Caribbean Beach Bars: Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

At this landmark beach bar, no one is feeling any pain


It’s hard to imagine how anyone relaxing in a beach chair overlooking White Bay could be feeling any pain. But that doesn’t stop patrons of Jost Van Dyke island’s Soggy Dollar Bar from ordering up a round of the Pusser’s Painkillers that have made this landmark watering hole one of the most famous in the Caribbean. The origins of this signature drink date to the 1970s, long before the island offered paved roads or electricity. Back then, the only way to reach this beach was to anchor nearby and row, paddle or swim ashore—assumedly with a pocket full of soggy dollars to pay for libations.

The bar’s original owner, Daphne Henderson, is credited with creating the savory juice and rum cocktail, which was later made famous by the founder of the Pusser’s Rum company. These days, patrons are less concerned with the history of the drink than with its effects. There are few better places in the world to relax on a sunny afternoon under the soothing influences of a Painkiller or two, with nothing more on the agenda than a few tries at the bar’s much-loved ring game, a dip in the bay, a nap in the sun… and perhaps another round of Painkillers.