Cocktail Recipe: Rum Punch

Posted by SirRon | Friday, June 24, 2011

Prior to my honeymoon in the Southern Caribbean near the turn of the millennium, I'm not sure I had ever tasted a rum punch. During the island tours, I quickly became accustomed – and fond – of this Caribbean staple. It seemed like no lunch, tour, swim, museum visit, or mountain hike started or finished (or started and finished) without being offered a glass. If I had known then that rum punch recipes were so divergent, I would have pressed a local for their secret.

"Classic" rum punch recipes range from having bitters, simple syrups, fruit punch, and/or sodas. I found many recipes that called for orange juice, but all of my iterations attempting to recreate the Southern Caribbean variation fell short. To be sure, the key ingredient is the use of high quality Caribbean dark rum. In my opinion, no better rum exists that the ones made at Mount Gay. Their rum is so good you could mix it in your Bacardi to make it taste better. My next major breakthrough came when I abandoned orange juice and instead used guava and mango nectars. Eureka! 

Many years removed, I honestly don't know how close this recipe is to that once familiar Southern Caribbean drink. My recipe is unique and tasteful though, so please enjoy my interpretation of the rum punch. 

Southern Caribbean Rum Punch (Tribute)

~½ pitcher

2 11.3 oz cans guava nectar
1 11.3 oz can mango nectar
1 11.3 oz can "bartender's choice" nectar (any flavor; I suggest an orange blend, banana blend, or another mango)
1 6 oz can pineapple juice
2 tbsp lime juice
½ cup canned coconut cream (e.g. Coco Lopez), stir well before measuring

At serving:
Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum (or other dark Caribbean rum)
Sweetened coconut flakes
Ground nutmeg
Lime wedge (optional)

Combine coconut cream, pineapple juice, lime juice, and nectars in a blender (note: some of the nectars can be left out if pitcher is full). Blend until coconut is well mixed (several 2 second pulses should do it). Pour into a large pitcher. Add any remaining juices (if some were left out of the blender). Mix well. Serve or cover and refrigerate (can be prepared a day ahead).

Fill a 12 ounce glass with ice. Pour a shot of rum over the ice. Top the glass off with the punch mix and stir. Garnish with a pinch of coconut flakes, ground nutmeg, and a few drops of lime juice or a lime slice. Salud!

As we outlined in our United States of Beer Project kickoff post, we are assembling the definitive list of breweries to represent each of the 50 states. Anyone can toss a name out and argue its relationship with a state, but we at The Ferm are only interested in cold, hard facts. Each representative has been selected after exhaustive research and extensive number crunching. As a refresher, below are the guidelines:

  • The goal is to identify a single representative brewery from each state. Brewpubs are not specifically excluded, but to be a state representative, the brewpub must have significant distribution in the state.
  • To be eligible as a state's representative, a brewery must brew beer in that state.
  • If a brewery makes beer in more than one state, the brewery can only be named representative of one state.
  • Only active breweries are eligible.

Just to be clear, I'm merely an emotionless arbiter in these selections. I first aggregate brewery data from several sources. An Excel formula then computes the score automatically. My own input came only from the scoring formula creation, which I calibrated using several states where I was particularly familiar with the breweries located within.

If you take exception to any of the selections or think I unfairly excluded a brewery (or brewpub), please hit me up in the comment section or on Twitter (@theferm) and I'll get you the score of the brewery in question. 

NOTE: I've given this post it's own page. Follow the link below for USBP's new home.

MORE>> (Follow Link for Individual State's Results)

A few weeks ago Houston Press food blogger extraordinaire Katharine Shilcutt wittingly dropped a proverbial deuce on the American beer drinker. In her post titled The United States of Beer, Katharine rather subjectively assigned each state an official beer. Her intentions were relatively innocuous, but her uneven attempt to rush the post's publication by peppering the U.S. map with whimsical selections energized the nation's beer drinking pantywadders (200+ comments!).

This was not the first time the food blog published a half-hearted post and then hid behind guise of just "having a laugh." I wonder if their editor would be as supportive of a post that jacked around with where to find good Mongolian hot pot? If the Houston Texans decided to play without cleats for a quarter, how do you think that would go over with their fans? If Nicholas Cage stopped caring about the movies he agreed to make, then what? I'm just saying, our big stick, Mr. Smokeypants, doesn't let us get away with weak journalism
our site, and I've never seen a dime from the blog.

We at The Ferm are not
asserting that blogs, and more specifically The Houston Press' food blog Eating Our Words, must be serious all the time. We are only suggesting that if you are getting paid to publish your work, that it be well thought out, researched, and written as if you even care that your name is on the piece. (I hope EOW blogger Kevin Shalin doesn't mind me stealing his words in that previous sentence, but there is a pretty good chance all Houston Press people stopped reading in the second paragraph anyway.)

Speaking of serious, if you are aware of someone who takes drinking more seriously than we do, I would sincerely like to know. We also
tend to look at the world through practical glasses, so we understand an accurate beer map of the United States probably looks more like an election map.

"That looks about right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants
Apologies to my beer nerds, but let's get really real. The craft beer segment represents only about 5% of the total U.S. beer market. What does that mean? It means Budweiser is truly the King, or President if you will, of beers. Budweiser, Miller Lite, or Coors may pick up a few electoral votes, but Bud Light is probably every state's official beer. But where is the fun in that map?

"Yes, that one looks right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants
After some hard core brainstorming, we have come up with a concept that falls somewhere in between the schizophrenic Houston Press beer map and the monotony of the factual map. Katharine's idea was actually kind of ingenious, however it was executed by a foodie/journalist/musician-type instead of a lawyer/engineer/rocket scientist-type.

That is where we can contribute. What Katharine's map project needed was some rules. Some formulae. Some science. That kind of concept is right in our wheelhouse.

  • Pronouncement: Katharine's list muddled beers and breweries. We will assign breweries to a state. It is reasonable to assume that a brewery's flagship beer would be the de facto beer representative for the state.
  • Rule #1: For any state, the brewery representative must be brewed in said state. Rule #1b: If a brewery makes beer in more than one state, the brewery can only be named representative of one state.
  • Example Formula: y = 29.936ln(x) How do you like them apples? (I don't trust the Internets enough to give out all our brewery ranking secrets.)
  • Science: Wikipedia says science is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. Yeah, we got that.
Budweiser is overwhelmingly the people's popular choice for a national brewery. Don't be angry at us. You elected them without checking their proof of residence first. This post hereby kicks off The Ferm's own United States of Beer project. We will be rolling out each of the states' representatives over the next several weeks months. Stay thirsty tuned my friends.

Click map to jump to post with the states' selections