One of the best summer mixed drinks, rum punch combines rum, fruit juices, and grenadine for the perfect way to cool off in the heat.
Add a festive umbrella to a hurricane glass and you’ve got yourself a party.
The history of punch is long and unclear. Author and historian David Wondrich wrote an entire book, aptly named Punch, on the subject.
Some believe the drink called “punch” comes from the Hindi word for “five” because many punch recipes include 5 key ingredients, but this theory has been contested.
Wondrich theorizes that the name more likely came from the barrels it was often served in, also called a Puncheon barrel. These barrels often contained rum, the popular spirit of choice for a punch.
Wherever the name came from, there are documents that reference drinking punch and punch recipes that date as far back as the 1630s. Colonialism introduced sailors to punch, who brought it back to the UK and Europe.
By the late 1600s, rum punch was the drink of choice for British aristocrats as well as sailors. The most basic recipe for punch, whether it was made in the Caribbean or in Great Britain, was rum, sugar, and lime, often diluted with water.
Variations on punch have existed ever since, and while they have come in and out of style, this cocktail has stood the test of time.
How to Make It
- 2 cups of orange juice
- 2 cups of pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups of dark or gold rum
- 1 tablespoon of grenadine syrup per 16 oz serving glass
- 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Citrus slices, to garnish
- Maraschino cherries, to garnish
- In a 2-quart pitcher, mix the orange, pineapple, and fresh lime juices
- Pour in the rum and put aside
- Take each Hurricane serving glass and add one tablespoon grenadine syrup
- Fill each glass with ice, on top of the grenadine
- Using one toothpick or cocktail stick per glass, skewer the citrus slices and cherries
- Pour the rum mixture into each glass
- For the sunset effect, do not stir
- Add the garnish picks and serve
This recipe yields about 1.5 quarts, enough for six 8 ounce glasses with ice. Many people make this cocktail using their choice of light or dark rum.
Traditionally, white or light rum is used for mixed drinks, but dark rum is often used for punch as it has aged longer and tends to have a bolder flavor.
If using this recipe for a party, the garnish picks can be made ahead of time, as can the rum mixture, which transports well in a thermal jug.
If you want to impress the people you are serving, add the grenadine to the glass and pour the rum mixture over it at the time of serving for a beautiful sunset effect. Extra garnish are always appreciated.
This recipe was born in the Caribbean, and each island has given the cocktail its own twist. Jamaica’s recipe includes a much more generous portion of grenadine.
If you find grenadine too sweet, feel free to skip the syrup altogether. If you don’t want to miss out on the cool color effect the red syrup provides, try using some of the liquid from the maraschino cherry jar.
If you find that most of the store-bought versions of the syrup are overly sweet and would like to use more natural ingredients, consider making your own grenadine.
Stir in 2 ounces of pomegranate molasses, 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water, and allow to cool completely before bottling.
Delicious cocktails that are quick and easy to make are a must at summer parties, or for sipping poolside.
What is a rum punch made of?
You can experiment with different rum punch recipes and ingredients, but the traditional Caribbean rum punch is made with rum, juices like lime, orange, and pineapple juice, and grenadine.
What is the best rum for a rum punch?
Dark and spiced rums are generally preferred in a rum punch, as they balance out the sweet and tart flavors of the juices, but you can make rum punch with a white rum if you prefer.
What are the five original ingredients of a punch?
It’s believed that punch historically is made up of five key components: spirit (most often rum), sour (lime or lemon juice), sugar, water, and spice. The spice was typically nutmeg.
Does rum punch get you drunk?
Yes, rum punch can get you drunk, so you should always drink responsibly and in moderation. The amount of rum in your punch will affect the alcohol content and resulting intoxication.
How far ahead should you make punch?
Punch can be prepared somewhat in advance, but you shouldn’t make it more than a day before you’re planning to drink it.
Does rum punch have to be refrigerated?
If you’re making rum punch to serve it right away, it does not need to be refrigerated. If you’re making it in advance, however, it should be refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it.