I am the friend with the punch bowl, and this year that means Rum Punch! A blend of tropical fruit juices, light and dark rum, and a touch of grenadine, it’s ultra-refreshing, not too sweet, and the perfect drink for a party crowd.
I purchased this punch bowl nearly five years ago.
Every year I make a point to validate its space in my cabinet by using it at least once.
This year, I wanted to go back to the punch bowl’s roots and make a traditional rum punch, but with one important twist.
This rum punch is not overly sweet.
In fact, all of our friends agreed that it was hands-down the best rum punch they’ve ever had!
You do not need a punch bowl to make rum punch.
Rum punch pitcher-style is just as refreshing as punch from a bowl. (It’s also how you’ll see the recipe photographed here, since I know a punch bowl isn’t something most folks own).
The Best Rum Punch
Rum punch is made of rum, tropical juices like pineapple, orange, and lemon or lime, and grenadine. It is typically served chilled.
- Normally the grenadine amount in Jamaican rum punch is (in this refreshing, NOT cloyingly sweet drink-lover’s opinion) beyond excessive. A full, 12-ounce bottle or more!
- I scaled it back significantly. Just 4 ounces of grenadine made this punch taste tropical, without turning it into liquid sugar.
- I also added pomegranate juice, which isn’t strictly traditional but helped to balance the punch’s sweetness and make it well balanced.
History of Rum Punch
You may have had different versions of this punch in the past and be wondering, “what does rum punch mean?” Well, despite the many variations that have arisen, this punch began as a way to create a drink from local ingredients.
When English sailors from the British East India Company were traveling through the Caribbean in the 17th century, they made alcoholic drinks from whatever they could find locally. In the Caribbean, this meant fruit juices, warm spices, and rum.
How to Make Rum Punch
This Caribbean rum punch tastes like paradise!
It can be tricky to choose a big-batch cocktail for a crowd, especially if you don’t know everyone’s tastes.
This punch recipe is an ideal drink for a party.
- It is sweet enough for those who like their drinks on the fruity side.
- It is WELL BALANCED. I am usually one who steers away from rum and tiki-style drinks because I think they are too sweet, but I couldn’t stop sipping this punch!
- It is EASY. Just stir and refrigerate! You can prep it hours in advance.
- Pineapple Juice. Sweet and 100% tropical, pineapple juice is delicious in this punch. Plus, pineapple juice is a good mix with rum.
- Orange Juice. Orange juice has a crowd-pleasing sweet, fresh, and citrusy flavor that pairs well with the other juices and rum.
- Lime Juice. Helps make the punch extra refreshing.
- Pomegranate Juice. The perfect mix of sweet and sour flavors.
- Grenadine. Made from pomegranate juice, grenadine is beloved for the sweetness it brings to cocktails and mocktails (it stars in Shirley Temple drinks).
- Rum. I used both dark and light rum for this recipe. Light rum has a more delicate flavor while dark rum has a rich, bold flavor. The combination really helps this punch shine.
- Nutmeg + Cloves. Warm spices make the punch taste extra special and inviting.
- Stir all the punch ingredients together in a punch bowl or pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve in glasses with ice. Garnish with fruit and add a splash of sparkling water or prosecco as desired. CHEERS!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover punch for up to 2 days.
Make Ahead Tip
Mix the punch ingredients together up to 6 hours in advance. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Up to 6 hours in advance, cut any fruit you wish you use for garnish. Refrigerate each fruit in a separate airtight storage container.
Recommended Tools to Make Rum Punch
- Punch Bowl. A fun way to serve drinks to a crowd. A pitcher will also work well for this recipe.
- Ladle. The easiest way to serve the punch.
- Jigger. For perfect measurements.
Three cheers for easy rum punch!
By the time the bowl is empty, you and your guests will be singing its praises (maybe literally).
Frequently Asked Questions
The light and dark rum are essential for giving this punch its signature flavor. However, if you have guests who need punch without alcohol, you could set some aside prior to adding the rum.
For a frozen rum punch recipe (AKA a rum runner), add all the punch ingredients to a blender with ice. Blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Garnish as directed. This would be a tasty treat for the warmer months!
For a fun way to utilize leftovers, pour punch into the wells of a popsicle mold. Freeze until solid. Now, you’ve got boozy popsicle treats ready to go!
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup fresh lime juice about 8 limes
- 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
- 4 ounces grenadine syrup plus additional to taste* (I used Rose’s)
- 1 1/2 cups dark rum such as Captain Morgan
- 1 1/2 cups light rum
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
- Tiny pinch cloves
- Orange slices for garnish
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
- Pineapple slices optional for garnish
- Sparkling water or prosecco optional for serving
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except for the garnish: pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, pomegranate juice, grenadine, dark rum, light rum, nutmeg, and cloves. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
To serve, fill glasses with ice and ladle into glasses. Garnish with oranges, pineapples, and pomegranate. When serving in a punch bowl, I like to cut the oranges crosswise into thin, circular slices, then float them on top with the pomegranate seeds sprinkled over. If desired, top your punch with a splash of sparkling water or prosecco.
- *Typical Jamaican rum punch recipes would call for closer to 12 ounces of grenadine. We found 4 ounces plenty sweet enough given the other juices in this recipe, but if you would like it sweeter, feel free to add more grenadine to taste.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover punch for up to 2 days.
Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 258mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 110IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
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