The bartender at your average tourist hangout in the Bahamas will likely encourage you to order an overpriced daiquiri or mojito. But go to a Bahamian house party, and everyone will likely be drinking a frothy, milky concoction with a boozy kick. The cocktail is called Gully Wash, and typically it’s passed around in an old milk jug or a coconut just hacked open with a machete. The recipe is simple and based on a refreshing ingredient rarely seen in cocktails: coconut water.
Sometimes called Sky Juice, Gully Wash was the headliner at any barbecue or birthday party back when Daron Wilson grew up in Nassau. Now, Wilson runs the Bahamian food truck Island Chef Café in Atlanta, and he wonders why his favorite drink from home is missing from this country’s Caribbean-inspired bars. “I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on here. Man, it’s so good,” he says.
The traditional Gully Wash combines coconut water with sweetened condensed milk and gin, which might seem like an odd choice for an island cocktail. Actually, the woody juniper bite and a dash of bitters give the drink a depth beyond your average daiquiri. The cocktail gets even more complex if you swap the gin for good, dark rum. But the best thing about Gully Wash is the coconut water. All those electrolytes keep you hydrated. This drink is potent, but it contains its own hangover cure.