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.