Thursday, October 11, 2007

Want a Hawaiian Punch?

I'm going to steal a bit of Loki's thunder and tell you about a fascinating punch he served recently.....

Trader Vic's Tahitian Rum Punch

  • 2 pounds brown Sugar
  • 5 Dozen Oranges
  • 4 Dozen Lemons
  • 10 Bananas
  • 3 Grapefruit
  • 2 Sprigs Mint
  • 10 Bottles of White Wine
  • 6 Bottles of White Rum
  • 1 Bottle of Jamaican Rum

    Squeeze the fruit and slice the bananas and put everything except the rum in a very large crock. Everything, rinds and all, put it all in there. Let this stand overnight. On the next day, add your rum. Strain off and discard the fruit pulp and rinds and pour your punch into a large bowl (or small barrel) with plenty of ice. Add a ladle and some glassware and you are done.

    This is from Trader Vic's 1946 Book of Food & Drink. And, yes, that is TEN bottles of white wine and SIX bottles of rum, well seven bottles of rum total. The rums were originally called as Boca Chica or Brugal for the white rum and Red Heart or Myers' for the Jamaican. I think Loki used Cruzan and Meyer's because they were both readily available.

    On a side note, here in Florida you would think that we would have access to just about every rum known to man seeing as most of it has to cross our path from the Islands to you. Sadly, our liquor stores have a generally sad collection of rums. Unless, of course, you want something from Barcardi, then they have many cases of the stuff on the shelf.

    Back to the punch....

    This makes the most scary looking vat of stuff you have ever seen. Click on the photo and take a look at the other shots, you'll see what I mean. However, when this gets poured off into the serving bowl, the crowd goes wild. The total volume of this when done is just about five gallons, and I was pouring gallon three into the bowl after only about two hours of party.

    The most common question I heard was "Wow! This is good!" Then they would scrunch up their face and try to figure out what 'that' taste was.... that odd bit of something you weren't expecting from a rum punch. (psst.... its the wine!) Then, they would very quickly go back for more.

    To make a long story short (too late...) this is an excellent punch and is worth the effort. It makes a large quantity and can be made the day before your party freeing you up to other party planning duties. It doesn't have too many ingredients making it easy to mix up and eliminates the "what's that" when explaining to your guests what is in their cup. Everything a good punch should be.

    And, if you take the time to fish out the bananas, they are preserved quite nicely and make a fabulous desert if you drizzle a bit of dark rum over them.


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