Rum and pineapple are made to go together, so could you blame me for getting all excited when a bottle of Beenleigh golden rum AND a pineapple-shaped glass AND a real pineapple appeared in 52 Cocktails’ HQ today? Course not. It seemed like fate. And so you probably also couldn’t blame me for getting halfway through making a classic rum-based Planter’s Punch before I realised there’s, er, actually no pineapple in it at all… and that it requires dark rum, not golden.
Yeah, it was one of those days.
Luckily I had some spiced rum on hand, so I finished making the Planter’s Punch using Sailor Jerry spiced rum, and adorned it rather exotically with some pineapple leaves (because why not) and some swizzle sticks that some rather generous pubs had, er, donated to the cause. Yes, that is an Angostura swizzle stick, and no, I didn’t nick it – someone else did, just so they could give it to me. There’s nothing like receiving stolen items to lift the spirits, right?
Well, I tell you, the spirits certainly did need lifting after I tried this rather one-dimensional, overly sour drink. I’d used 50ml of spiced rum and 40ml citrus juice so it was no wonder it was too sour. And the spiced rum didn’t add enough sweetness, either because I should have used more or because it was –
Because it was spiced rum.
Right-o then, let’s try this again, shall we?
50ml dark rum (dark rum. DARK!)
20ml lime juice
20ml lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup
Hefty shake of Angostura bitters
soda water, to top up
slices of fruit/other garnishes and/or swizzle sticks of your choice (stolen or not)
In theory, this is a punch, so you should be able to add a ‘zero’ to the measurements above (so 500ml rum, 200ml lime juice, etc) and make the drink in a punch bowl or large jug. But I was making a single serve so I built mine in a tall, pineapple-shaped glass. A collins glass would be fine.
Half-fill the glass with ice. Add all ingredients except the soda and garnishes, and stir well. Top with soda and stir again. Taste – if it’s not sweet enough, add another 20ml or so of rum, and/or just a bit more sugar syrup. (I added more rum because it added flavour and sweetness, and because by this stage I really needed a drink.) Garnish and hope like hell you’ve got it right this time.
This is adapted from Shaken: 250 very sexy cocktails (Murdoch Books, 2004), where it’s presented as the kind of punch you make in a big bowl full of fruit slices. Made properly, it’s a drink with a good depth of flavour and a sharp, tangy sourness that offsets the rum’s treacly notes. It is VERY easy to drink.
Oh, and you know what? I just checked out a few other recipes for Planter’s Punch, and it turns out you SHOULD add pineapple juice…