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How the Planters Punch Cocktail Got Its Name

Planter's Punch Cocktail

The Planter's Punch drink is one of the most-forgotten cocktails worldwide. The cocktail initially originated in Jamaica, a rum-producing country. The Planter's Punch was considered a favorite cocktail in the late 1800s, mainly due to Jamaica's Myers's rum, which was only used when making the cocktail. The Planter's Punch gained popularity in Northern America in the 1960s and later became a famous cocktail all across the globe in 2000, where it began being included in cocktail recipe books. The original Planter's Punch recipe is a mixture of citrus, spice bitters, and rum. There are some variations of the recipe that include fruit slices for a much stronger fruity taste. Read on to learn more about the Planter's Punch cocktail.

Who Created the Planters Punch Cocktail?

According to Wikipedia, there are very few stories that try to explain the origin of the Planter's Punch cocktail. For example, the cocktail is linked to the Charleston area in South Carolina after a city was named after Charles I, who later dedicated the area to plantation farmers and their families. It is believed that the Planter's Punch was created by one of the Jamaican worker's wives, who wanted to make a drink that would quench the thirst of the plantation farmers. Other people associate the origin of this delicious cocktail with the Planter's Hotel in St. Louis, which back then was a well-known antebellum structure. The hotel was established in 1809 when Calder converted the old Dock Street Theater into a hotel. The hotel then became a favorite stop for the rice planters when they visited the city during winter. Moreover, it is also believed that the cocktail originated from Jamaica, with an 1878 London magazine publishing the cocktail's recipe naming it the "West Indian Recipe."

Regardless of the cocktail's origin, the Planter's Punch continues to remain a popular drink worldwide. The original recipe of the drink suggests the use of the unique Myers rum that was specifically to be used in the cocktail. The Planter's Punch cocktail was very fashionable as its original recipes are easy to make, and it has a designated rum when making the cocktail. During Prohibition, when the ingredient ratios were significantly varied, the Planter's Punch recipe was relatively consistent and continued to be a Jamaican special drink. In the late 1940s, some variations were made to the original Planter's Punch recipe, including sliced fruit like pineapples and oranges as a garnish or placed in the drink. Unfortunately, the popularity of the Planter's Punch cocktail diminished on the brink of World War II, but you can still find the cocktail on several cocktail menus around town.

What ingredients are used in the Planter's Punch cocktail?

According to Makemeacocktail, below are some of the essential ingredients used in the Planter's Punch cocktail:

  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters- Angostura Bitters are highly-concentrated bitters that are used to add a rich bitter flavor to the cocktail. They contain 12 calories per 2 dashes and 0.5 percent alcohol by volume.
  • 20ml Fresh Lime Juice- It is often advisable to opt for freshly squeezed lime juice when making your Planter's Punch cocktails. This helps add to the citrus and sour flavor of the drink. Moreover, fresh lime juice does not contain any alcohol content.
  • 10ml Sugar Syrup- Sugar syrup is usually half part water and the other half sugar. It does not contain any alcohol content but has 34 calories.
  • 35ml Pineapple Juice- Pineapple juice freshly squeezed adds to the fruity flavor of the drink. It contains 56 calories with no alcohol content.
  • 45 Dark Rum- Dark Rum is the base ingredient of the Planter's Punch cocktail, attained from fermented sugarcane molasses. It constitutes 40% volume of alcohol and 97 calories. The best dark rum for this cocktail is the Myers' rum, which has an earthy, peppery, and sweet taste.
  • 15ml Orange Juice- Freshly squeezed orange juice helps add a unique fruity and citrus flavor to the cocktail. It does not have any alcohol content but contains 14 calories.
  • 10ml Grenadine- Grenadine is a concentrated syrup used for sweetening the cocktail. It contains about 3% alcohol by volume and 27 calories.

How to Make a Perfect Planter's Punch?

Preparing a Planters Punch cocktail is very easy. The following are simple steps to make a perfect Planter's Punch cocktail:

1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker and shake thoroughly

Pour the 45ml dark rum, 10ml grenadine syrup, 15ml orange juice, two dashes of Angostura bitters, 35ml pineapple juice, 10ml sugar syrup, and 20ml fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Close and shake the contents in the shaker until it is mixed thoroughly. This ensures a balanced taste in the cocktail.

2. Strain the ingredients into a hurricane glass or highball filled with cubed ice

Strain the shaker's contents in a hurricane or highball glass filled with ice. Straining is a really important step as it prevents unwanted substances from mixing with your cocktail.

3. Garnish with a sprig of mint

For garnishing, consider using a mint sprig and place it on top of the cocktail. Make sure the mint sprig remains afloat on top for a good visual appearance.

What are the different variations of Planter's Punch cocktail?

According to Chilledmagazine, there are numerous variations made to the recipe of the classic Planter's Punch cocktail. This has also led to new names for the cocktail, including the Bahama Mama, Planter's cocktail, and Jamaican Rum Punch. The procedure used in making the Planter's Punch cocktail variations still remains the same as the original version. However, some of the ingredients have been substituted with other options. For example, instead of using Angostura bitters, bartenders opt to add dark rum and vodka together. The freshly squeezed lime juice can also be replaced with any of your preferred fruit juice, such as orange, passion, or pineapple juice. There are some creative options introduced when garnishing the Planter's Punch cocktail; instead of the classic mint sprig, you can consider using your favorite fruit slices.

Final Words

The Planter's Punch cocktail is more than just a single recipe made from the simplest ingredients such as; lime, water, rum, sugar, and perhaps bitters or tea. Are you a fan of fruity cocktails, then you should try the Planter's Punch cocktail.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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