After returning from Grenada a few years back, we got very into rum punch, especially in the hot, sticky summer months. I’m not even sure why exactly; neither of us particularly likes rum. But we do love fruit, and rum punch is extremely deceptive in that it tastes like a smoothie but packs a powerful punch. Our personal recipe for a rum punch is the perfect holiday weekend drink for you to take out on the lake or serve beside your backyard pool.
Traveling to Grenada
Our 2017 trip to Grenada was one of the most magical vacations of my life. We stayed at Villa Solitaire with my mom, Jade, Augustine, and Jade’s parents and had a delightful time bopping all over the island by car for a week. In fact, since our 10-year anniversary trip was canceled due to the pandemic, we’ve decided our make-up trip is going to be Grenada instead whenever it’s safe to travel again.
Grenada felt like the most authentic Caribbean experience I have ever had, meaning we were deeply embedded in a residential neighborhood of the island that was invaded by American troops during in the revolution and befriended many Grenadians who have spent their lives on this island Utopia; Villa Solitaire was the perfect spot from which to stay in luxury while learning about the island’s storied history.
During our week on the island, our obliging host Susan made sure we saw the best of her home, from visiting her family’s cacao plantation to exploring every side of the 135-square-mile island.
Grenada has three rum distilleries, River Antoine Estate (the oldest), Clarke’s Court Rum Distillery (the largest) and Westerhall Rums (the quaintest). While in Grenada, Susan took us to Westerhall since it was right near Solitaire.
The history of rum punch
The story goes that rum punch was actually brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early 17th century. Funny, how so many of my favorite cocktails, like the classic gin and tonic, have that England-India tie.
You’ll find rum punch in most countries in the Caribbean, and in my travel experience, each puts its own spin on this very common island cocktail.
How to make rum punch
The great thing about rum punch is you can make large batches, fill up a large pitcher or beverage dispenser and serve as you please, rather than having to mix up each individual cocktail. It’s perfect for parties (you know, whenever those are allowed again).
Ingredients for rum punch
- 1 liter rum
- 1 full watermelon, blended
- 1/2 liter of lemon juice (squeezed)
- 1 liter of orange juice (1 sack of oranges, squeezed)
- 1 liter of pineapple juice (2 pineapples, juiced)
The first step is blending the watermelon juice, which we’ve found is easiest by cutting off the top of the watermelon and blending with an immersion hand blender.
Next, we typically use our Breville juicer to juice the pineapples and SVV’s lemon squeezer to juice the lemons and oranges. This cheapie $35 juicer would work, too. If you don’t have a press or juicer or it simply sounds like too much of a hassle, store-bought OJ, pineapple and lemon juice will work in a pinch.
Our ratio is usually 1:4 rum to juice. Start there, and add more rum to taste if required.
We made big batches of this for my 10-year blog anniversary three summers ago, shortly after our trip to Grenada, and it was a huge crowd-pleaser. A warning that it’s POTENT, so proceed with caution.
The fun thing about rum punch is that you can customize the flavor to the ingredients that you like. Have starfruit? Add it in the mix! Love guava? Throw some in for flourish!
For more cocktails around the world, check out these recipes:
- How to Make a French 75
- How to Make a Blood Orange Margarita
- How to Make a White and Black Russian
- How to Make a Proper Gin and Tonic
- How to Make Coquito