A Cadushy Cocktail

On Bonaire, you can really get in the spirit of the island by enjoying a Cadushy Cocktail. Bartenders at the Chibi Chibi Restaurant at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, take special pride in serving this ‘only in Bonaire’ concoction – a potent mix of rums (yes, plural), curaçao, pineapple juice and Cadushy of Bonaire Liqueur.


Cadushy is the world’s only liqueur made from cactus. Never heard of it? The locals hadn’t either until just five years ago. That’s when an enterprising couple from The Netherlands moved to Bonaire and soon tasted sopi di kadushi (cadushy soup), made from the kadushi cactus. The experience got them thinking, why couldn’t cadushy be a liqueur.

Which is very logical thinking, history shows. It’s how the world ended up with gin from juniper berries, tequila from agave nectar, whiskey from barley and rum from molasses. Someone somewhere is probably trying to turn something into liquor right now.

That tall, thorny cactus growing around Bonaire is now used to make a tasty, pretty-in-the-glass pale green liqueur, composed of the peel of the cactus, a very special lime indigenous to Bonaire and some secret ingredients. Nowadays, Bonairean bartenders find a way to include it in many drinks, from margaritas to Cadushy libres. It can even be sipped cold.

Don’t ask me how you peel a cactus, other than very carefully. But you can head over to the Cadushy distillery, which has become a must-see on the island. Located in Rincon, on the opposite side of Bonaire, we’ve heard it’s a totally pleasing little jaunt to head over there for a little tasting after an afternoon dive.

If you can’t bring yourself to leave the Divi Flamingo Resort (we wouldn’t blame you there), settle into a seat on the open-air deck at Chibi Chibi Restaurant. It’s a tranquil setting at the water’s edge, where the only activity in the late afternoon is the fish gliding through the water below and the setting sun spreading its golden glow across the Caribbean Sea. That’s a perfect time and place for a Cadushy Cocktail.

A Summer Cocktail

It’s the motto of travelers ‘round the world:  When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, in St. Maarten, enjoy a Guavaberry Fizz. Chances are you won’t taste guavaberry liqueur anywhere else in the world. These little wild berries  – no relation at all to guava – grow high upon the hills in the center of the island and elsewhere across the Caribbean. At the Seabreeze Restaurant at the Divi Little Bay Resort, the bartenders love making Guavaberry Fizzes.


The cocktail couldn’t be simpler to make: put a good pour of guavaberry liqueur in the bottom of a tall glass, fill with any sort of fizzy water – sparkling water, club soda, seltzer, then garnish with the tropical fruit of your choice. A sliver of pineapple adds tropical flair and flavor; slices of orange or lime (or both) work too. It’s the pause that really refreshes on a very sunny St. Maarten day.

Not far from the Divi Little Bay Resort you will find the Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company on Front Street in Phillipsburg. Here you can learn everything you’d ever want to know about guavaberry but didn’t know to ask. Guavaberries are rare, have decades of history and are a rather unique species in the plant kingdom. The juice of these precious berries are mixed with rum and sugar and then aged to create the liqueur. In addition to information, there is also a shop, so you buy a bottle of the liqueur, which means…. that when you arrive home you can still do as the Sint Maarteners do.

And, when home is Divi Little Bay for a week or two, the on-site grocery is well stocked with the fizzy and the fruit. You can even order supplies ahead and the Seagull Delivery Service will have them in your room awaiting your arrival – a very nice welcome indeed.