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Boat Drink: Planter’s Punch

It’s pretty hard to think of Jamaica without thinking of delicious rum drinks, and it’s also pretty hard to think of rum drinks without thinking of planter’s punch. While other hot, plantation-filled places such as South Carolina and St. Louis might try to lay claim to the creation of this refreshing concoction, historians tend to agree that Jamaica holds the original rights.

Of course, there are as many variations as there are origin stories, but like most punch recipes, it’s all about the ratios. This drink goes at least as far back as the 19th century, as noted in an 1878 London magazine with this jaunty rhyming recipe:

A wine-glass with lemon juice fill,

Of sugar the same glass fill twice

Then rub them together until

The mixture looks smooth, soft, and nice.

Of rum then three wine glasses add,

And four of cold water please take.

A drink then you’ll have that’s not bad—

At least, so they say in Jamaica.

Before we get to a more modern recipe translation, we have to ask… why aren’t more recipes measured in wine glasses? And rhyming. Why don’t more of our recipes rhyme?

Today’s Translation:

  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1 part orange juice
  • 1 part pineapple juice
  • A splash of grenadine
  • A larger splash of lime juice
  • Club soda (optional)
  • Seasonal fruit for garnish

If you just want to make one serving, use ounces for the parts. Or, if you’ve got a fishbowl, some straws, and a couple of friends nearby, measure using your favorite wine glass.


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