Gully Wash: A Bahamian Specialty
Say the words “Caribbean cocktail” and it’s likely that most people would automatically think of a Piña Colada. Unless, that is, you’re in The Bahamas. Gully Wash (sometimes known as Sky Juice) is a truly Bahamian cocktail that’s served on every occasion. It’s cold, sweet and mixed with a hint of coconut... but it’s much more potent than a Piña Colada! And don’t let the mixture of gin and milk put you off, Gully Wash is also incredibly refreshing. Gully Wash originated somewhere in the Out Islands of The Bahamas and was likely concocted by fishermen who were craving a cocktail. At first, the island cocktail was simply a combination of very cheap gin and coconut water, but the taste was a bit too harsh. In The Bahamas, sweetened condensed milk is a pantry staple that’s used in a variety of recipes. When someone had the idea to add the condensed milk to the gin and coconut water, a cocktail was born. Today, Gully Wash is now found everywhere throughout The Bahamas.
Want to try it? Here are some awesome local spots:
Grand Bahama - Tony Macaroni’s Conch Experience (Freeport)
What’s better than a drink with a view? Set in a thatched-roof shack on Taino Beach, this popular eatery serves some of the best Gully Wash on the island. For bites, Tony Macaroni specializes in all things local seafood – roast conch, conch salad, conch burgers and roast lobster.
Bimini - Ebbie’s Bonefish Club (Bailey Town)
Ebbie’s Bonefish Club is set over the water and is the perfect place to grab a refreshing glass of Gully Wash at the end of the day and watch the sunset. Hungry? Dinner is served at 7:00 pm with a menu featuring fresh seafood as well chicken and fish. You’re guaranteed great conversation at this spot, proprietor Ebbie “Bonefish Ebbie” David will teach you all about Bimini and bonefishing during your visit. Along with being a legendary bartender and Bimini native, Ebbie is also a magnificent bonefishing guide with more than 30 years experience. While you’re on the island, be sure to book a bonefishing excursion with Ebbie and enjoy a tour of the mangroves and Bimini’s prime fishing spots.
Abacos - Pete’s Pub (Little Harbour)
This one-of-a-kind beach pub is located about twenty miles south of Marsh Harbour. Pete’s Pub serves some of the best Gully Wash in The Bahamas - as well as the best burgers and a variety of local seafood. But the real story is that along with being a restaurant, Pete’s Pub is the only working sculpture foundry in The Bahamas. Yep, you read that right! In the 1950s, Randolph Johnston, longtime professor and world-renowned sculptor, pulled anchor and headed south with his wife, daughter and three sons. Johnston’s dream was to escape the “rat race” and focus on his metal work on an island destination to be determined. He and his family landed on Little Harbour, and lived in a cave for two years while Johnston built the metal foundry and a little restaurant on the side that are still in use today. Final Tip: While you can get to Pete’s Pub by car, it’s much more fun to get there by boat.
New Providence - Arawak Cay (Nassau)
Arawak Cay, also known as The Fish Fry, is a spectacularly lively collection of food stands, sit-down restaurants and bars on West Bay Street. Here, you can find a variety of authentic Bahamian fare and ice-cold Gully Wash on every corner! Arawak Cay is one of the most historic nightlife spots in The Bahamas, having been established in 1969. There is open seating throughout the venue where visitors can relax and enjoy the relaxing island atmosphere.
Long Island - Max’s Conch Bar & Grill (Deadman’s Cay)
To get a true taste of paradise, head to Max’s Conch Bar & Grill. This open-air tiki spot offers a friendly atmosphere and truly laid-back island vibes. During your visit, be sure to order a Gully Wash, but also try the Rum Punch. The conch salad at Max’s is so fresh, it’s made right in front of you. For a real delight, try the Hogfish Parmesan and the Grouper fingers. You’ll want to come back here a second or third time during your Long Island vacay!
Want to make it at home? Here’s the recipe.
Gully Wash is relatively simple to make, and can be adjusted to your taste and desired strength. In addition to the gin, Gully Wash can sometimes be found mixed with dark rum and a splash of vanilla and a dash of nutmeg. Some even add a dash of Angostura bitters. Whatever’s your flavor!
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
- 2 oz Gin
- 2 oz Fresh Coconut Water
- 4 oz Sweet Condensed Milk
Add all ingredients into a glass with ice, stir well, and serve. Cheers!