Explore Caribbean Gin Cocktails with David Wondrich and Robert Sietsema

Join Tasting Table for an exclusive dinner party celebrating gin

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Put down that umbrella-crowned tropical monstrosity.

Cocktail historian David Wondrich and roving food writer Robert Sietsema are on a two-man mission to celebrate the secret history of serious gin cocktails in the Caribbean. Find out why on October 17: Join Wondrich and Sietsema at the Tasting Table Test Kitchen & Dining Room, where they'll host an inter-island feast highlighting the foodways and "drinksways" of Trinidad, Jamaica and beyond ($100 plus tax per person; purchase tickets here).

"When most folks think of the islands, rum comes to mind," says Sietsema, the longtime Village Voice critic, current Eater contributor and author of The Food Lover's Guide to the Best Ethnic Eating in New York. "But gin has long been a strong undercurrent in Caribbean drinking, from when Dutch settlers first introduced their genever."

Wondrich, author of the histories of mixology Imbibe! and Punch, adds: "The English drank great amounts of gin at home and at sea–and they had no problem keeping it up in the tropics." Island-hoppers can still find some great juniper-based cocktails, if you know what to ask for. "Gin Swizzles are always welcome, and a gin and coconut water is one of the most refreshing drinks there is."

The key elements for a Green Swizzle: pick-hacked ice, lime and gin

At the exclusive dinner party, Sietsema will curate the multi-course feast, which will include Trinidadian snacks, Jamaican Stamp 'N' Go (a centuries-old dish of codfish fritters) and Porc Colombo, a dish that's nearly impossible to find outside Guadalupe. Wondrich will be mixing swizzles, punches and a mojito made with, yes, gin. 

To get in the mood, stir your own batch of Green Swizzle, a frosty gin-and-absinthe concoction from Barbados (see the recipe).

As Wondrich says: "Rum is a wonderful thing–but man cannot live on sugarcane alone."