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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goombay Smash Origin: Green Turtle Cay, Abacos

cruiser destinations, abacos bahamas, green turtle cay, new plymouth, food
Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar in New Plymouth, Abacos.
Modest, except the sign.
“Home of the Goombay Smash,” the sign proclaims outside the otherwise humble Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos BAHAMAS.

Yeah, and nearly every Bahamian island claims “the best beaches” and seems half the established Bahamian nightclubs swear they are the “Home of Rake ‘n Scrape” or “Home of” something.  Shades of “Lake Wobegon” Garrison Keillor’s wry closing “where all are the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the kids are above average.”  I took the Miss Emily claim, too with a grain of salt.

cruiser destinations, abacos bahamas, green turtle cay, new plymouth, food

Behold, the Goombay Smash.  Note the U.S. $1 bill
– interchangeable in the Bahamas with Bahamanian money.
As my friend Marcie McReynolds drawls, “It ain't braggin’ if it’s true, my Gramma always said.”

Is it?

True, according to Wikipedia.  “Goombay Smash was created by Miss Emily at the Blue Bee Bar in New Plymouth.”  If you haven’t figured out that a Goombay Smash is not a sport, an ethnic musical group (though Goombay is a form of Bahamian music and a type of drum used to play it), or a state of being (though it may have that effect). It’s an iconic (and delicious in my opinion) fruity-tasting Bahamanian cocktail, right up there with a BVI “Painkiller” (click here for more about that).

cruiser destinations, abacos bahamas, green turtle cay, new plymouth, food

Artist image of Miss Emily; a good likeness based
on the less whimsical photo of her posted nearby.
Wolfgang, crewing Andante, insisted on our stopping at Miss Emily’s, and generously treated Ann (aka “Krazy Lady”), Andy (Andante’s captain) and me to a Goombay Smash.

"Is this place really the originator of the Goombay Smash?" I asked, noting I’d tried one elsewhere.  Yes, I was told.  “Was ours the best?” asked the owner, daughter of the late Miss Emily.  Yes, it was, I assured her, touched that she’d care (especially given the worst “Painkiller” I drank came from Soggy Dollar, its originating bar in the BVIs). “The original recipe is a family secret,” she told us. Wikipedia concurs, and reveals “It is believed to have contained coconut rum, dirty rumapricot brandy, and pineapple juice;” way more than our limited liquor supply supports.

cruiser destinations, abacos bahamas, green turtle cay, new plymouth, food
Junkanoo poster at Miss Emily’s gives another
taste of Bahamanian culture
If you’d like to bring a little taste of the Bahamas home, here’s two Goombay Smash recipes.  Be forewarned, like a Long Island Iced Tea there are as potent as they are smooth and refreshing. 

Goombay Smash (Drinkmixer’s)











cruiser destinations, abacos bahamas, green turtle cay, new plymouth, food

Wolfgang gets at taste of “our” (cruiser and tourist,
mostly from Unites States and Canada) culture, festooning
the walls and ceiling throughout Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar.
Goombay Smash (Bon Appetit’s)
Ice cubes
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Malibu rum or other coconut-flavored rum
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons gold rum
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 pineapple wedges
2 orange slices


Even if you’re not interested in partaking in a Goombay Smash, Miss Emily’s is worth a wander just to take in many amusing mementos its customers leave (the “Sun Your Buns:  Sail Naked” bumper sticker was my favorite).

Location Location
May 22, 2014 We arrived in Manatee Pocket Florida today from Great Sail, BAHAMAS (N26.59.098 W78.12.951); via overnight, 100+ mile sail.  The day before we intended to make it to Double Breasted or Grand Cay, but too Northerly winds and the desire to not run our motor into the wind for two hours landed us at Great Sail instead.  We were not alone; 20 boats anchored there, a popular but boring jump off point between the States and the BAHAMAS.  Indeed, yesterday was our last day in the BAHAMAS.  This post is a recent retrospective of White Sound, New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, from a week ago.  Lots more photos and stories still coming!!!