The Best Bars in Nassau, Bahamas

There’s much more to the drinking scene in the Bahamian capital than buckets of beers and shots
There’s much more to the drinking scene in the Bahamian capital than buckets of beers and shots | © NAPA / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Holt

As a popular spring break destination, there’s no shortage of bars in Nassau. But there’s more to the drinking scene here than buckets of beers and shots. In the capital of the Bahamas, you can sip martinis to the sound of live jazz at a resort in sprawling Baha Mar, try Bahama-blended wine and sample craft beer on Paradise Island made by Nassau’s own brewing company. Here’s where to find some of the top places for a tipple.

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Jazz Bar

This Art Deco-style bar lives inside the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar near Goodman Bay. At one end of the room, there’s a stage topped with a white grand piano, and syrupy-voiced singers perform here almost every night. The bow-tied bartenders specialize in martinis – if you’re feeling brave, you should try the Hot as Cucumber, made with jalapeño, cucumber and lime.

Caribbean, Bahamas, Providence Island, Nassau, Beach at Sandyport Marina Village

With its tropical monkey wallpaper, flamingo-print cushions and vintage countertop till, Bon Vivants, near Sandyport Beach, looks like it belongs on the cover of an interior design magazine. The drinks are as eye-catching as the decor: cocktails are served in tiki mugs, pink pig-shaped pots and crystal glasses. The menu, meanwhile, features signature tipples like the High Tea that’s made with earl grey gin, lemon, honey, lavender bitters and egg white to mimic the taste of tea and cucumber sandwiches.

Pirate Republic Brewing

View of Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas

Pirate Republic is Nassau’s very own craft brewing company, making beers with names like Long John Pilsner and Black Beer’d Stout. The brewery has two bars: one’s a tap room located on Woodes Rogers Walk, and the other is located inside the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. Both serve beer flights and food. The tap room also offers a range of imaginative, beer-based cocktails like the Flaming Dr. Pepper that’s made from beer and amaretto liqueur, and served on fire.

Tiki Bikini Hut

The view of an empty Western Esplanade Beach in Nassau downtown (Bahamas).

Drinks like cucumber martinis are served in coconut-shell cups at Tiki Bikini Hut. You could spend an entire day here: the bar sidles up to Western Esplanade Beach, where the sands are whiter than a celebrity’s smile, and there are sun loungers and cabanas on the sand where you can sip your drinks. Beach games like limbo, hula hoops and water balloon tossing are free for guests. Plus, the place serves food like chicken wings and cracked conch.

John Watling’s Distillery Tavern

The colonial architecture of John Watling’s Distillery on the Buena Vista Estate in Downtown Nassau, Bahamas

With its dark-red walls, shuttered windows and wraparound wooden veranda, this distillery is set among two acres (0.8ha) of gardens on Buena Vista Estate, in downtown Nassau. You can enjoy a free tour of the production rooms before settling down for a drink. Made from hand-cut sugarcane molasses, the rums are good enough to drink neat. There are plenty of cocktails available, too, though, like the Canchera that’s made with John Watling’s amber rum, Bahamian honey and lemon.

Island Delight

Bahamas, New Providence Island, Nassau, Potters Cay boat harbor and Atlantis Hotel and Casino

Set on the bridge that connects Paradise Island to Potters Cay, this wooden bar is best known for its supersized cocktails. Groups can order bucket mojitos, and those who don’t want to share can enjoy a selection of psychedelic daiquiris piled high with toppings like fizzy gummy snakes and cream. The bar serves classic Caribbean food alongside its huge tipples – the cracked conch with wedges comes highly recommended.

1er Cru

Located near the eastern edge of Lake Cunningham, the name of 1er Cru is pronounced premier cru. On paper, it’s a wine shop, not a bar – however, green gardens pool out in front of the store, topped with pagodas and cushion-clad seating, where you can sit and enjoy the bottles you buy on site. The selection is extensive: wines are sourced from around the world, and beers are also available for those who prefer grain over grape.

Bahama Barrels

Rows of green wine bottles in front of wine barrels at Bahama Barrels winery in Nassau, Bahamas.

Swing seats and highlighter-bright wooden benches front this winery, across the road from the Graycliff Hotel in Heritage Village, near downtown Nassau. While it doesn’t make its own wines from scratch, it blends wines from around the world to make novel new drinks. In addition to tasting wines here, you can take part in a wine-blending class and make your own tipple.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Emily Langan.

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