A blend of tropical fruit juices, light and dark rum, and a touch of grenadine, this Rum Punch recipe ultra-refreshing, not too sweet, and the perfect party drink for a crowd.
I purchased this punch bowl nearly five years ago.
Every year I make a point to validate its space in my cabinet by using it at least once.
- Christmas Punch is lightly fizzy and features apple cider, sparking wine, and rum or brandy.
- Champagne Punch is glittering with raspberries.
- Skinny Margaritas are begging to be made by the pitcher (er, punch bowl).
This year, I wanted to return to the punch bowl’s roots and make a traditional rum punch, but with one important twist.
This rum punch is not overly sweet.
In fact, all of our friends agreed that it was hands-down the best rum punch they’ve ever had!
You do not need a punch bowl to make rum punch.
While I may have been that person who decided she needed a punch bowl on her wedding registry, rum punch pitcher-style is equally refreshing. It’s also how you’ll see this recipe photographed since I know a rum punch bowl isn’t something most folks own.
5 Star Review
“BEST party punch ever! Our guests raved and I got so many recipe requests! The flavor is spot-on.”— Samantha —
The Best Rum Punch
Traditional Caribbean rum punch is made of rum, tropical juices like pineapple, orange, lemon (and/or lime), and grenadine. It is typically served chilled.
- Usually, the grenadine amount in Jamaican rum punch is (in this refreshing, NOT cloyingly sweet drink lover’s opinion) beyond excessive. A full, 12-ounce bottle or more!
- I scaled it back significantly. Just 4 ounces of grenadine made this punch taste tropical without turning it into liquid sugar.
- I also added pomegranate juice, which may not be as traditional as fruit punch, but it balances the drink’s sweetness and added some punch (pun intended).
History of Rum Punch
Rum punch means different things to different people. It has many variations because it began as a way to create a drink from local ingredients.
When English sailors from the British East India Company were traveling through the Caribbean in the 17th century, they made alcoholic drinks from whatever they could find locally. In the Caribbean, this meant fruit juices, warm spices, and rum.
How to Make Rum Punch
Choosing a big-batch cocktail for a crowd can be tricky, especially if you don’t know everyone’s tastes.
However, this easy rum punch recipe is the ideal crowd-pleasing drink (Mulled Wine is another).
- It is sweet enough for those who like their drinks on the fruity side.
- It is WELL BALANCED. I usually avoid rum and tiki-style drinks because I find them too sweet, but I couldn’t stop sipping this punch!
- It is EASY. Just stir and refrigerate! You can prep it hours in advance.
Simply put, this Caribbean rum punch tastes like paradise!
- Pineapple Juice. Sweet and 100% tropical, pineapple juice is delicious in this punch. Plus, pineapple juice is a good mix with rum.
- Orange Juice. Orange juice has a crowd-pleasing sweet, fresh, and citrusy flavor that pairs well with the other juices and rum. And, let’s remind ourselves that it contributes to your daily dose of vitamin C.
- Lime Juice. Just like in the best Skinny Margarita, lime juice helps make the punch extra refreshing.
Skip the bottled lime juice. For best results, grab your juicer and a few fresh limes and use the good stuff. It makes a big difference, trust me.
- Pomegranate Juice. The perfect mix of sweet and sour flavors.
- Rum. I used both dark and light rum for this recipe. Light rum has a more delicate flavor, while dark rum has a rich, bold flavor. The combination makes this punch shine.
- Grenadine. Made from pomegranate juice (not cherry), grenadine is beloved for the sweetness it brings to cocktails and mocktails (it stars in Shirley Temple drinks).
- Nutmeg + Cloves. Warm spices make the punch taste extra special and inviting. Ground or freshly grated both work well here.
- Stir all the punch ingredients together in a punch bowl or pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve in glasses with ice. Garnish as desired (see below for ideas) and add a splash of sparkling water or prosecco as desired. CHEERS!
Garnish for Rum Punch
The garnish should help tell the story of what is in rum punch. For this recipe, I like to add orange slices, pineapple slices, and pomegranate seeds. Lemon slices, lime slices, and maraschino cherries are other rum punch garnishes you could try.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover punch for up to 2 days.
Make Ahead Tip
Mix the punch ingredients together up to 6 hours in advance. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Up to 6 hours in advance, cut any fruit you wish you use for garnish. Refrigerate each fruit in a separate airtight storage container.
Recommended Tools to Make Rum Punch
- Punch Bowl. A fun way to serve drinks to a crowd. A pitcher will also work well for this recipe.
- Ladle. The easiest way to serve the punch.
- Jigger. For perfect measurements.
Three cheers for easy rum punch!
By the time the bowl is empty, you and your guests will be singing its praises (maybe literally).
Frequently Asked Questions
The light and dark rum are essential for giving this punch its signature flavor. However, if you have guests who need punch without alcohol, you could set some of the mixed fruit juices aside prior to adding the rum.
For a frozen rum punch recipe, add all the punch ingredients to a blender with ice. Blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Garnish as directed. This would be a tasty treat for the warmer months!
For a fun way to utilize leftovers, pour punch into the wells of a popsicle mold. Freeze until solid. Now, you’ve got boozy popsicle treats ready to go!
No. Resist the urge to add ice directly to the punch bowl (or pitcher). Ice will melt and dilute the punch and take away from its, for lack of a better word, punch. Chill the punch in the fridge before serving, and set a bucket of ice out beside the serving glasses.
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup fresh lime juice about 8 limes
- 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
- 4 ounces grenadine syrup plus additional to taste* (I used Rose’s)
- 1 1/2 cups dark rum such as Captain Morgan
- 1 1/2 cups light rum
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
- Tiny pinch cloves
- Orange slices for garnish
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
- Pineapple slices optional for garnish
- Sparkling water or prosecco optional for serving
- In a large pitcher or punch bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except for the garnish: pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, pomegranate juice, grenadine, dark rum, light rum, nutmeg, and cloves. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
- To serve, fill glasses with ice and ladle into glasses. Garnish with oranges, pineapples, and pomegranate. When serving in a punch bowl, I like to cut the oranges crosswise into thin, circular slices, then float them on top with the pomegranate seeds sprinkled over. If desired, top your punch with a splash of sparkling water or prosecco.
- *INGREDIENT NOTE: Typical Jamaican rum punch recipes would call for closer to 12 ounces of grenadine. We found 4 ounces plenty sweet enough given the other juices in this recipe, but if you would like it sweeter, feel free to add more grenadine to taste.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover punch for up to 2 days.
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