Planter's Punch Cocktail

Planter's Punch
The Spruce
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Ratings (48)

Planter's punch is a classic rum drink that first appeared in print in a 1908 edition of the New York Times. Like many other drinks, this has a disputed origin: One claim refers to the Planter's Hotel in St. Louis and another tells of a Jamaican planter's wife who concocted it to cool down the workers.

This is also one of those drinks that has many recipe variations. It seems like everyone has their own way of making it. While you can follow this or any other recipe, the key to this punch is to give it your personal spin. There are many substitutions available for each of the ingredients.

While this recipe is for a single serving, the measurements can easily be increased to serve at a party. If you want to skip the rum, there is a nonalcoholic planter's punch that is quite tasty as well.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
  4. Top with club soda if you want.
  5. Garnish with seasonal fruits.

Ingredient Substitutions

The planter's punch takes the name "punch" in the traditional sense. Rather than the party-sized serving we think of as a punch today, the definition of a classic punch is that of a fruity mix spiked with liquor and garnished with lots of fruit.

This means is that every single ingredient in this punch can be replaced with whatever you like.

This is great news if you're reading through the recipe and find that you're out of one particular ingredient. No grenadine in the fridge? No problem! Ran out of dark rum? You can still mix up a planter's punch. Each substitution will create a slightly different drink, but that's half the fun.

There is no chance to become bored with this cocktail and you can create very own planter's punch recipe. Here are the most common substitutions, but there's no need to stop with these. As long as you have rum and fruit juice, you pretty much have a planter's punch.

  • Dark Rum: Any rum will do just fine in a planter's punch. Though the dark rum adds a rich, dark flavor profile, a light rum will work just fine. Spiced and flavored rums can also give the drink a new twist.
  • Grenadine: If you don't have the pomegranate-flavored syrup, pour 1/2 ounce lime juice and 1/4 ounce simple syrup instead. You can also use any other fruit syrup, such as strawberry, raspberry, or the tart sour mix.
  • Fruit Juice: The fruit juice is where you can really play with this recipe. At some bars, you will find that a "bar punch mix" is used instead of individual juices. Pineapple juice is a favorite, though orange and passion fruit juices are common as well. This is also the perfect drink to pour one of those bottled fruit juice blends that fill the juice aisle of any grocery store. When choosing one, make sure that at least one tropical fruit is included.
  • Club Soda: Though it is optional, adding a splash of club soda creates a livelier planter's punch. If you like, substitute that with ginger ale or a citrus soda. Either will add another layer of flavor as well as a hint of sweetness.
  • Garnish: There are no rules when it comes to garnishing the planter's punch. Choose whatever fruits look good at the market right now and pile them on. From berries to cherries and citrus to tropical fruit, this cocktail is designed to have a variety of fruits and as many as your glass will hold.
  • Add-Ons: Among the many planter's punch recipes out there, you will find additional ingredients. Consider adding 1/2 to 3/4 ounce orange curaçao or another orange liqueur or finish it off with a few dashes of aromatic or orange bitters. You might even add a twist with favorite tiki cocktail ingredients like orgeat syrup (to replace grenadine) or a splash of pimento dram.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 147
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Carbohydrates 13 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 0 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)