The History Of The Planter’s Punch.
The truth is, no one alive knows the origins of this cocktail, and every best guess of its origin is just the best guess. The issue I have struggled with (and I’m sure many other drink writers have, too) is hoping to find that one true origin story. There are two common origins to the Planter’s Punch that get tossed around:
- Mid 1800s Jamaica.
- The Old Planter’s Hotel in Charleston, SC.
Had I been asked ten years ago, I would have pushed the hotel idea; then, I pivoted to the Jamaica one. Now I kinda say to hell with it; there seems to be a planter’s punch for every island in the Caribbean, with neither more “authentic” than the other. But the different significant versions are worth exploring. After much reading, I have concluded that every place that had a plantation probably had a version of the planter’s punch.
Bar La Florida’s 1933 Planter’s Punch Recipe.
The Cuban versions are the first recipes I can find where grenadine is used, and it more closely resembles the Planter’s punch most people think of. Also, both Bar La Florida and Sloppy Joes have the same ingredients, but the recipe’s proportions vary a bit so I would consider this type the overall Cuban version of the planter’s punch. Bar La Florida’s seems a bit sweeter, and that’s the one I’m printing here.
- 1/2 oz (15 mLs) Lemon Juice
- 1 Barspoon (5 mLs) Orange Liqueur
- 1 Barspoon (5 mLs) Grenadine
- 2 oz (60 mLs) Gold Rum
Why Are There So Many Planter’s Punch Recipes?
I include all these because they are all delicious, and one is not more authentic than the others. The oldest known recipe may be the Fun magazine recipe, but there is no certainty that it is even the original. There are more versions of this cocktail than I have included here, and they are all different and good. So don’t let anyone tell you your recipe is wrong because there is no right way to make the drink.