bonus shot: rum punch

Every time I mention rum punch, I always get requests for the recipe. And while I've posted this recipe online in the past, in light of the fact that New Year's Eve approaches, I thought I'd repost it again, so that your year-end party becomes really something special. Be forewarned: even though it tasts like just a refreshingly harmless little beverage, this drink is 50% rum -- so you might want to have the number of a local cab company nearby!  Also, for clarification's sake, that this is TRINIDADIAN rum punch -- this is not the fruit-punch-and-rum-with-a-paper-umbrella mixture you probably got during your last vacation to a tropical resort. This is the Real Deal.

Here's the catch, however: because I learned this by watching my father make it, there are some parts where I don't exactly measure -- I know that I've gotten it right just by looking. I'll try to describe it to the best of my ability, but it may take some trial-and-error on your part to get it just right.

Okay, so to the recipe:

The cool thing is that recipe itself is surprisingly easy, and can be remembered by memorizing a little poem:

One of Sour, Two of Sweet. Three of Strong, Four of Weak.

Translated, this means:

One part "sour," which means freshly squeezed lime juice (do NOT use bottled lime juice -- only fresh lime juice will do!);
Two parts "sweet," which refers to a simple syrup (sugar + water);
Three parts "strong" -- rum (only golden rum, NOT white rum);
Four parts "weak" -- served over ice.

Get it?

Okay, to break it down into recipe form: the following would be how you'd make a gallon of Trinidadian rum punch:

1. Squeeze enough limes to make 2 cups fresh lime juice. Pour into a gallon container.

2. Pour 4 cups of water into a large pot, and heat to boiling. Once boiling, reduce to simmer, and START POURING SUGAR INTO THE POT LIKE A MADPERSON. Seriously, just keep pouring and stirring until the sugar dissolves, and keep doing this until the sugar-water mixture is the consistency of, say, cooking oil. You're going to go through almost an entire pound of sugar, and worry about your dental health. Trust me, you haven't made a mistake.

Once the sugar-water mixture is cool, add to the gallon container.

3. Pour 6 cups of golden rum into the gallon container. When in Trinidad, I use Fernandes Black Label rum; however, since it's difficult to get Trini rum in the States, Bacardi Gold will do. Do NOT use white rum -- it just doesn't taste right. It has to be gold.

Stir, and pour over ice. Add a dash of Angostura Bitters (available at most liquor stores), and a dash of grated nutmeg to your glass.