The Best Book About Tropical Drinks (And No, I Didn’t Write It)

Originally posted 15 September 2014

I occasionally get questions about the origin of various rum-based cocktails, and while I know the answers to some of these, in many cases there were so many claims to the invention that I didn’t have a definitive answer. Luckily a historian has taken on the task, and he is both an exacting sleuth and a very fine writer. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s book “Potions of the Caribbean” is a marvelous read, the story behind the drinks and their cultural impact interspersed with easy to follow recipes for potions both popular and obscure. The unlikely lives of some of the creators are explored in detail, and as it turns out they were fascinating people; Berry restores the place in history of some otherwise forgotten masters of the craft.


You will want to own this – it was released in spring of 2014 and is headed for classic status. Buy his book, check out his website at, and if at all possible go to one of his events, as he is a delightful raconteur.