Bring a taste of the Caribbean right to your home with a batch of this authentic Barbados rum punch! Made with Barbados dark rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and the right touch of sweetener, this tropical punch recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and you can make a big pitcher for a crowd or individual drinks. You'll feel like you're relaxing on a beautiful beach when sipping on this Bajan rum punch.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Authentic Caribbean rum punch: We traveled to Barbados in February 2022 and fell in love with the rum punch served by our boat crew during a fabulous snorkeling, lunch and cocktail trip with Silver Moon Catamaran Cruises. They were kind enough to share the recipe, and after a little research, I can confirm that this is the authentic Barbados rum punch recipe.
Allows the rum to shine: Some rum punches include multiple kinds of fruit juice, and while they are delicious, those extra sweet flavors tend to mask the nuanced flavor of the rum. This is a rum-forward punch with refreshing citrusy notes and the perfect level of sweetness.
Simple ingredients: We don’t need any fancy syrups or cocktail ingredients. Everything we need is readily available at the liquor store or grocery store.
Perfect for home bartenders of all skill levels: If you can stir, you can make this rum cocktail. Plus, it’s great for making ahead of time for easy entertaining.
Barbados rum: Naturally, we start with a dark rum from Barbados. In Barbados, you’ll find four different rum distilleries: Mount Gay Distilleries, West Indies Rum Distillery, Foursquare Rum Distillery and St. Nicholas Abbey. Plantation Rum, which is widely available in the U.S., also distills rum at the West Indies location.
Lime juice: Please do not use bottled juice – fresh-squeezed lime juice only. We are working with so few ingredients, so quality matters. Bottled juice is much more muted in flavor.
Simple syrup: While store-bought simple syrup is available, I prefer to make my own. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but I think it tastes better and doesn’t contain any weird ingredients.
Just bring 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve, and you have your simple syrup. As long as you store it in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator, it should last for about a month. You’ll know it’s time to make a new batch when the syrup turns cloudy.
Bitters: The classic angostura bitters are standard here. But feel free to add your own favorite variety. I imagine orange bitters or clove bitters would be lovely.
Nutmeg: This favorite Caribbean spice is our garnish, and we add it directly on top of the drink. It adds the perfect touch of spice and fragrance. While garnishes are typically optional, I don’t recommend skipping this for an authentic rum punch.
If you can believe it, making this Bajan rum punch only takes three easy steps. Let’s review.
Step 1: We grab a large pitcher and pour in the Barbados rum, water, lime juice and simple syrup as well as add a few dashes of bitters (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we grab a large spoon and stir together the ingredients like so (photo 2).
Step 3: For our final step, we pour the punch into a glass with plenty of ice and directly grate the nutmeg on top of the drink (photo 3). If you'd like, you're more than welcome to also garnish this drink with pieces of tropical fruit or orange slices, though that's completely optional.
And that’s it! How easy was that? Now you have the most delicious Caribbean rum punch. Sip, close your eyes and pretend you’re living the dream on the beach.
A true Barbados rum punch recipe follows this famous Bajan national rhyme: One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak – a dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice. Here, the sour is the lime juice, the sweet is the simple syrup, the three is the rum and the weak is the water. You’ll notice this recipe also follows those exact proportions for an authentic rum punch.
And you don’t just have to apply this rhyme to this particular recipe. You can follow the proportions to make your own unique punch, such as swapping water for orange juice or substituting the white sugar syrup for a brown sugar syrup.
You do not need to refrigerate rum punch and can serve this punch right away. That said, if you would like to make it ahead of time, you need to refrigerate it.
I like to keep the top of the pitcher covered in plastic wrap and recommend serving within 24 hours. After that point, the lime juice starts to lose its brightness.
Well, I’d argue it’s not truly an authentic Barbados punch if you use a different type of rum. That said, a Jamaican rum will still give you a delicious tropical rum punch, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this delicious drink because you don’t have the right dark rum on hand. But if you can, I highly recommend using a Barbados rum to stay true to the drink’s essence.
Absolutely, simply stir together the ingredients directly in the serving glass, add ice and top with nutmeg. You don’t even need a cocktail shaker. You can find the proportions for a single serving in the notes section of the recipe card.
Ground your own nutmeg: You can purchase ground nutmeg, but freshly grating your own adds way more flavor and fragrance. Simply run a whole nutmeg along a microplane grater or the small holes on a standard cheese grater.
Use a citrus juicer: To get more juice from your limes, firmly roll them on the countertop a few times under the palm of your hand and then use a citrus juicer to extract. A handheld citrus juicer works just fine here – you don’t need anything fancy.
Easily customize your servings: The recipe lists proportions for both a single serving in ounces and an eight-serving pitcher in cups. Single cocktails are measured in ounces, but it’s much easier to use cups for batching drinks. If you need to customize the proportions for another serving size, we can easily apply the following formula to the individual proportions.
Take the number of ounces of each ingredient and multiple it by the number of servings. Then, divide it by eight to get the cup measurement.
Naturally, we need some good island food with this Caribbean rum punch, so let’s enjoy some of my jerk chicken and jerk pork. Yes, I realize jerk marinade is from Jamaica rather than Barbados, but those spices work so well with the molasses of the dark rum. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy some jerk chicken when they’re looking for a taste of the Caribbean?
You could also try my jerk chicken enchiladas and jerk pork nachos for something a little different. And don’t forget to serve it with some of my mango-habanero salsa or tropical pico de gallo on the side.
Treat you and your guests to a refreshing, beachy cocktail with this authentic Barbados rum punch. It’s sure to be everyone’s new favorite summer party cocktail.
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Barbados Rum Punch (Bajan)
- Large pitcher
- Large spoon
- Citrus juicer
- Microplane grater
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups Barbados dark rum
- 1 cup simple syrup preferably homemade
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 8 dashes bitters
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- In a large pitcher, add the water, rum, simple syrup, lime juice and bitters.
- With a large spoon, stir together the ingredients until well combined.
- Pour the punch into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with grated nutmeg right on top of the drink. Enjoy!
- For a single serving, use 2 ounces water, 1.5 ounces Barbados dark rum, 1 ounce simple syrup, 0.5 ounce lime juice and a dash of bitters. Stir directly in the serving glass, add ice and top with nutmeg.
- To customize your servings, use the measurements of the single serving and take the number of ounces of each ingredient and multiple it by the number of servings. Then, divide it by eight to get the cup measurement.
- Make up to a day in advance and store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top.
- To make your own simple syrup, boil 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar, stirring to dissolve.
- This is an authentic recipe from Silver Moon Catamaran Cruises in Barbados.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.