Pristine beaches and peaceful breezes may stir up visions of Caribbean rum drinks like mojitos and piña coladas, but at Le Guanahani on St. Barth, the elevated mixology program takes island cocktails well beyond the ordinary.

Where many other Caribbean stays come with conventional menus, Le Guanahani offers both traditional libations with a twist and entirely new cocktails to complement afternoons spent sunbathing on Grand Cul-de-Sac and dinner at the resort’s fine dining restaurant Bartolomeo.

“We make all the classic cocktails,” says award-winning resort bartender Mathieu Jacquemin, as he serves up a perfectly prepared Avion del Sol, Bar’to Sidecar, and Cucumber Collins. “But we have a lot of [original] creations too.”

Using high quality ingredients from France, the United States, and the Caribbean – including island liquors like Jamaican Appleton rum and Guatemalan Zacapa rum, fresh coconut water, pineapples, guava, and tamarind – the bar team crafts refreshing cocktails spiked with subtle spirits at Indigo and elegant, after-dinner drinks at Bartolomeo.

But the recipes are not set. In fact, they often change to incorporate the freshest ingredients.

Caribbean Cocktails at Le Guanahani Beach Bar

A refreshing take on the traditional libation, the Bar’to Sidecar at Bartolomeo is usually crafted with cognac, lemon juice, tonka bean syrup, honey, and tobacco liqueur, but Mathieu recently subbed in Frangelico, lemon and orange juice, and bitter vanilla with the cognac for a different adaptation with a similar flavor.

It’s that kind of creative thinking that led him to place in last fall’s St. Barth Bartender Contest, held by Tequila Avion during the annual Taste of St. Barth. Facing off against the island’s best bartenders, Mathieu paired the acclaimed tequila with a local Caribbean grapefruit soda, coriander, a puree of ginger and salted lemon, fresh pineapple juice, and agave syrup, then topped the concoction with pineapple and coriander, yielding a fascination libation.

In regards to a favorite original cocktail at Le Guanahani, the King Kong Splash takes center stage for Mathieu. “It’s really nice to mix the cucumber with the rum and ginger ale,” he notes. “Very refreshing.”

The bartenders at Bartolomeo and Indigo can recommend other originals during your stay. And when your time in St. Barth comes to a close, you can take a piece of the Caribbean home with you with these three recipes from Le Guanahani:

 

King Kong Splash

King Kong Splash Caribbean Cocktail

4 cl. or 1 1/3 oz. rum

2 cl. or 2/3 oz. orange juice

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. lime juice

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. cucumber syrup

1 1/2 cl. or 1/2 oz. honey

4 cl. or 1 1/3 oz. ginger ale

Cinnamon, to garnish

Cucumber slice, to garnish

Instructions: Combine the rum, orange juice, lime juice, cucumber syrup, and honey in a shaker. Shake well. Top with ginger ale, cinnamon, and a cucumber slice.

 

Bar’to Sidecar

Barto Sidecar Caribbean Cocktail

4 cl. or 1 1/3 oz. cognac

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. lemon juice

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. tonka syrup

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. honey

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. tobacco liqueur

Champagne

Instructions: Combine the cognac, lemon juice, Tonka syrup, honey, and Tabaco liquor in a shaker. Shake well. Top with a splash of champagne.

 

Jam’at Home

Jamat Home Caribbean Cocktail

4 cl. or 1 1/3 oz. Absolut Elyx

2 cl. or 2/3 oz. strawberry jam

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. lemon juice

1 cl. or 1/3 oz. passion fruit

1 1/2 cl. or 1/2 oz. agave syrup

Cinnamon, to garnish

Instructions: Combine the Absolut, strawberry jam, lemon juice, passion fruit, and agave syrup in a shaker. Shake well. Top with cinnamon.