Rum Punch

By • December 19, 2013 • 6 Comments


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Author Notes: This is as basic a punch recipe as you can get, and its basic ratio can be applied to any number of variations. It has nothing more than those 5 original ingredients, and requires no special technique other than mixing them together. The art comes in your choice of what to include.Erik Lombardo

Serves many (but double for a large group)

  • 2 cups rum
  • 2 cups strong black tea
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Spices of your choice (see below)
  1. For spice, I like to use 2 cinnamon sticks, 8 black peppercorns, 1 star anise, 8 cloves, 4 cardamom pods, and 2 allspice berries.
  2. Brew your tea with your spices, let steep, and strain. Add the sugar in while the water is still hot, and stir to dissolve. Once it has cooled, mix the remaining ingredients together, adding the spirit last. If you like, you can grate spices over each glass at your party. (I like to leave a grater and spice right by the punch bowl/pitcher so that each guest can add however much or little as she likes.)
  3. This basic ratio can be applied to any number of punch variations: try a floral gin punch with meyer lemon and verbena tea in the springtime, or bourbon with bitter orange and mint when Seville oranges are in season. Change up the spices, spirits, tea and even the sugar source (honey or agave anyone?) to suit the season and your tastes.

Comments (6) Questions (0)

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3 months ago Tamar

My father made a great Navy drink. Dark rum, splash of orange juice, tonic and squeeze of lime.

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4 months ago Todd Ellner

Rumbum, according to "Punch" you don't want some clear or inoffensive amber colored clear spirit. For classic punch (hot, cold, tea, milk, whatever) you want high-proof, strong-tasting pirate juice with, as they say, "houtgout"

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4 months ago Rumbum

The one thing that stands out in this recipe is the somewhat innocuous "rum" ingredient. Rum is one spirit that has many many faces. And if you were to add, let's say Smith and Cross Navy Strength, or, Lemon Hart 151, or.... Bacardi 8, or Bacardi white, your punch would be a very different cup of tea, or is that the art?

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4 months ago Erik Lombardo

You hit the nail on the head, 'That's the art'. For this particular rum punch I would recommend a jamaican rum, Smith & cross is a fnie choice but appleton v/x would be wonderful as well. For something richer and funkier try a 50/50 blend of Rhum Agricole and A good dark jamaican rum, I like Coruba. Make it your own, that's what is so great about punch!

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4 months ago Todd Ellner

The definitive guide to Punch is "Punch: The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl". It includes all sorts of recipes for all sorts of traditional punches including tea punches and rum punches. There's one important step found in all the recipes which would improve your punch, the preparation of the oleo-saccharum. Zest the limes. Muddle the zest with the sugar for at least half an hour, twice that long if possible.

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4 months ago Erik Lombardo

Punch is indeed a fantastic book! I love making an oleo-saccharum for lemon based punches, but for lime based punches I agree with Wondrich and just skip the step all-together; the benefit of lime in a punch comes from the juice more than the aromatic oils, though I have made an intensly flavored lime oleo-saccharum when making house-made for homemade lime cordial (amazing by the way!).