We often associate the Caribbean with pristine white sand, clear blue waters and golden sun rays that perfectly bronze our skin in mere minutes. But something that many tend to overlook is the region's contributions to the spirits industry—specifically rum. For Harbour Island, Bahamas resident Ithalia Johnson (born in Nassau, Bahamas), and her co-creators (Toby Tyler and Joe Elison), it was only right to introduce the world to the beauty of the tiny island through their brand, Pin Drop Rum.

A creative to her core, Johnson is also a well-known and respected songstress who first planted career roots in New York’s fashion scene. Now back on island soil to walk in her purpose and build an impactful legacy, the Pin Drop Rum co-founder says it was important to highlight that great rum can—and does—come from The Bahamas.

“When I came back home from New York, I was looking for my next thing,” Johnson tells EBONY from the iconic Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island. “We had this opportunity with my friend Toby Tyler and within a month, we already had a ‘best in show’ award from a local outlet, which was validation and showed me that this wasn’t just a hobby.”

While the brand technically launched in 2018 in The Bahamas, this month, it made its official debut in the US market. EBONY recently traveled to Harbour Island, Bahamas, not only to try the premium rum but also to do a little gallivanting around the area, which is known for its paradisiacal pink sand beach and private island feel.

During our visit, master distiller Tyler walked us through a private tasting. Aged like a whiskey in bourbon white oak barrels, this rum is perfect for sipping on the rocks or in a cocktail like the island favorite, rum & rain (coconut water + Pin Drop Rum + a squeeze of fresh lime juice). It’s smooth, with hints of coconut and pineapple on the nose, and pairs well with dark chocolate or potato chips. On the tongue, the tropical flavors pull through even more before a smooth finish gives off a subtle smokiness from being aged 10+ years in the bourbon barrels. And we can’t skip over the gorgeous bottle, which features a regal profile image of co-founder Ithalia Johnson.

“Harbour Island was once one of the top sugarcane producers,” Tyler explains. “It used to be one of the top exporters for the US and was known for its quality.”

Beyond the rum, the island is also perfect for a laid-back getaway. Check out our suggestions below on where to eat, stay and play while on Harbour Island and a recipe for the Drop In cocktail made with Pin Drop Rum.

Where to Stay

DeAnna Taylor at The Otherside Hotel. Image: TK.
DeAnna Taylor at The Otherside Hotel.
Image: courtesy DeAnna Taylor.

You won’t find any chain hotels on the picturesque island, but it is home to several local-owned boutique properties, including Rock House Hotel. Featuring 10 guestrooms, a private pool and a delicious restaurant, the attention to detail here is unmatched. Other property suggestions are The Dunmore, Otherside Hotel and The Ocean View Club.

Where to Eat

Lobster fritata from Rock House Hotel
Lobster frittata from Rock House Hotel.
Image: courtesy DeAnna Taylor.

Of course, if you’re staying at Rock House, try the lobster frittata for breakfast. Made to order, this personal-size skillet dish packs plenty of Caribbean lobster chunks and veggies. 

For authentic local fare, Queen Conch is where all the insiders go for their fill of local staples like conch fritters, cod fingers, and, of course, fresh conch salad. And for more upscale dining, we suggest booking a table at The Dunmore. Pro Tip: Get the banana fritters with homemade ice cream for dessert.

Where to Play

Pink Sand Beach. Image: courtesy DeAnna Taylor.

You’re on an island, so it’s only right you spend a day frolicking on Pink Sand Beach. Although the vibrancy of the pink hue can change depending on the season and weather, it’s still equally gorgeous no matter the day.

Bar at The Ocean View Hotel
Bar at The Ocean View Hotel. Image: courtesy DeAnna Taylor.

If you’re looking for cocktails with a view, head over to The Ocean View Club’s bar, then hang out on the beachfront patio as you sip hand-crafted Pin Drop Rum drinks.

Of course, another must-do on any island is boat day. Must Be Dreamin Charters and TyMan Fishing Charter have you covered for an adventurous day on the water. Get up close with some of the local sea life, or simply sit back and let the breeze carry you away. 

Drop In Recipe

Try this refreshing recipe featuring Pin Drop rum.

-2oz Pin Drop rum

-1oz  simple syrup

-1oz lime juice

-8 pineapple chunks

-palm full of mint springs (leaves)

Preparation: Muddle pineapple chunks; add mint springs, simple syrup, lime juice and Pin Drop rum. Put all ingredients together into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice in a rock glass. Decorate with pineapple chunks and mint leaves.