A Jamaican rum punch is a delicious tropical fruit cocktail that's perfect for summer. It's a simple rum drink with a mix of orange, lime, and pineapple juices and a hint of sweet, fruity syrup. The recipe is similar to the rum runner but you don't need to hunt down banana or blackberry liqueurs, which makes it a little easier.
Also called a reggae rum punch, this recipe is attributed to Ian Burrell (aka The Rum Ambassador). If you want to make it authentic, J Wray and Nephew Overproof White Rum is the brand of choice. The Jamaican rum is bottled at a potent 63 percent ABV (126 proof), which adds a kick of flavor to this drink that punches right through the fruit juices. Like many tropical cocktails, there are subtle ways to change up the recipe so you can find the perfect Jamaican rum punch for your taste.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the rum, fruit juices, and grenadine.
Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
Strain into a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherries. Serve and enjoy.
- Fresh citrus juices are highly recommended for this punch. One orange should be enough for two drinks. You can generally squeeze half a lime directly into the shaker; a little extra doesn't hurt the flavor balance.
- Pair those with fresh pineapple juice for the best rum punch. Either use a juicer or muddle a few chunks of fresh pineapple in a mixing glass and strain out the juice.
- The bright red maraschino cherries that are so familiar are unnaturally dyed and flavored. Rather than use those as a garnish, pick up a jar of real maraschino cherries (they're often much darker) or make your own maraschinos.
- Some Jamaican rum punch recipes use equal parts of dark rum and white rum. While overproof white rum is preferred, combining an 80-proof light rum with dark rum makes up for the stronger rum's flavor.
- Grenadine is a common syrup used in cocktails, though this punch is also often made with strawberry syrup. Either syrup can be held and drizzled over the strained cocktail for a layered effect.
- While many recipes pour equal amounts of rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice, you can switch that up. Some people prefer to knock the overproof rum down to 1 ounce or hold back a bit on the orange juice.
How Strong Is a Jamaican Rum Punch?
Even when made with Wray and Nephew, the Jamaican rum punch is not as stiff as you may expect. All that fruit juice means the cocktail shakes up to about 16 percent ABV (32 proof). It's just a little stronger than the average glass of wine but fruity cocktails can trick you into drinking more than you might intend.