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What is Planter's Punch?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Planter's punch is a type of punch which includes rum as a central ingredient. This rum-based punch is a popular offering at various social occasions, and it may include a wide range of ingredients in addition to the rum. The first mention of planter's punch in print, incidentally, was in the New York Times, when a recipe for the punch ran in the form of a witty poem in 1908. The name of this style pf punch is presumably derived from the Hawaiian and Caribbean planters who provided most of the base ingredients.

Rum has traditionally been made from fermented and distilled sugarcane or molasses. It is a classic tropical liquor which is produced today by many Caribbean nations. The naturally slightly sweet flavor of rum is paired with ingredients like lime or lemon juice, grenadine, bitters, fruit juices, and water or soda in planter's punch. Sugar syrup is also added to the drink to make it more palatable. Like many alcoholic punches, planter's punch packs a hidden wallop of alcohol behind the sweet, fruity flavor; guests at parties where punch is served should be careful about how much they consume.

The most traditional fruit juice used to make planter's punch is pineapple juice, a common mixer juice for drinks. Papaya or mango juice could potentially be used as well. The grenadine in planter's punch adds a distinctive flavor and a reddish color; traditionally, grenadine is derived from pomegranates, although many modern producers use artificial flavoring because it is much less expensive. The use of soda can make planter's punch more effervescent.

Some cooks include ice in planter's punch to keep it cool while it is served. One can also float fruit such as chopped pineapple on the punch, although some consumers find chunks of fruit irritating and difficult to handle. For a twist on a fresh fruit garnish, you might want to try soaking pineapple in rum and flaming it to caramelize the fruit, bringing out the natural sugars. Candied fruits like cherries and citron can also be served with planter's punch.

Like other punches, planter's punch is designed to be served in a punch bowl, a large open bowl which is paired with a ladle so that consumers can serve themselves. For hosts who are concerned about alcohol consumption, someone can be stationed by the punch bowl to measure out servings and keep an eye on general inebriation levels. This person can also refresh the punch as needed.

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