While it’s true that rum punch is the go-to cocktail in Barbados — it’s refreshing and served on ice — it also makes a mean sipper on cold winter evenings. The dark rum is belly warming and the nutmeg adds a winter spice we usually associate with warm drinks such as eggnog. As our friend declared on New Year’s Day (after I mixed up a pitcher), “I could drink 10 of these!”
When I was in Barbados in 2010 I must have tried at least 10 different rum punches. What I found is every establishment and Bajan has their own variation on ingredients and exact ratio. In fact, in two stories I wrote for up! magazine, I included two different recipes, one from John Moore Bar and one from Chesterfield Browne, the Mount Gay rum global ambassador. I have played around with my own recipe, however, which I will share with you now — hope you like it as much as I do!
Rum Punch a la Calgary
2 oz dark rum
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup*
Dash Angostura bitters (or 1 or 2 more, to taste)
Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate up to one month.