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If you only know one thing about me, know that I love to sip tropical rum drinks at sunset on the beach. Preferably at the end of a hot day in Costa Rica. Any beach, any tropical rum drink; any sunset. It’s my happy place.
But living in landlocked Colorado, I don’t get to my happy place as often as I would like. (Although I have seen some rather epic sunsets in Costa Rica, and I’d love to tell you all about them!)
Solution? Bring beach vibes to Casa Pura Vida via my favorite of all the tropical rum drinks- RUM PUNCH.
In this post, I’ll give you a little overview of the history of rum punch (’cause I’m nerdy like that) and share with you the perfect delicious rum punch recipe for one or a crowd!
Warning- this classic drink is a huge hit at parties so make sure to prepare a large container of punch for your next party. An Uber on speed dial isn’t a bad idea either.
Tropical Rum Drinks – A Little History
So I really love to dance Zumba and SocaFit, and many of my classmates and teachers are from the Caribbean islands.
At every party we have, everyone brings their favorite tropical rum drinks. And there are thousands of tropical rum drinks. When I decided to concoct my own, I wanted a traditional rum punch with simple ingredients so I could make it in a glass or a pitcher easily. Also- I wanted to know more about the history of rum punch.
When the English were sailing around the world being jerks as part of the British East India Company, they drank a lot of beer on the ships.
Like 11 pints a day per person. And, they were on the ships for a long time.
Towards the end of their trips, the beer was rancid and flat. On the return home, they needed a new alcoholic beverage to drink- so they used what they found at their destination.
In the East Indies and the Caribbean, those ingredients were rum, fruit, and spices. A mix was made for the journey home, and rum punch was born.
Today rum drinks are a popular part of mainstream culture throughout the Caribbean islands, and there are as many rum punch recipes as there are families. I think some of the most famous tropical rum drinks are the Jamaican ones, and I love this Jamaican rum punch recipe.
Best Tropical Rum Drinks Supplies
These are the things I have on hand in my kitchen to make the most delicious and beautiful cocktails:
These paper straws are so colorful and easy to compost or biodegrade- these are my current favorite with flamingos, pineapple and palm tree designs on them.
I like to have a cocktail in a whiskey glass, and these heavy-base cocktail glasses are perfect.
Large Drink Pitcher
I think making individual drinks is a pain so I usually make a pitcher (no ice) and then serve from there. I love this fun pitcher for rum punch- it makes the drink look beautiful.
Ice Cube Tray
Fun ice cubes are the best, and this ice cube tray is a favorite of mine! And for this recipe, you could even make red ice cubes and then let the drink change colors as the cubes melt.
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Easy Caribbean Rum Punch Recipe
(Printable recipe below with measurements)
(adjust quantities for single serve or pitcher, see below)
- orange juice
- pineapple juice
- resh-squeezed lime juice
- white rum
- grenadine (for color)
- ice cubes
- Pineapple for garnish
Measure ingredients either into a favorite cocktail shaker or a large pitcher. Stir and add the desired amount of ice. Garnish with a pineapple slice on the rim, orange slices, a slice of lime, a fun paper straw, or a fun wood stir stick.
There are two schools of thought on the best way to make tropical rum drinks. One is to use only fresh juices with natural flavors.
If you have the time and the right equipment (ie my favorite juice machine) it is definitely a cheaper way to go since you can just buy the fruit.
Just use about a quarter of a fresh pineapple and one orange for two drinks.
If you make your own juices, (try this homemade pineapple juice recipe that doesn’t use a juicer!) you can also use a low or no-calorie sweetener like Stevia to really cut down on the calorie count.
You can easily substitute dark rum here instead of light or clear.
You could do some cranberry juice in place of the grenadine to give a little bit more of a tart flavor. Some people add Angostura bitters for a bit of tart flavor and a darker color.
Some people use pomegranate juice in place of grenadine to cut down on artificial sugars. The color is the same, so that can be a good choice.
Want a non-alcoholic tropical punch, or want to make a version of this for the kids at the party?
Just substitute water for the rum. This works to make any rum punch recipe you find into a virgin rum punch drink!
Something fun to try (I haven’t tried it yet) would be to try coconut rum in place of regular rum. You could also float the maraschino cherries in a big bowl of the bunch (virgin or no) to serve at a bigger party. It would be fun to try different flavors of rum in here- a spiced rum might even be a fun treat!
If I’m just chilling out, then I usually just sip some tropical rum punch while listening to Bob Marley on the porch. Serve with a friend too! Whatever way you serve it, I hope you enjoy the cocktail and are having fun or relaxing while you sip it.
Is rum punch Costa Rican?
In a word- no. We do drink some rum drinks, although we use more our local liquor which is Cacique. We do have a national rum called Ron Centenario, which I love, but you can’t get it in the United States.
As for fruit punch, well, during Costa Rican Christmas, we drink a rum punch that milk based, called rompope. rum punch, while popular at most Costa Rican beach bars, is not really a traditional Costa Rican recipe.
What type of rum should I use?
As a person who loves rum, this question is always so tough for me! There are so many types of delicious rum varieties. I chose a clear rum for this particular drink because I didn’t want the rum punch to be dark. I feel like the presentation is half the fun of a tropical rum punch drink.
- For a single cocktail:
- 1.5 ounces orange juice
- 1.5 ounces pineapple juice
- 1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2- 3 oz Bacardi Superior depends on how strong you like it!
- Grenadine for color I used about a tablespoon
- ice pineapple for garnish optional
- For a pitcher:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup lime juice preferably fresh squeezed
- 1.5 to 2 cups Bacardi Superiorgrenadine for color I used about 1/4 cup
- pineapple for garnish optional
Gather ingredients and mix together with a cocktail stirrer or large spoon if making a pitcher. Serve on ice- garnish with fresh pineapple or maraschino cherries to make the drink more beautiful!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1014Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 128gFiber: 5gSugar: 85gProtein: 5g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.
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Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!