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Planter’s Punch

by on February 2011

The heat and humidity have finally arrived and it is time to break out some summer sippers. The Planter's Punch is a pretty common summer drink and one that I haven't had in a very long time. I remember having one many years ago, but it was pretty basic and was probably just rum, sour mix and grenadine. Lots of grenadine. I only had one and went back to drinking beer I'm sure. But it doesn't have to be this way, since the Planter's Punch doesn't have a single recipe, it is more of a free style drink. It does have some rules though.

The general consensus is that all Planter's Punches should have rum, lime and bitters. Usually there is something to sweeten the punch, like sugar, grenadine or assorted fruit juices. After that it is up to you.

In my quest for a good punch I'd just go insult someone's mother, but in this case I'm actually looking for the drink. So, I turned to my trusty home library and picked three recipes. Then I gave it some thought, checked the fridge and whipped up my own version. ;Here are four Planter's Punch recipes. 

Planters Punch

Difford’s Guide has a recipe that is pretty basic, and I mean that in a good way. It is a fairly simple Grog / Bumbo like recipe (rum, lime, sugar, water, bitters). Obviously, the rum will be the key flavour in this drink.


Planter’s Punch (Difford’s Guide)

1½ oz Myer’s Dark Rum
½ oz Lime Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Chilled Mineral Water
4 Dashes Angos tura Bitters

In The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff has recipe that is more complicated and combines a lot of tropical flavours. It is basically a tropical punch, with all of the Difford components, but adds more fruit flavours and a bit of fizz with club soda.

Planter’s Punch (Craft of the Cocktail)

1 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Light Rum
½ oz Orange Curacao
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
¼ oz Lime Juice
Dash Grenadine
Dash Angos tura Bitters
2 oz Soda Water (Optional)
Orange Slice & Cherry

Finally, in a Goldielocks and the Three Bears approach, we come upon Gary Regan’s recipe in the Joy of Mixology. Where Difford’s Guide is too cold and Craft of the Cocktail is too hot, the Joy of Mixology may be just about right. This version would be the least sweet with a prominent bitter component, two types of bitters plus grapefruit and no sugar. The nutmeg reminds me of the Pusser’s Painkiller.

Planter’s Punch (Joy of Mixology)

2 oz Dark Rum
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
Dash Angostura Bitters
Dash Peychaud’s  Bitters
 Grated Nutmeg

Unfortunately I’m out of grapefruit juice so I’ll have to improvise, as usual. I’ve taken what I think are the best qualities of the recipes and created a hybrid version. The key change is using Mango juice.

Planters PunchPlanter’s Punch (Art of Drink Formula)

2 oz Pusser's Navy  Rum
1 oz Mango Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup (2:1)
½ oz Monin Grenad ine
2 oz Club Soda
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Instructions: Combine all ingredients, except club soda, in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a collins glass and top with club soda. Garnish with lime and whatever else you have.

My first impression was that the punch is drier than you’d think. I was concerned about adding too much grenadine, but to get the colour right I had to move it up to ½ oz with no ill effect. The club soda (Perrier in this case) helped by diluting it out a bit. I like dark navy style rum for this drink, since they can stand up to all the other flavours.

Overall, a great summer drink. It is up there with a Pimm’s Cup or one of the many Tiki drinks that quench people’s thirst in the heat of summer.

Tagged: weak | tiki | sweet | summer | strong | sour | rum | punch | bitters