How “The Soggy Dollar,” One of the Caribbean’s Most Famous Beach Bars, Got its Name

The concept of a great Caribbean beach bar—a place where you can wash away your worries amidst tropical surroundings while sipping on a cocktail—usually plays out better in our minds than in reality. The man in the white jacket with furry eyebrows who strolls sturdily down the beach serving drinks to mysterious guests is just a figment of our imagination, nurtured and romanticized through decades of James Bond movies. In reality, that resort is losing money, the waitstaff is disgruntled and the bartender is too hungover to make your drink with any semblance of urgency or proficiency.

But sometimes the dream world and the real world collide. In the British Virgin Islands, on the island of Jost Van Dyke, lies a place that by Caribbean beach bar standards is as close as you’ll find to nirvana. It’s called the Soggy Dollar and while hardly more than a shack, threads the needle of perfection. Only accessible via boat (unless you happen to be staying on the island, which is doubtful), you literally need to drop anchor and swim ashore, hence the name. But once at the bar, you’ll order the Painkiller (invented at this very establishment) and bask in the air of pure bliss with nothing but palm trees, white sand and turquoise blue water.

 

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And like a good Bond movie, if you spend enough time there, you likely will meet some serious characters from around the world, who have a story or two to tell.

 

Painkiller:

2 parts Pusser’s Rum (or similar)
2 parts pineapple juice
1 part cream of coconut
1 part orange juice
Myers float
Fresh grated nutmeg on top