Bitter End Yacht Club’s Signature Cocktails

This Virgin Gorda destination names its drinks after the boats in the harbor. Or is it the other way around?

Lemon Crash

Welcome to a new travel series, where we focus on a hotel’s signature dish and/or cocktail. In the same way that cities and towns have local specialties to try, hotels develop signature items that guests shouldn’t miss — whether it’s a popular room service dish they’ve perfected, a cocktail named after the hotel’s longtime bartender, or a seasonal specialty that repeat guests always look forward to. These are the things that they love to serve, and that you’ll really consider going back for.

This week we are daydreaming about brightly colored cocktails by the water at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda. They’ve adopted (perhaps even by accident) a great way of naming their most fun, icy cold, and delicious cocktails — after the boats that bounce around in the dock before them. Or actually, maybe it was the other way around. The resort’s owner Dana Hokin says, "I’m not sure which came first, the drinks or the boats..." It seems to have started in the early ‘80s, when "if someone sailed a certain boat that day, they often found themselves having that drink at the bar later!"

This tradition spawned now-classic drinks like the frozen "Lemon Crash," which is the name of the J-24 boat that Hokin and her father sailed for a father/daughter adventure before delivering it to the resort. The drink is made with Mount Gay rum, lime juice, two cut up lemons, simple syrup, and ice all blended together and, ideally, served seaside in a cold cup that says "Bitter End Yacht Club" on the side.