Best rums for a rum punch

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Earl Elliott avatar image
Earl Elliott 🇨🇦 | 236 ratings Author Posted 26 Mar '21

7 years ago I stopped drinking rum and coke in order to lose some weight.  Now I can't drink any sweetened colas or sodas and enjoy my rum neat. I can handle a rum punch if there's lots of ice. In the past I have made up a rum punch for parties and I have used Appleton's 12 and Pussers Blue label as the 2 rums in the mix. It's time to stock up on rum for Rum punch.   Here's the question of the day.....what do you think are the best rums to use in a Rum punch?  
Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 473 ratings Replied 26 Mar '21

Earl:  To understand rum punches is to go back to the colonial days and figure out why rum punches were created in the first place. Back then, rum was horrible, so rum punches were used to disguise the taste of the rum. Jump forward to Prohibition in the USA around 1920 and New Orleans had no idea what to do with all of the rum being smuggled into port. So they added a concoction of fruit juices to disguise low grade rums. Thus, this is how the world famous Hurricane rum punch from Pat O' Briens was born. Each of those large drinks in a hurricane glass (from the old kerosene lamps used after hurricanes) comes with four ounces of rum, with half white and half gold mixer. In other words, the cheap stuff.  I only made one batch of rum punch myself, and I got the recipe from Beach Bum Berry's Potions Of The Caribbean. This is the ONLY way to use that "vile" Wray & Nephew Overproof by including it in Jasper's Rum Punch, which has lots of ingredients to disguise the rum.  So, the main school of thought in making rum punch is to use a rum with really no taste at all and let the fruit juices shine. For this I recommend Don Q Cristal. On the other end of the spectrum would be the best spiced rums like Chairman's Spiced, Lemon Hart Black Pool Spiced, or Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced. No matter what you choose, I would never use a rum that costs more than $30 US. It will be either to disguise the rum or enhance the fruit juices. The sky is the limit.
Stefan Persson avatar image
Stefan Persson (PREMIUM) 🇸🇪 | 526 ratings Replied 26 Mar '21

Rene Rum avatar image
Rene Rum (PREMIUM) 🇨🇭 | 547 ratings Replied 26 Mar '21

Yes, I would go with Stefan and his Jamaican Overproof's. Found something in a rum book: The British brought the punch from India, the Hindu word for five was panch. At this stage in India mixed with Arrack. The five ingrediencies for rum punch: One of sour Two of sweet Three of strong Four of weak Five drops of bitters and nutmeg spice served well chilled with lots of ice
Kamamura 🇨🇿 | 37 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Plantation OFTD, Wray and Nephew OP, Wood's, Pusser's. Lemon Hart, which I absolutely hated neat, made surprisingly good daiquiri style summer lemonade with brown sugar, lime juice and Orange bitters - the astringency of the rum and the limes made perfect counter-punch to the sugar, it was quite delicious in the right ratios.
Earl Elliott avatar image
Earl Elliott 🇨🇦 | 236 ratings Author Replied 30 Mar '21

Kamamura: Excellent choices. I have used the Plantation OFTD and Pusser's. Lemon Hart isn't available where I live but your suggestion of touch of bitters is worth a try.
kudzey 🇵🇱 | 38 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

Paul, thanks for a nice comment and a historic background. Now I realized where punches originate from. My experience shows that Appleton rums (among which 12 yo rare blend shines) are the most suitable for various punches. I also tried some long drinks with Plantation 3 stars and I liked them so it's also a candidate to try out here. Fruit juices are usually sweet and i aim for dry rums with a touch of bitters like Angostura.
Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 473 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

Thanks kudzey! I might want to add this tidbit to this discussion. Tiki drinks are basically sour drinks inspired by the Pacific islands, while tropical drinks are basically sweet drinks from the Caribbean. Being strongly influenced by the Caribbean, I was actually quite surprised to find out that Tiki drinks are sour.