Raise a toast to September 20th, National Rum Punch Day. Punch is a general term for a broad assortment of mixed drinks, made with or without alcohol. The drink originated on the Indian Subcontinent, was called paantsch. The word “punch” derives from that Hindi word, also spelled panch, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit panchan, meaning five. In India, panch was made from five different ingredients: sugar, lemon, water, tea or spices and an alcoholic spirit; hence the name.
Punch was “discovered” in India by the British sailors of the East India Company. The concept was brought to England in the early 17th century.
From there it spread to other countries. While Western punch recipes generally contain fruit or fruit juice, fruit isn’t essential.
Nor is an elegant punch bowl required: A pitcher is fine, and in many cases, it’s more practical.
We’ve got a number of rum punch recipes for you, starting with two from Hawaii’s Koloa Rum.
Rum is a New World product. It wasn’t until 1655 when Jamaican rum was introduced to make punch, that the rum punch was born.
The first two recipes have a Hawaiian twist. They’re made with Koloa Rum, which is distilled on the island of Kauai from pure cane sugar and Hawaiian mountain rainwater.
You can find more drink recipes the on Koloa Rum website.
1. COMBINE the watermelon, lime juice from 1 lime, and the sugar in a blender, and blend until liquid.
2. MUDDLE the mint and juice from 1/2 lime in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum, watermelon mixture, and ice.
3. SHAKE well and strain into rocks glasses over fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel, fresh mint and a watermelon wedge.
You’ll fill up a 64-ounce pitcher with this recipe, which makes 60 ounces of punch.
In advance, chill all the ingredients (except the bitters), as well as the pitcher (64 ounces or more).
1. MAKE the rim sugar. Combine ground cinnamon with sugar in a ratio of 1:4. Dip the rims of tall glasses into a saucer of water, then twist them in a saucer of cinnamon sugar.
2. COMBINE all of the drink ingredients in the pitcher and stir thoroughly to combine.
3. ADD ice to the glasses and fill with the punch.
*Look for a pineapple with nice leaves for garnishing. You can substitute basil, rosemary, or thyme leaves.
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