I love New York, but sometimes you gotta get out of town every now and then. So I just got back from a week in the Bahamas with my girlfriend -- and while I was there, I was anxious to check out the Nassau cocktail scene.
Our resort had an open bar (several, in fact) with top-shelf liquor, but the bartenders weren't too into the classics; one bartender I talked to said the most-ordered cocktails were the tropical ones: Sex on the Beach, and the two main Bahamian specialties of the Bahama Mama and the Goombay Smash. (I'm not a coconut fan, so I skipped both of those.) I had a Tom Collins that was about one part gin, one part club soda, and half sour mix...and my attempts with other drinks fared no better. The bar had Cognac and Cointreau, so I tried to talk a bartender through a Sidecar, but he cut me off, saying "Just tell me what goes in it, and I'll do the rest." I got a tumbler that had equal parts Courvoisier, Cointreau, and sour mix on the rocks, complete with a lime wedge. At a different, quieter bar, I tried to get a Daiquiri, but the bartender said that they "don't do frozen drinks here."
Most of the week, I contented myself with gin and tonics (not to mention the local Bahamian beer Kalik, which is light, crisp, and eminently quaffable in hot weather.) Outside the highball realm, I did have a surprisingly well-made Rusty Nail. The bar also had a row of self-service frozen-drink machines, serving up smoothies in pina colada, mango, banana, and strawberry flavors. They were virgin, but the bar tended to leave a bottle of Appleton Rum within easy reach for do-it-yourself spiking.
We got outside of the resort bubble a few times, though, for some trips into Nassau proper. At the "Fish Fry", a strip of seafood joints on Arawak Cay just west of downtown Nassau, we had some fine conch salad and some excellent fried grouper. All the places there (as well as some other hole-in-the-wall places around town) served Sky Juice (also known in some places as "Shuttle Juice"), a mixture of gin and coconut juice. I didn't try it -- again, I'm not terribly big on coconut -- but it certainly seemed to be popular among the locals, and I can see how it'd be a refreshing tipple.