In my early twenties (I sound so old lol) I hosted an abundance of house parties and barbeques. I used any excuse to celebrate and I always made sure that my guests were well fed and constantly hydrated (hehehe). These events were never possible without help from my family and my little brother was always in charge of organising the bar, so he has perfected this recipe over time.
There are a few staple house party/barbecue dishes that I have but number one on the list has to be buckets full of rum punch. Most Caribbean parties will not go without it and it’s a great way to create a real summer vibe. This recipe is extremely easy to follow and focuses on creating a harmonious balance between the different flavours to create either a smooth fruit punch or an authentic Jamaican rum punch. As we always make this for parties, this recipe should make about 7-8 litres of punch.
We add in Kool-Aid mainly for the red colouring, as the syrup should add enough tropical flavouring, but depending on the brand of syrup, the colour will not be very strong. My Aunty Dawn makes an amazing homemade syrup that is so rich that we actually don’t need the Kool-Aid! If you are unable to get your hands on a tropical flavoured syrup, grenadine syrup is a suitable alternative.
The recipe calls specifically for Wray and Nephew Overproof white rum. Honestly, there is no comparison, and although you could use Bacardi or a store brand white rum, they will never have the taste and strength of Wray and Nephew. Be mindful that it is 63% alcoholic volume and very strong so although you can add as much as you like to the fruit punch, if you have never tried it before – take it easy! It is a sweet drink and it is very easy to forget there is actually alcohol in it!
When serving my rum punch I like to add a few fresh mint leaves in the glass, as it makes it really refreshing, looks really cute and adds another dimension to the drink. I like to serve this over ice, with (or without) the mint leaves, a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry on a cute umbrella for that real island vibe 🙂