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Cocktail Crafty



The 5 Rules of Punch

A sample of Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum was provided for this post.

Invented in the 17th century by sailors for the British East India Company, the word punch is derived from the Sanskrit word “panch,” meaning “five.” A traditional punch is made with just five ingredients - alcohol, water, sugar, citrus, and spice. Nowadays, when you think of punch you probably think fruity and sweet. But there's more to punch than fruit juice and sugar. We're taking a look at the 5 rules to making a proper punch.

The 5 Rules of Punch

  1. Always use fresh fruits! Put down that can and start chopping. Fresh fruits provide brighter flavor and delicious all-natural sugars.
  2. Too much dilution can kill even the best recipe. When serving punch, use larger blocks of ice. If using a punch bowl to serve, try freezing your ice in a large Tupperware container with fruits. Once frozen, add the ice to punch bowl and top with your punch. 
  3. Punch is best served chilled. Chill your punch at least 4 to 6 hours (without ice) before serving. 
  4. Get creative. Experiment with different spirits and fruits. Try adding spices - like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - or teas to your punch. Have fun with it!
  5. Share with friends. The beauty of punch is that it's communal. It's meant to be shared and enjoyed by many. 

I decided to get a little crafty with my own punch recipe. I incorporated tea by infusing white tea in dry vermouth. To add citrus, I made an oleo saccharum in lieu of using traditional juice. The combination created a refreshing punch bursting with citrus flavor.  For my spirit, I used Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum. Because this rum has a touch of sweetness, I held back on the amount of syrup I used in my punch.

Oleo-Saccharum - Oleo means oil, saccharum means sugar. Add the peels of citrus to sugar until the citrus oils emerge creating an oily syrup.

Orange-Lime Oleo-Saccharum

1/2 cup white sugar

4 limes

4 oranges


Remove zest of limes and oranges, careful to avoid the white pith.

In an airtight container, muddle peels with sugar.

Allow to sit for 24 hours. 

Strain oil into an airtight container.

Press peels to release more oil before discarding.


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1 Part Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum

3/4 part White Tea infused Dry Vermouth

1/4 part Orange-Lime Oleo Saccharum


To make tea-infused vermouth, soak 2 tea bags for every 6 ounces of dry vermouth overnight. Strain through a wire mesh strainer to remove any tea particles.

Large batch: Combine ingredients and allow to chill. Add to pitcher or bowl and stir with ice.

Single Serving: Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.