Rum Punch

Rum Punch

It’s summertime. A time for refreshing drinks that everyone enjoys in the heat and sun of the season. Even better when, as the bartender, you can make these drinks ahead of time so you can sit back and relax with your guests instead of scrambling to make individual drinks for everyone all day. That’s where a punch comes in. Most punches can be made ahead of time then poured over ice and garnished when served. 

Punches are a class of drink that contain (are dominated by, really) fruits and/or juices. They can range from light drinks that use a lot of juice to heavy, boozier drinks that have amped up quantities of alcohol. Punches have been around since the early 17th century when the British stole adopted the idea from India. In the mid-17th century, when the British Empire kicked the Spanish out of Jamaica, rums became even more popular in the Empire and were quickly used to enhance punch recipes. Thus the modern punch recipe, based on rum, was created.

Our Rum Punch has quite a few ingredients, including two types of rum. They’re all pretty basic and the preparation is simple. Still, a run to the grocery and liquor store will likely be required. While you’re there, stock up. At a recent party, we went through several bottles of rum and eventually ran out of OJ. 

Rum Punch Recipe

Mixing GlassRocks Glass
    Serves 4-5 (or just one if you’re having a tough day)
  • 6 oz Gold Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • 4 oz Coconut Rum (I used Cruzan)
  • 2 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 8 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 6 oz Orange Juice
  • 2 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • 10-12 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Lime Slices for garnish

Mix all the liquid ingredients together without ice. Pour the mixture into a sealed container and place in fridge to cool (yes, sealed, do you want yesterday’s tuna fish stinking up your punch?). Keep in the fridge overnight, until your guests arrive. 


When you’re ready to party, serve the punch in rocks glasses or, if you’re entertaining those kind of guests, unbreakable plastic cups. Fill each glass with ice, pour the punch over the ice and garnish with a lime slice. Easy shmeasy. Don’t forget to pour a tall one for yourself. You deserve it, after all.

As an alternative to the Gold Rum, you can also try Spiced Black Rum. The Spiced Rum makes for a stronger Rum taste in the punch and lends a darker overall color. The Rum Punch in the pitcher below is made with Spiced Black Rum. 

Rum Punch


Why You’ll Like the Rum Punch

This Rum Punch is a crowd pleaser. It satisfies those who are looking for a Rum-forward drink as well as those looking for a fruity, light drink. It goes down dangerously easily. You’ll want to make a lot of it. The best part might be that you can easily make it ahead of time so you can enjoy it with your guests.


Cape Codder

Cape Codder

Once in a while, and it doesn’t happen very often, the best things are also surprisingly easy. Like when your guests want a juicy cocktail that’s refreshing and you, the home bartender, are looking for something quick and simple to make. The Cape Codder fills the bill. It’s a combination of Vodka and Cranberry juice served in a Highball fashion. Unlike the classic Highball’s 4:1 – 6:1 ratio of mixer to liquor though, the Cape Codder runs a slightly stiffer 4:2 – 5:2. That is, four parts Cranberry, the Cape Codder’s mixer, to two parts Vodka, the drink’s only liquor. 

Cape Codder Recipe

Collins Glass
  • 2 oz Vodka (I used Kettle One)
  • 4 – 5 oz Cranberry Juice to taste (use 100% Cranberry juice, not Cranberry Juice Cocktail which is mostly sugar)
  • Lime wedge or wheel for garnish

Like any highball, the drink should be mixed in the glass. Fill the glass about 2/3rds of the way with ice. Pour in the Vodka and follow up with the Cranberry. Use a bar spoon to gently stir. Garnish with the lime wedge or wheel after giving it a slight squeeze to coat the top of the drink with lime juice..


If you want to do it the way they make this drink in bars, don’t measure the Cranberry Juice. Just fill the rest of the glass with the juice after putting the ice in the glass and adding the measured Vodka.

A word about Cranberry Juice. Most of the stuff you find at the store is a mix of multiple fruits or Cranberry combined with corn syrup. If the mix is with multiple fruits and is otherwise unadulterated, go for it. It may taste a little different from this recipe, but it’ll probably be great. If it’s the Cranberry Juice Cocktail variety with added sweetener, you will probably need to increase the Vodka to compensate for all the added sweetness. Or, better yet, just mix a different drink.

An easy variation of the Cape Codder is the Madras. To make the Madras, replace one ounce of the Cranberry Juice with 1 oz of Orange Juice. This results in a 3:1:2 ratio of the Cranberry, Orange and Vodka, respectively. Also delicious.

Why You’ll Like the Cape Codder

A super easy drink to make that’s a crowd pleaser. Especially for those occasions that call for a lower alcohol drink or those guests that like their cocktails on the lighter side.

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