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Classic Cocktail: Planter’s Punch

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Posted by johngl

The history of classic cocktails is always a bit fuzzy and numerous people and places lay claim to the original Planter’s Punch.  They are all wrong.

The published history of Planter’s Punch dates all the way back to the late 1800′s in the West Indies. In case your history is a bit fuzzy as well, the West Indies are that collection of islands in the Caribbean that our buddy Chris Columbus landed upon in 1492 — and where he subsequently subjugated the entire native population.  In his infinite wisdom, he thought he’d landed just west of India.  He was wrong, too (in oh, so many ways).

The truth is, nobody knows the history and it doesn’t really matter anyway.  It could have come from sugar plantations where the cane was distilled into rum and citrus juices were added.  Or, it could have come from the grave diggers who planted the dead planters and celebrated the death with a concoction of rum, citrus, and pineapple juice.

You know, just use what grows around you.

Planter's Punch Ingredients

I found some of these items growing on my liquor cart and the rest were growing in my fridge.

The recipe I used — for two drinks — went as follows:

6 oz Rum
1 oz Grenadine (pomegranate syrup)
juice of 3 key limes plus the juice of 1/2 a standard lime
juice of one large lemon
1 heaping teaspoon of sugar

Fill a shaker 2/3 full of crushed ice.
Add the sugar, rum, grenadine, and citrus juices.
Let it sit about a minute, then wrap the shaker in a towel and shake like there is no tomorrow.
Strain and serve in martini glasses.
Add a garnish if you would like. I used a cherry soaked in Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

My shaker got so cold a layer of frost formed on the outside.

Outstanding color

The color of these things is outstanding.  The taste has a lot of zing, which was really quite refreshing on another 105°F Texas day. One could say the flavors sort of explode.

The French word for pomegranate is grenade (yes, like in hand-grenade — so called due to the many-seeded fruit suggesting the powder-filled, shrapnel-laced hand-activated bomb — its a stretch, but I don’t make this stuff up), hence the syrup being called grenadine.

Enjoy responsibly.

Pretty Planter's Punch

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2 Responses to “Classic Cocktail: Planter’s Punch”

  1. This recipe was a BIG HIT at the Renaissance Festival that I volunteer at in South Lake Tahoe, Ca. My crew LOVES new alcohol recipes to try and they LOVED THIS ONE! I am definitely keeping it in by “party cookbook”. Thanks for all the hard work! cooking with emotions

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