Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jasper's Rum Punch

I've got a couple posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving post, but in the meantime, here are a few words about a drink I enjoyed the day after Thanksgiving.

Jasper's Rum Punch
There ain't no Coca Cola in that glass.

In July I purchased a bottle of Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, and used it for making stronger-than-usual Hemingway Daiquiris on the 4th. Since then, however, it's just been sitting on my bar. Given its high alcohol content, Wray & Nephew is often used in combination with other rums in relatively complex tiki drinks, and I hadn't found any recipes that convinced me to buy the necessary ingredients.

While enjoying a cocktail or two at Comstock Saloon last week, my friend behind the bar passed over a copy of Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. We started flipping through and I came across "Jasper's Rum Punch," a drink made with equal parts Wray & Nephew and something called "Jasper's secret mix."

The secret mix, detailed at the top of the page, consists of the following, stirred together and bottled:

  • juice of 12 limes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 ounces Angostura Bitters
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated

With the exception of the 12 limes (I needed a few more), I had all those things at home! And if you're reading this blog you're probably familiar with my affection for Angostura. This had to be done.

So, on the day after Thanksgiving, I juiced 12 limes and avoided grating my knuckles along with the nutmeg, and combined those with the sugar and bitters, and then stuck it in the fridge. A few hours later, I combined 1.5 ounces each of the mix and Wray & Nephew in a glass with cracked ice.

Jasper's Rum Punch is really delicious. You really can't go wrong with Angostura and freshly grated nutmeg, and the spices make it both island-y and appropriate for the holidays. I'd be interested to try it with turbinado sugar, but regular white sugar was perfectly good.

A word to the wise: the ice really is necessary. At 126 proof, this rum really packs a punch, and while the flavors are pretty balanced, this drink does have the power to knock you off your feet. Enough ice crushed so that it will melt sooner than later may allow you to retain your dignity.