Exactly 100 years ago today the New York Times published the following poetic recipe that is based on rhymes that are repeated by rote in the Caribbean:
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.
Depending on where you are in the Caribbean, similar poetic recipes can be found for Planter’s Punch, Bajan Rum Punch, or Caribbean Rum Punch. The differences between them are minor variations in the ratios of lime juice to the other ingredients.
Decoding the rhyme, the “sour” is lime or lemon juice, the “sweet” is some form of citrus juice – usually pineapple or orange juice. The “strong” is, of course, rum. And the “weak” is water.
Today, we don’t usually water down our liquor because it is no longer sold at barrel strength the way it was 100 years ago. Plus, the crushed ice dilutes the drink naturally.
So, to modernize the recipe a bit, here’s how I make mine:
- 1 ½ oz Light Rum
- 1 ½ oz Dark Rum
- 3 oz Orange Juice (or substitute Pineapple Juice)
- 1/2 to 1 oz Lime Juice (depending on taste)
- 1 cup crushed ice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Then pour into a Collins glass and garnish with fruit slices.
Of course, you can always scale this recipe up to a “punch” and make a whole pitcher of it.