The Belize Cocktail: Latin Twist


Lately I’ve been craving the Caribbean. I miss the flavors, air, and peoples of so many places ranging from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, to Costa Rica…and dreaming of many more! Now I’m not sure what has inspired this; maybe it’s part Hispanic Heritage month, or the touch of fall that we’re feeling (and, funny, because I LOVE fall!). But points south—including the smooth tropical flavors of the Caribbean—are calling to me. So, mis queridos amigos, I bring you one of my favorite combinations: the Belize Cocktail.

The cocktail itself, which I learned from a lovely gentleman I met on a plane, has a different name in Belize; I’m calling it Belize Cocktail because, well if you’ve ever been to Belize, or read my little tale in Calypso Coolers, you’ll know! (Sorry for the tease—but it’s just not appropriate here!) But I will tell you one thing: the taste of fresh pineapple and coconut, with the addition of rum, is certainly seductive!

This is a great greet fall cocktail because it gently embraces summer flavors, yet combines well with heartier dishes (think jerk chicken—and beyond!). Of course it can be sipped along with some fabulous salsa…or perfectly toasted plantain chips. Ah…still dreaming!

¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Belize Cocktail



Latin Twist: The Belize Cocktail

Serving Size: 2

The Belize Cocktail (adapted from Calypso Coolers, by Arlen Gargagliano, ©2006, Stewart, Tabori & Chang) is the perfect fall barbecue starter!


  • 4 ounces coconut rum (My friends, you know fresh coconut water is the most amazing/curative stuff--so if you've got that, forget coconut rum: use your favorite light rum combined with coconut water...)
  • 4 ounces fresh or unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 fresh pineapple wedges for garnish


  1. Combine all of the ingredients--except for the garnish--in a shaker.
  2. Pour into two wine or cocktail glasses.
  3. garnish, and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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