I’m not Bajan.
Because I am about to give you a personal take on one of the most debated cocktail recipes in the world, I’d thought I remove the extra cultural weight that comes with boasting how you make the best _____ by noting my heritage. And because I’m not Bajan, I feel no added pressure when I tell you that I can make a mean Bajan Rum Punch. As in, ‘Oh you didn’t know?’ mean. Also since I’m not from Barbados, in the rare event that you don’t like my concoction after tasting, at least you can’t hold the island at fault and everyone wins.
Last year in Barbados during the Food Wine Rum Festival (are you rolling with us this year?) I had the pleasure of touring and witnessing some top mixology at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery in Brandons, located right outside of Bridgetown. After being led on a literal “tasting tour” of the process used to create Mount Gay by Master Blender Allen Smith, brand mixologist Chester Browne gave our group an intimate, interactive lesson on how to make rum punch. His recipe? It was good. There was fire involved. We all went “oohhhh.” And being the competitive chick I am, I returned home and sought to recreate it—four times, until I got it right, the Parlour way.
Shannon’s Parlour Rum Punch
Serves: depending on serving cup size, about 30 ppl, or 10 really thirsty friends.
Prep Time: 15 minutes depending on what’s on TV or the day’s kitchen discussion topic.
What You’ll Need
1 bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse
1 bottle of Mount Gay Silver Eclipse
1 bottle of Passoã Passion Fruit Liqueur
OR 1 bottle of Alize Wild Passion Liqueur when your neighborhood liquor store isn’t semi-fancy (go with me here)
1 bottle of Falernum (if you don’t have, it’s ok)
4 Cups of Fresh Cherries
1 bunch of Basil leaves
It helps to do this in a kitchen full of friends, preferably after having a shot, or two, of Mount Gay Eclipse beforehand. In the event that someone comments on those shots, tell them that you are “testing” for quality assurance and make a mental note that they get the last rum punch served.
First, cut your fruits into rings, wheels and thin slices. Muddle your cherries but also leave as many as you will think you need for a garnish. Personally, I hate maraschino cherries, they are the ultimate freak of nature. Real cherries are always best. Take your muddled cherries, and about half of your oranges, pineapple and melon and quickly (semi) flambe it with a little dark rum and a pinch of nutmeg in a saucepan over high heat for about a minute. While doing this, take care not to gossip about anyone lest you get distracted. If you have liquid left over it’s ok, pour the whole mixture into a bowl and let it sit.
Now, pull out your punch bowl, or in my house your super large jug, bucket, or fancy server I got from Amazon.com and start pouring. Make sure your favorite song is playing so you can work in some subtle dance moves during this process.
- First, pour in your full bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse, and a half of the bottle of Silver Eclipse.
- Then, add a half bottle of Passoã.
- Now, add your bottle of Falernum.
- Don’t taste it yet.
- Pour in your cooked fruit mixture and begin adding your pineapple and orange juices to taste. Also, tactfully look around to see if others are watching you, and if they are make sure you look very serious.
- Now begin adding the remaining parts of Passoã and Silver Eclipse based on your sweetness and strength preference. Once you have the mixture you feel is a winner, add in the remaining fruits and stir. Look smug, yet relaxed and welcoming as you’ve just created a national treasure for all to enjoy. Set out some plastic cups for serving and a bowl of cherries, ground nutmeg for a garnish. Set out the basil as well for anyone who wants to be extra fancy. Also take out the oversized glass for you and help yourself first. You deserve it.
PS. Chester, I love love love love you. This is the only recipe I will ever “borrow” from you. Promise! (Crosses fingers behind back)
Don’t miss your chance to enjoy paradise, Parlour style! Eat, Play, Love Barbados is Parlour’s fabulous travel deal giving you special discounted rates on top Bajan hotels, including The House, Colony Club and Tamarind, during the Food Wine and Rum Festival November 16-18. Join us!