If you want to host a good mixer, serve up a large batch of rum punch. I recently did this for a school fundraiser and the party turned into a “rumaway.”
People drank the punch like water. They got wasted. One gal even puked! No, we aren’t a bunch of university revellers; we’re responsible adults — with kids even! But there’s just something about rum punch. It smells good, for starters, thanks to the nutmeg and Angostura bitters. It tastes good too, just as Mount Gay Eclipse rum mixed with brown sugar syrup and lime juice should. So there’s a danger folks will chug it, even though it’s strong.
Now that it’s garden party season it’s easy to whip up a big punch bowl of it — just make sure there’s a disclaimer next to the bowl. Something like, “Warning: this punch is really strong — it will get you drunk!”
Rum Punch (to mix in an 11-litre dispenser or bowl)
- 2 parts Mount Gay Eclipse rum (I used four 750-mL bottles)
- 1 part lime juice (I used 1.5 litres of Ready-Set-Serve lime juice by Markon)
- 1 part simple syrup (I used 1.5 litres I made myself, method below)
- 1/2 part water (about 750 mL) or to taste
- 25 heavy dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 tbsp. nutmeg
- Big ball of ice (method below)
Into a large punch bowl or dispenser gently place a round ball of ice to keep the punch cool without diluting it (fill a balloon with water, tie it off and freeze. Peel the balloon off and voila! Ice ball). Pour in the rum, lime juice, simple syrup, water, bitters and nutmeg. Stir everything together with a big spoon. Serve in a plastic cup — or rocks glass, if you’re fancy — packed with ice.
To make simple syrup, combine equal parts brown sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.