the felt is slightly smaller than the tile, so cut out 4x4 in. pieces of it so that the front and back of the tiles look uniform.

Voila! Now you can reminisce about your trip to the beach whenever you have a drink, or gift these beauties to somebody so that they can begin to dream of a Caribbean vacation.

Do It Yourself Coasters - Drink Recipes - CheapCaribbean.com

Roberto Jaimes is a Texas A&M graduate and a Web Content Editor at CheapCaribbean.com. Roberto can do a thing or two in Adobe Creative Suite and spends his free time watching/playing soccer and exploring Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. 

Celebrate National Margarita Day with CheapCaribbean.com

We’re two days out from one of our favorite days of the year. National Margarita Day is this Saturday, February 22nd and all of us here at CheapCaribbean.com couldn’t be more excited (and ready) to celebrate. It’s the one day of the year it’s perfectly acceptable to pay tribute to the drink that got it’s start nearly 70 years ago in Acapulco and has become a staple, especially at the beach. This year, we have lots of fun planned so tune in and celebrate with us!

While you’re busy counting down the days, hours, and minutes until party time, it might be helpful to know what margarita flavor is the perfect fit to your personality. That’s why we recommend quizzing yourself with our helpful infographic:

What Kind of Margarita Are You?

CheapCaribbean.com National Margarita Day Infographic | What Kind of Margarita Are You?

On the actual day of this wondrous occasion, you can bet that we’ll be drinks in hand, toes in the sand. We’re hosting a National Margarita Day happy hour and this celebration just wouldn’t be complete without you!

You’re invited & here’s how to join the party:

  • On Saturday, February 22nd, join us for happy hour from 5-6pm CST. Follow along with CheapCaribbean.com on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram as we share fun facts, drink recipes and plenty of other margarita goodness.
  • Use the hashtag #MargaritaParty to share with us how you’re celebrating National Margarita Day. Mention @CheapCaribbean in any of your posts & we just might share your pictures, videos & comments with our fellow beach bums.
  • We’ll be giving away 4 Margaritaville® Key West™ Frozen Concoction Maker® to our favorite #MargaritaParty submissions.
  • Be sure follow our #MargaritaParty partners @SecretsResorts as they help us host the best margarita happy hour around!

So clear your calendars and get ready to hang with CheapCaribbean.com as we sip on some margs and pay tribute to one of our most favorite signature cocktails. It’s no secret we know a thing or two about margaritas and we can’t wait to celebrate with you. See you there!

Curacao’s Famous Liqueur

Curacao Drink Recipes | CheapCaribbean.com

The “Golden Orange of Curacao,” once a forgotten fruit on the island of Curacao, is now the main ingredient for the popular liqueur Curacao. The Spanish Valencia orange was brought over by the Spaniards in the early 1500s, but plans to cultivate it were abandoned after the climate proved incompatible with the sweet fruit. The sweet oranges evolved into a bitter fruit. The plants were left to grow wild, and were so inedible even the goats ignored them.

Over time, the Valencia evolved into the Lahara tree. While the flesh is left uneaten, the peels retained the pleasant fragrance of the Valencia oranges. People discovered that drying the peels brought out the oils, then soaking them with alcohol, water, and spices created the popular liqueur used today. While the orange-flavored liqueur is naturally clear, popular versions are dyed orange, green, and the popular brilliant blue.

Whether you’re on the beautiful beaches of Curacao or at home planning your next Caribbean getaway, be sure to try out some of these tasty Curacao drink recipes for a little extra color in your life!

Curacao Drink Recipes | CheapCaribbean.com

Blue Sky Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz blue curacao
  • 3 green olives (stuffed)

Directions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour in vodka and sweet vermouth. Stir (or shake) and strain into a martini glass. Splash with blue curacao. Garnish with 3 green olives.

Diamond Blue

Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz crème de violette
  • 1/4 oz curaçao ( Blue)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 3 ozs champagne
  • Garnish: Edible silver powder
  • Glass: Champagne flute

Directions: Add the gin, crème de violette and Curaçao to a mixing glass. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and discard. Fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the Champagne and garnish with a light dusting of edible silver powder.

Electric Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ozs vodka (citron)
  • 1/2 oz blue curacao
  • 2 ozs sour mix
  • 12 ozs carbonated beverages (flavored)
  • 1 lemon (- cut into wedges for garnish)

Directions: Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour in vodka, blue curacao and sour mix. Fill to the top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with lemon wedge, and serve with straw.

Article by: Jeff Mapua

Drink Recipes Fit for a Red Carpet

When it comes to red carpet events, we like to think the best accessory is often your drink. Below are some our favorite drink recipes to help you make any event a success!

Drink Recipes - Secrets Resorts - CheapCaribbean.com

Havana Lights Cocktail, as featured at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

What you need:
• 3/4 ounce light rum
• 3/4 ounce coconut rum
• 3/4 cup pineapple juice
• 1/2 ounce. melon liquor
• A few drops of grenadine syrup

How to make it: Mix and shake the first three ingredients, then pour into a cocktail glass. Add a few drops of grenadine and then finish the drink off with a splash of melon liquor. Garnish with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Tropical Rum Punch Drink Recipes from Dreams Resorts & CheapCaribbean.com

Tropical Rum Punch, as featured at Dreams Resorts & Spas

What you need:
• 3/4 cup white rum
• 1/2 cup coconut rum
• 1/4 cup banana liqueur
• 1 cup pineapple juice
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup pink grapefruit juice
• Garnish: Limes, sliced

How to make it: Fill a pitcher halfway with ice. Add all the rum, liqueur and juices, mix well with large spoon and garnish with lime slices. Serves 6-8. Pour and enjoy.

Fresh Mint Mojito Drink Recipe from CheapCaribbean.com

Fresh Mint Mojito

What you need:
• 4-5 fresh mint leaves
• 1 ½ ounces white rum
• 1/2 ounce agave nectar or simple sugar
• 2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
• splash of club soda
• Lime wedge

How to make it: Use mixing tin to muddle 4-5 mint leaves. Add rum, agave nectar & lime juice and shake in mixing tin over ice. Pour into glass. Top off with a splash of club soda and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

Drink Recipe from Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos - CheapCaribbean.com

Infinity Martini, as featured at Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos

What you need:
• 4 ounces Pineapple juice
• 1 ounce Malibu rum
• 1 ounce Hypnotiq liqueur

How to make it: Combine all ingredients with one cup of ice in a martini shaker, Shake to blend and pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry. Cheers!

Drink Recipes - Jamaica - CheapCaribbean.com

Blue Jamaica

What you need: 
• 1 ounce Blue Curacao
• 2 ounces pineapple juice
• 3 ounces champagne
• 1 pineapple slice

How to make it: Pour champagne in preferred glass, add pineapple juice and blue curacao. Garnish with pineapple slice. Cheers!

ultimate-agave

Ultimate Agave Margarita

What you need:
• 1 ounce Don Julio® Reposado Tequila
• ½ ounce Grand Marnier®
• 1 ½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
• 1 teaspoon of agave nectar
• 1 lime wheel

How to make it: Add agave nectar, lime juice, Grand Marnier & Don Julio tequila together in a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into an ice filled margarita glass. Garnish with salt and a lime wheel. Sit back and sip!

And if you can't wait to mix up all of these concoctions and give them a try, be sure to tune into the Grammy's with CheapCaribbean.com as we live tweet the whole event and share more of our favorite cocktails. See all the drinks here. Cheers!