Planter's Punch

Planter's Punch cocktail with a pineapple and umbrella garnish

Short shake with ice and strain into a hurricane glass almost filled with crushed ice. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with a pineapple slice or orange wedge and a cherry. (Alternatively it also works well if served straight-up: shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.)

The earliest reference to punch in the Caribbean comes from Barbados in 1694. From there it spread across the islands being first enjoyed by the plantation owners, hence the name. There is now a multitude of different recipes for Planter's Punch across the region but they all follow the same basic formula expressed in a traditional rhyme: "One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak."

Donn Beach is likely to have come across Planter's Punch in his visits to Jamaica in the early 1930s. He took the basic formula and ran with it. He extended the 'sour' to multiple fruit juices, the 'sweet' to fruit syrups, the 'strong' to multiple rums and added some spice. On that foundation the whole Tiki movement was launched.

Planter's Punch cocktail served straight-up We adapted the recipe above from the International Bartenders Association Official Cocktails. We already have Barbados Rum Punch as a simple sour based on the traditional rhyme so we went with more fruit juice and syrup on this one. Our current preference for dark rum is Plantaion Original Dark Rum. We have compared it to the same drink made with Coruba, often suggested in Tiki recipes, and it is definitely superior. We have also compared it to Appleton Estate 12-year and there's little difference between them (except the price). The traditional recipe is served over crushed ice. However, since it is based on a fruit punch, we also find that it can be served straight up, strained into a chilled cocktail glass. We like both methods of serving about equally.

Peter serves a Planter's Punch cocktail