Bahama Mama rum Cocktail

Bahama Mama

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 29, 2022 
The Bahama Mama is a typical vacation drink. Along with other tropical favorites like the Piña Colada, vacationers especially love it during their Caribbean holidays.

The Bahama Mama combines the holy trinity of Rum cocktail ingredients: Rum, coconut, and pineapple. But unlike many other tropical drinks that share those three components, this cocktail is not excessively sweet. In fact, the Bahama Mama is one of the quite balanced tiki-style cocktails.

The traditional recipe is a true classic and a beautiful combination of flavors. However, over time the drink underwent countless tweaks and changes. And as the cocktail is so common in beach hut bars on Caribbean beaches, the cocktail served there might not be the most sophisticated version of this tiki drink.

History of the Bahama Mama

It is common knowledge that the drink became popular in the 1950s, but it is a little harder to agree on who the original inventor was.

There are claims that the Bahama Mama is a combination of several drink inventions. It is said to bring together various recipes into one single tiki cocktail. But there also is one bartender who claims he invented the drink, and his name is Oswald “Slade” Greenslade.

Greenslade worked as a bartender at Nassau Beach hotel from 1961 to 1993. According to his account, it was there that he created the drink and named it after a local singer. He published this claim in 1999 when his self-published book One More Cocktail was released.

May his story be true or not, most people acknowledge Greenslade's creation as the first standardized version of a Bahama Mama. But at least variations of it have been sipped many years before he "invented" the recipe.

How to make a great Bahama Mama

The secret to making a perfect Bahama Mama is creating a deep flavor profile. You can achieve this depth in a Bahama Mama by using different types of Rum in the drink. Standard recipes only use one single type of Rum as a base.

Instead of doing this, use a split base of an aged Jamaican Rum, light overproof Rum, and a highly alcoholic coconut Rum liqueur (35% - 40% ABV).

One other essential part of the recipe is the combination of pineapple, coffee, and coconut. Coffee liqueur is missing in many modern recipes. And it is an open secret that bringing coffee in the mix really sets it apart from most other tiki drinks. The earthy notes of roasted coffee balance the fresh pineapple juice in the cocktail. And the taste of coconut works perfectly with both - pineapple and coffee.

Amongst wine connoisseurs, the phrase "What grows together, goes together" often is a good rule of thumb for wine pairings. And in the case of the Bahama Mama, the expression perfectly explains why this combination works so well.

Bahama Mama rum Cocktail

Bahama Mama

The Bahama Mama is an excellently balanced tiki cocktail. A traditional recipe made of Rum, coconut, pineapple, and coffee.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: rum
Servings: 1
Calories: 148kcal
Cost: $1.70


  • 0.5 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
  • 0.25 oz Light over-proof Rum
  • 0.25 oz Coconut Rum (more than 35% ABV)
  • 0.25 oz Coconut Liqueur (below 30% ABV)
  • 0.25 oz Coffee liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 2.5 oz Fresh pineapple juice


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  • Strain into an ice-filled glass.
  • Garnish with pineapple wedge and Maraschino cherry.


Serving: 4.75oz | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.85g | Protein: 1.45g | Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 4.5mg | Potassium: 370.5mg | Sugar: 50.7g | Vitamin C: 37.5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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