Aruba Ariba: A Taste of Vacation in a Glass

by | Last updated Aug 25, 2023 | Aruba, Best Cocktails Caribbean

Nothing says vacation like a cocktail in hand. My husband and I have traveled all around the Caribbean and have found each island is known for its own boozy concoction. We downed the Painkiller in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sipped on Saba Spice in Saba, enjoyed Rum Punch in Barbados, and tried way too many Aruba Aribas after a recent trip to Aruba. Discover the recipe for this delicious Caribbean cocktail and where to try it.

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Aruba Ariba? What’s In It?

The Aruba Ariba is a gorgeous drink! Its beautiful orange-red color and fruity smell draw you right in. It’s only noon? No judgment. Remember Aruba is called One Happy Island for a reason.

Why does this amazing signature cocktail go down way too easily? Well, here’s what’s in it:

  • 1/2 oz. 151 proof rum
  • 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/8 oz. Crème de Banana
  • 1/8 oz. coecoei
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

No shaking. Stir lightly, splash with grenadine, and top with Grand Marnier. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry.

PRO TIPIf you want to make this fantastic cocktail back at home and keep the vacation going, buy a bottle of coecoei while you are in Aruba. Coecoei is the secret sauce to this drink.

It’s a distinctive red local Aruban liquor made from agave plant sap and mixed with rum and cane sugar. I searched around, and it seems like you can only buy it in Aruba. If you do not have coecoei, some say you can use passion fruit syrup as a substitute.

Where to Try the Aruba Ariba

If you want to try this iconic boozy cocktail at its birthplace, head to the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino.

A young bartender named Juan “Jocky” Tromp is credited for its creation in 1963 during a mixology contest at the Aruba Caribbean Hotel (which is now the Hilton).

The original recipe included white rum, vodka, Crème de Banana, Grand Marnier, and fruit punch. The fruit punch was made from orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and grenadine syrup.

Now it’s on the drink menus of most restaurants all over Aruba!

I was able to first experience this “taste of vacation” in a glass at our amazing accommodation, the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba. They have happy hour every day from 3-5:30 pm, and of course, the Aruba Ariba is on the menu!

Happy hour at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba

Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba Happy Hour

Careful, they go down way too quickly and can pack a punch. But hey, you’re on vacation and it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. 😉

Sipping on a Aruba Ariba at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba

Sipping on a Aruba Ariba at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba

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Have you tried the Aruba Ariba? What’s your favorite Caribbean drink?

Let me know in the comments below!


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