The Bahama Mama is an old classic that’s been tweaked over the years. Most bartenders and many recipe books have dumped the quarter ounce of coffee liqueur it calls for, and made other small changes. This is the original recipe, as far as I can tell.
It blends the flavors of pineapple juice, coconut and a touch of coffee with two types of rum. The flavor isn’t just your typical pineapple-coconut tropical punch; the coffee liqueur adds a rich, almost chocolate note that’s way off in the background. It makes the drink better but doesn’t call attention to itself.
This is such a good recipe that I don’t think it matters what brands you use for each ingredient. The pineapple juice is half the drink, so it makes everything else better anyway. I have not found, for example, that using a specific brand of dark rum changes the flavor much compared to using some other brand. Whatever you have on hand, whatever you like, will work.
A lot of new recipes toss in a dash or two of grenadine. In fact, that’s how I made it for the photos, which is why it all turned red. I think it’s good either way, but you definitely don’t need the grenadine. Try it without first.