Boat Food: Andante’s Walking Pace Rum Punch

Like everything aboard its a work in progress. But its joyful work.

Not too sweet, not too strong: Andante’s Walking Pace Rum Punch, version 2022.

There are endless varieties of rum punch throughout the Caribbean. I’m happy to have sampled quite a few from Ti Punch in Martinique and French Guiana, to the Caipirinha in Brazil, to Pusser’s Painkiller in the BVIs to local mixtures in Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and elsewhere. I suppose rum punch is to the Atlantic what the Mai Tai is to the Pacific. But the best rum punches are anything but syrupy sweet like many of Mai Tais I’ve enjoyed.

Over the last several weeks I’ve worked on developing a rum punch that is not cloyingly sweet, not crazily alcoholic (some recipes add vodka for no reason other than to boost the alcohol content. Eew.) and complex enough that you want to enjoy it slowly and not down it like Gatorade. I think I’ve reached a happy place with a nice balance of sweet, bitter, and spicy notes and just enough kick to take the edge off after a stressful day of relaxing.

Tastes vary. I take zero responsibility for yours. But I suggest the following as a starting point for your own exploration. Here then follows the basic recipe for Andante’s Walking Pace Rum Punch.

Dark Rum1/4 cup
Coconut Rum1/8 cup
Campari1/8 cup
Pineapple Juice1/4 cup
Orange Juice1/4 cup
Cranberry Juice1/4 cup

Shake all ingredients with some ice. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg (optional, but definitely recommended) This makes approximately 2 drinks depending on the size of your glass and the amount of ice involved. The recipe is easy to scale up should you have friends aboard. I don’t, so this serves one.

Note the measurements provided are in cups rather than ounces as is traditional for cocktail recipes. I don’t have a cocktail jigger aboard so I’ve been using a 1/4 cup (2 oz) measuring cup for my experiments. You’ll have to eyeball the 1/8 cup measurements – or just double the recipe and plan to sleep in tomorrow.

Things you’ll need. Specific brands don’t matter much so use what you have. I prefer Goslings but other dark or golden rums should be fine. If you don’t have Campari then Aperol might be a substitute. But really? The coconut rum and canned juices are what was available locally in the Bahamas — fresh squeezed juices would probably be wonderful. And if you have a fresh nutmeg to grate over the top that would definitely beat the flavor of stuff in a jar.

Enjoy responsibly. And preferably while afloat somewhere warm…

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