Bermuda rum swizzle

Bermuda, Booze, Horizon: Three ingredients to a killer cocktail

The Monthly Mantra

Hitting the bottle … Hitting the bottle … Hitting the bottle …

People cruise for all sorts of reasons: to visit exotic ports of call, to relax poolside, to enjoy the fine dining and to meet new friends. I, meanwhile, cruised to Bermuda aboard Carnival Horizon last week to pick up a couple of bottles of Gold Seal rum (rarely, if ever, available in New York) and four bottles of Bermuda falernum, the almond and ginger-infused sugar syrup vital to recreating authentic rum swizzles.

Okay. Maybe that wasn’t the only reason I sailed Horizon … hell, her specialty restaurants alone are worth the trip! They’re right up there with those aboard ultra-premium ships in my book—and some even offer frilly and silly things that at once entertain me and make me roll my eyes. Diners at Horizon’s Farenheit 555 Steakhouse, for example, can pick the salt they’d like their meal prepared with from a selection of about six types. Salt? Seriously?? Where’s the canister of Diamond Crystal??

Carnival Horizon Ship Review

Food and fun on board Carnival Horizon

But back to the booze … It’s unusual for me to purchase bottles of anything when I travel — if the nuisance of lugging them around isn’t enough to dissuade me, all those TSA rules about flying with liquids is. But sailing from my home port is a game-changer, and add to it the fact that these swizzle staples are near impossible to stock up on at my local liquor store and, sure, I’ll risk a leaky bottle in my luggage. Rum-soaked undies are a small price to pay for being able to whip up Bermuda’s delicious national drink in my tiny kitchen in Queens.

My four-day Horizon cruise from New York to Bermuda included only one day on this glorious island of pink sand beaches, winding lanes and brilliant flowers so I’d be damned if I was going to spend it all rum shopping. Instead, I recruited the help of a local — maritime artist Stephen Card — who I’ve known since a Statendam cruise in 1993 and who has a magnificent painting of Carnivale displayed in the ship’s Cucina del Capitano Restaurant. Stephen organized my purchase before the ship even sailed from New York so when I arrived in Bermuda, we whisked our way to Cambridge Beaches, spending the day in view of the sapphire surf, before heading back to the ship and picking up my hefty rum and falernum haul at his local liquor store en route.

Had it not been for those pesky duty-free limits, I’d have lumbered off Horizon with even more bottles in tow.

Bermuda Rum Swizzle Recipe

  • 12 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal rum
  • 12 oz. Gosling’s Gold Seal rum
  • 3 oz. bottled lime juice
  • 15 oz. pineapple juice
  • 15 oz orange juice
  • 6 oz. falernum
  • 18 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir or shake vigorously.

At the shop on board, I found the same bottle of Cointreau I buy for $50 locally selling for $48 for two bottles. My $27 bottle of Lime Absolut? Two bottles for $30.

Yes, people cruise for all sorts of reasons … to visit exotic ports of call, to relax poolside, to enjoy the fine dining, to meet new friends … and sometimes just to restock the liquor cabinet.

— Judi Cuervo

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.