Herbal Summer Cocktails: Jamaican Rum Punch with Bitters

| August/September 2006

Makes 6 to 8 drinks
When I visited Jamaica many years ago, I stayed at a memorable place called Scotch on the Rocks. The cook’s husband, Rupert, took care of the garden and made a batch of this rum punch every day. He told me that using the bitters would prevent a hangover. So far it has worked.

Using Wray & Nephew 126 Overproof Rum gives this drink an inimitable special flavor. You can substitute any other overproof rum or a good-quality dark rum. If you are new to bitters, perhaps you should use about half the amount called for. Leave out the rum for a nonalcoholic version. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days — so make a whole pitcher while you are at it.

  • 2½ cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2½ cups fresh limeade
  • 1¼ cups 126 overproof rum
  • ¼ cup grenadine
  • Handful lemon verbena leaves
  • 20 to 24 shakes Angostura bitters
  • 6 to 8 halved lime slices
  • Ice cubes
  • Soda water, optional
  1. In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, limeade, rum and grenadine and stir well. Add lemon verbena, bruising leaves against the side of the pitcher with a wooden spoon. Shake in bitters, to taste. Refrigerate punch until ready to serve.
  2. To serve, fill glasses with ice, pour in rum punch and garnish with a slice of lime. Add a splash of soda water to each glass, if desired, and stir. Serve immediately and think of the sun setting over the Caribbean. 

Susan Belsinger is a frequent contributor who loves to sip herbal cocktails in her Maryland home.

Click here for the original article, Herbal Summer Cocktails. 

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