The ultimate Caribbean rum punch recipe

28.9.22 | Recipe by Renz

A refreshingly easy-to-make Caribbean rum punch recipe. This recipe is quick and can easily transport you to an island as you sit and relax.

A glass filled with delicious Caribbean rum punch, garnished with umbrellas and citrus slices on a white background, with a bottle of rum punch in the background.

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Rum punch is what I think a lot of people identify with as "Caribbean". It's a tropical cocktail that you are sure to find if you go on vacation somewhere with warm weather and sand and sea.

Each island has its own variation of this fruity cocktail. From Jamaica rum punch to Barbados, Puerto Rico to St. Lucia. But they basically are made up of the same ingredients: fruit juice, rum, and a few spices.

Garnish it with cherries and fruit slices and you have the perfect cocktail.

This rum punch cocktail recipe is a classic drink that is easy and refreshing. And the perfect libation to make.

A little rum punch and a bowl of geera chicken neck is a Caribbean beachside combination.



What does rum punch taste like?

This is a drink that is a mix of tropical flavors.

It's a citrusy drink that is sweet with a little hint of acidity from the lime juice. Then add in your rum and you have a delicious adult punch.

What are the ingredients in a Caribbean rum punch?

A rum punch is basically a fruit punch of citrus juices with rum. The addition of alcohol to the fresh juices makes this classic cocktail the perfect adult tropical drink.

Ingredients used for making Caribbean rum punch.

As much as I like to push fresh juice for most recipes, this is one recipe that I prefer to use canned or bottled juice for the juice part of this recipe.

  • So for the pineapple juice or orange juice, you can buy premade in the store. I prefer to not use fresh pineapple juice (or any of the juices in fact) so that the drink lasts longer.
  • Simple syrup - this helps to blend the sweetener better into the other liquids. A lot of times I have simple syrup already created cause I use it for other drinks.
  • Fresh lime juice - this lime juice I would prefer to squeeze my lime and get juice, I am yet to get a premade lime juice that gives that fresh tart taste that is needed for this recipe to combat the simple syrup and the juice.
  • Angostura bitters - you can use the original or the orange.
  • Rum - I prefer to use white rum for this recipe. Bacardi Superior rum, Wray and nephew, or even Puncheon rum are good options.
  • Nutmeg - please get fresh nutmeg and grate it. The nutmeg powder is way too strong for this drink.
  • Fruit slices for garnish - you can use oranges, grapefruits, and lime slices.


Punch bowl

How to make rum punch

First, we need to make simple syrup. This can be made ahead of time too if needs be. We do need it to be cooled down prior to making the drink.

So combine the brown sugar and the water in a saucepan. Have it on medium heat, and let it simmer. Stir to combine and then we want to cook it till the sugar dissolves. This should take you about 5 minutes.

Two images showing the making of simple syrup from with the sugar dissolving in the water.

We don't want it to dissolve and then start to reduce. So as soon as all the sugar is gone, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Now in a large jug or bowl, add the freshly squeezed lime juice. Then add your orange juice, the sugar syrup, and the rum and combine.

Step by step combination of the simple syrup, rum and citrus juices to make the rum punch.

Dash of Angostura bitters and grated nutmeg to the mix.

Leave to chill in the fridge so that the flavors can continue to combine as it sits.

When it's time to serve, pour some rum punch over a glass with ice and garnish with some orange slices and grated nutmeg and cherries.

A simple glass of rum punch over ice.

Other juices you can use in a rum punch

Though we typically go for pineapple juice and orange juice to make rum punches, you can try some other flavors for a different tropical flavor:

  • Grapefruit juice - will give it a nice hint of tartness.
  • Pomegranate juice.
  • Hawaiian punch - you can use this instead of all the juices.
  • Cranberry juice.

Pouring some rum into a glass adorned with garnishes.

Ideas to garnish your glasses

Garnishes for drinks can vary from edible things to nonedible. Here are some good options.

  • Fresh fruit slices - thinly slice some citrus like oranges, limes, and grapefruits. You can add them to the glass sides before pouring or add them to the rim after pouring.
  • Fresh pineapple chunks.
  • Cherries.
  • Mint leaves.
  • Straw toppers.
  • Paper umbrellas.
  • Fun paper straws

Other kinds of rums I can use in rum punch

Though I prefer a white rum alone in a rum punch, please know they are numerous other types of rum variations you can use. Some include a mix of white and dark rums, or even just using dark only.

Here are some other rum options:

  1. Spiced rum - if you switch out to a spiced rum, apple juice would be a great option to include as it brings out the flavor of the spice.
  2. Coconut rum.
  3. Bacardi gold.
  4. Or you can even replace the rum with vodka or some prosecco.

How long does rum punch last

Not that we have leftovers most times with this punch but sometimes you do need to store some.

How long it will last depends on the type of juice you used to make it.

Using fresh fruit juice will cut down the use time since those juices will spoil faster. I would give this type 4 days tops in the fridge easily. And you can extend it a little by a few days, but do a smell check of the punch to see if the juice has started to sour.

If canned juices were used, rum punch can be good for up to a week/week and a half in the fridge before the freshness starts to deteriorate.

A good point for helping this last longer also is not to add garnishes (fresh fruit slices or cherries) to the punch to store it. Either remove garnishes when going to store it, or when serving have people just garnish a single glass at a time.

Also, store your leftovers in a bottle that seals tightly. A lot of times I just reuse my rum bottle to store any drink I used it to make. I do the same with my ponche de creme for storage.

Two full glasses of Caribbean rum punch with slices and umbrellas over some ice.

What food goes with rum punch

When I'm having a Caribbean rum punch I want something light, and probably spicy too. Oh, and most times fried.

So give me some fried-up conch fritters, saltfish accra, or wings of some sort like sorrel wings or jerk chicken wings.

Or spicy jerk shrimp or curry chickpeas.

Two glasses of rum punch with umbrellas and citrus slices.


You can add a little grenadine to the mix to give it some extra flavor. A few tablespoons of grenadine syrup should work.

If you want to make this a large batch, rum punch is the easiest thing to double or triple. This can be served in a large punch bowl.

If you don't have lime juice, lemon juice is a good substitute.

You can use a combination of juices just make sure it equals the amount of juice needed.

Some people like to add some seltzer to their drink to give it some bubbles.

Add some fresh ginger to the mix. Wash and clean the ginger and slice it thinly. After dissolving the sugar for the simple syrup, add the ginger slices to the combination and let it steep. Leave it to cool, then strain the liquid.

Some people like to add coconut water as one of the liquids, but I prefer to just use coconut water when making my gully wash and stick to fruit juices for rum punch.

Try out some other rum cocktail recipes:

Or delicious recipes for rum desserts:


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