Planter's Punch

Planter's Punch Cocktail with an orange segment garnish

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or alternatively into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry on a cocktail stick.

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.

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 would have you serve the drink in a glass filled with ice. We like ours strained and served straight up and given the drink is just a modified sour this works well too.