History of the Bushwacker
The “Bushwacker” was invented in 1975 at Sapphire Pub in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It is credited to be the creation of a bartender by the name of Angie Conigliaro and the manager of Sapphire Pub, Tom Brokamp. The two named their new drink after a dog, “Bushwack”, who was owned by a set of flight attendants visiting with their pup. The drink was an immediate hit throughout the Virgin Islands, and eventually made its way to the states via one woman named Linda Murphy. She was the owner of a Florida bar called, “Sandshaker,” and she recreated the Bushwacker for her own bar from memory.
Again, the drink became an instant hit and Florida bartenders everywhere began trying to imitate the recipe. Some have come very close; others have made their own versions with a twist. They say that the Bushwacker is “Florida’s gift to the cocktail world,” although it did originate in the Virgin Islands.
What is a Bushwacker?
The Bushwacker is a frozen cocktail, made up of rums, coconut and chocolate liqueurs, and blended ice cream – making this an irresistibly delicious summertime treat. Though the ingredients generally stay the same, every location has their own twist on how to make this Southern cocktail.
It is safe to say that the Bushwacker has become “unofficially” the official drink of Lake Martin! Here are 4 waterfront venues on the lake that serve up these frozen drinks, each uniquely delicious.
Where To Get Bushwackers At Lake Martin
3455 Bay Pine Rd Jacksons’ Gap, AL 36861
32.84442 ◦N, 85.88317 ◦W
Lakeside at Bay Pines is actually a marina located up towards the north end of the lake in Jackson’s Gap, Alabama. This place is really cool as it has a back patio and an open-air bar sitting right on the water. Combined with the bright color paint scheme and wooden structures, Bay Pines gives off the perfect combination between a beach vibe and a lake atmosphere.
Bay Pines uses real ice cream in their Bushwackers, along with rum, vanilla flavoring, and chocolate syrup. They offer two different “topper” options if you are looking to make your drink a little stronger – a shot of Peanut Butter Whiskey or a shot of 151. These Bushwackers are thick, chocolatey, and delicious!
While you are here sipping your frozen cocktail, Bay Pines also has a great food menu with cheeseburger sliders, chicken tenders, fries and anything else you might need to fuel up!
8300 Parker Creek Marina Rd Equality, AL
36026 32.77612 ◦N, 86.02040 ◦W
The Landing at Parker Creek is one of the most popular hangout spots on Lake Martin! It is unique in the fact that it is built completely out of shipping containers. Guests can arrive by boat or car and have endless waterfront seating options along the Lake Martin banks.
What we love about the Landing Bushwackers are that they are actually handmade to order. They use a combination of rum, Kahlua, Baileys, and an ice cream base, topped off with drizzles of chocolate syrup. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they taste really dang good too!
While you are there, you can check out their chef designed food menu, play a round of cornhole, or simply relax on their small beach area.
397 Marina Point Rd Dadeville, AL
36853 32.73837 ◦N, 85.81886 ◦W
Bluffs is a floating daquiri bar located at Harbor Point Marina, on the Dadeville side of the lake.
I have to say when we visited this spot, the bartenders made it a point to let me know that their Bushwackers are based off of the Sandshaker recipe in Pensacola, FL. Sandshaker is iconic as their claim to fame is being the “home of the original Bushwacker” on stateside.
These Bushwackers are quick to order at Bluffs. They keep them pre-made in a frozen drink machine, taking no time at all to whip you up a styrofoam cup full. Their key ingredient is that it is made of real ice cream and their Bushwacker definitely favors the coconut rum flavoring. As for the bartender’s recommendation? Add a shot of Peanut Butter Whiskey to the top- they say it is the number one request that they get.
While you are there you can enjoy live music, food, and waterfront views from their patio full of picnic tables.
2001 Castaway Island Rd Eclectic, AL 36024
32.71174 ◦N, 85.93826 ◦W
The Social is one of Lake Martin’s newest restaurants and hangout spots on the water-and they make pretty darn good Bushwackers too!
What is unique about The Social is that they actually offer four different flavors of Bushwackers: Classic, Strawberry, Banana, and Chocolate Banana. This is the only place on Lake Martin that we have seen this many different flavors! They also offer Peanut Butter Whiskey toppers too.
Whether you come during the day or night, odds are there will be live music playing. So order up some food and plan to stay for a while… you will have hours of entertainment as you work through all the different Bushwacker combinations!
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can hear blenders buzzing all across Lake Martin, whipping up endless variations of the Bushwacker. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a designated driver and start your taste testing tour of Bushwackers all across the lake!