Non-alcoholic guide to Jamaica
The island of Jamaica is known worldwide for its melodic reggae music and also for the prowess of its track and field athletes, most notable Usain Bolt. If you have been fortunate enough to visit Jamaica or happen to know a few Jamaicans, you would have also realized that Jamaicans are fun-loving and free-spirited people who love to enjoy life and one of the things that they do very well is drink! One of their favourite things to drink is that good "old Jamaican rum", Jamaica has been a significant producer of rum for more than three hundred years since rum is made from sugar cane and the island was a British Sugar producing colony from the 17th century to the 19th century. Rum production continued after the abolition of slavery, with iconic brands such as Appleton Estates leading the way. Jamaicans and visitors alike are major consumers of rum, Appleton, J Wray and Nephew and Rum Bar are some of the leading rum brands on the island. In addition to rum, Red Stripe Beer is another liquor of choice in Jamaica.
You will undoubtedly have no issues if you visit Jamaica and want to have a drink! There are also several non-alcoholic options available to you throughout the island if for whatever reason you choose not to consume any alcohol when dining out or while at a party in Jamaica. We will highlight some of the best locally made non-alcoholic drink options that are widely available on the Island and some of the top bars and restaurants that offer you the widest array of non-alcoholic options.
Best Non-Alcoholic Beverages in Jamaica
Here are some of the best locally produced alcoholic beverages that are readily available all over the island and are also incredibly refreshing!
Sorrell is probably the favourite non-alcoholic drink in Jamaica. This drink is traditionally a Christmas drink that is cultivated seasonally to coincide with the Christmas festivities on the Island. If you happen to visit a Jamaican home for Christmas, sorrel will surely be one of the leading beverages available to you. Sorrell is now produced, packaged and distributed by major local beverage companies which make it widely available throughout the year for you to enjoy. In addition to been extraordinarily tasty and refreshing, sorrel has many health benefits; it is packed with vitamin C, helps to regulate cholesterol levels and enhances the functioning of the Liver. Sorrell is undoubtedly one of the best non-alcoholic beverages available to you on the Island and is a great drink option for you at parties when dining out or at social events.
Lemonade is another widely available non-alcoholic beverage in Jamaica. What distinguishes Jamaican lemonade from other varieties of the drink is that the Jamaican variety is made from limes and not lemons. This gives the drink a distinctive and unique flavour. This homemade Jamaican lemonade is available at most bars and social events where the Bartender will make the drink from scratch for you. If you purchase lemonade at a Supermarket or anywhere else that sells it in a packaged form, this might be imported lemonade that is made from lemons and not the traditional Jamaican lemonade.
Ting is another great non-alcoholic beverage option on the island. Ting is made from the tropical fruit grapefruit and is a delicious drink that is packed with antioxidants and is very low in calories. The great taste and health benefits make Ting an excellent non-alcoholic drink choice for just about anyone who wishes not to consume anything alcoholic but wants to enjoy a refreshing drink.
Ginger Beer is another popular traditional Jamaican drink. It is made from the ginger plant which has a robust flavour and sweet taste. This drink is one of the most popular beverages served at all types of events on the island and is also readily available at bars and restaurants throughout the country. Ginger Beer is known to have a soothing effect on the stomach, helping to alleviate stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. It is overall an exceptional local non-alcoholic drink that you are welcomed to try when next you visit Jamaica.
Tropical Fruit Punch
Jamaica being a tropical island is home to many tropical fruits such as mango, guava, papaya, June Plum, sweetsop, soursop, local cherries, local Otaheite Apples and many others. The availability of these succulent and juicy fruits results in Fruit Punch been a popular drink in Jamaica. Fruit Punch is made from blending at least two of the local tropical fruits, resulting in a healthy and tasty natural drink that anyone can drink. These concussions are widely available all over the island and are accessible at local parties, social events, restaurants and even hotels.
Bars and Restaurants that serve a variety of non-alcoholic beverage options
Wherever you go in Jamaica, you will find bars and restaurants that serve several non-alcoholic drink options. Here are some of the best spots in different towns on the island!
Kingston - zero proof options
· Red Bones Blues Café
· Usain Bolt Tracks and Records
· The 100
· The Macau Gaming Lounge and Bar
· Distil Bar
Ocho Rios - zero proof options
· Margaritaville Ocho Rios
· John Crow's Tavern
· Mainland China Restaurant and Bar
· Evita's Restaurant
· Ocean's 11
Montego Bay - zero proof options
· Margaritaville Montego Bay
· Blue Beat Ultra Lounge
· Pier One
· Martina's Juice Bar and Grill
· Plantation Restaurant and Bar
Negril - zero proof options
· Canoe Beach Bar
· Natural Mystic Bar
· Rick's Café
· Alfred's Ocean Palace
· Drifter's Bar
· Red Dragon Bar
Is not drinking culturally acceptable in Jamaica?
The Jamaican culture is a very laidback and relaxed one. Jamaicans love to have a good time, which on most occasions includes a level of drinking alcoholic beverages. However, there is a lot of respect for people who do not drink and it is definitely not frowned upon in the Jamaican culture. For this reason, you will find at least a few non-alcoholic options at most restaurants, bars, parties and social events in Jamaica. So, if you are planning to visit the beautiful island of Jamaica and you want to have some clean fun without consuming any alcohol, you will be welcomed with both arms!
We look forward to seeing you in Jamaica!