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Planter’s Punch Cocktail Recipe

While Thanksgiving is a fantastic time of year for great food, it’s also a perfect time of year for a killer cocktail.  This is my third year in a row creating a cocktail for Thanksgiving, and I like to think they just keep getting better.  This year I have for you a Planter’s Punch cocktail recipe.  It’s a great daytime drink with fruit juices and a little dark rum.  Perfect for that pre-turkey time of day!

Planter's Punch Cocktail

Fear not, when developing cocktail recipes, I’ve been leaning toward having a light hand with the alcohol.  My cocktails are not intended to “get you drunk” but rather are intended to be sipped and enjoyed.  But hey, if you prefer a stronger cocktail, be my guest and increase the alcohol.  Just be sure to drink responsibly and always use a designated driver! Safety is #1, no matter what.

Planter’s Punch is a very old cocktail originating in Jamaica and dating back to the late 1800’s.  There’s actually a rhyme for the original recipe:

A wine-glass with lemon juice fill, of sugar the same glass fill twice
Then rub them together until
The mixture looks smooth, soft, and nice.
Of rum then three wine glasses add,
And four of cold water please take.
A Drink then you’ll have that’s not bad —
At least, so they say in Jamaica.

Fun Magazine, 1878

Today Planter’s Punch is recognized by the IBA (International Bartender’s Association) as an official cocktail meaning it does have an “official” recipe.  However, everyone and their grandma has their own version of Planter’s Punch so this my opportunity to share mine.  I stay very close to the spirit of the official recipe but do substitute some ingredients.  The official version of Planter’s Punch is probably sweeter than mine although my recipe, as you will taste, is sweet yet balanced, overall.

Planter's Punch Cocktail

One of the hallmarks of a Planter’s Punch is using a dark rum like Myers’s rum.  Dark rums are aged for longer periods of time than clear or gold rums.  They are also aged in highly charred barrels, which helps to give them their signature color and flavor profile.  Most dark rums originate from the Caribbean.  Myers’s is actually produced in Kingston, Jamaica.  It’s my favorite brand of dark rum, although here in the US we can also easily get Bacardi 8 year, Pusser’s British Navy Dark, and Gosling’s Black Seal (to name a few).  Using a dark rum will give the desired flavor profile in this drink.  Don’t substitute lighter rums in this recipe.

Planter's Punch Ingredients

The mixers for this cocktail will be very familiar to you all:  club soda, grenadine, lime juice, simple syrup and satsuma juice (or orange juice).  Okay, well maybe besides the satsuma, which is a fantastic little citrus fruit we have here in South Louisiana.  It’s very similar to a Clementine, although typically bigger than a Clementine.  They are very easy to peel and juice.  If you can get your hands on satsumas or Clementines, use those.  If not, fresh-squeezed orange juice can work just fine. (BTW, the satsuma is not pictured above, it was a last minute add-in).

If you’re looking for grenadine in the grocery store, it’s next to all of the other cocktail mixers.  It’s a bright red color, non-alcoholic, and adds a nice flavor to beverages.  It was originally made with pomegranate juice, but brands like Rose’s are basically just HFCS nowadays.  Try to get a better brand if you can, but you may have trouble finding such a thing at a standard grocery store. Leave it to Dr. Pepper/Snapple (Rose’s parent company) to use such an awful ingredient. (I’m NOT a fans of HFCS, as you can tell).  Anyway, on to better things.

Planter's Punch Cocktail - top view

Simple syrup, for those of you who don’t know, is simply a mixture of equal parts of sugar and water brought to a boil and simmered until the sugar dissolves. It’s known as “simple” because of its 1:1 ratio of sugar and water.  I’ve seen recipes for other proportions who call themselves “simple,” but that’s not correct.  By using the 1:1 ratio, you’ll end up with the perfect amount of sweetness.  A half ounce, which is what this recipe calls for, is a very small amount of simple syrup.  Fear not if you make more than you’ll need. You can use simple syrup to sweeten all types of things like teas, coffee or other cocktails.  You can also use it in conjunction with lemon or lime juice to make refreshing beverages.

Now on to our garnish.  I prefer to use a lime wheel as my garnish for this drink.  They are very simple to create and give the cocktail an elegant look.  Simply thinly slice a lime and make a very small cut into the wedge about halfway in.  This will allow you to position the wedge on the rim of the highball glass.

Planter's Punch Cocktail

Speaking of highball glass, every official cocktail also has a designated type of drinkware. A highball glass is a tall glass tumbler that can hold between 8 and 12 fluid ounces.  I don’t think I used an “official” highball glass in my photographs, and of course, you don’t have to either. Just use a glass that’s got the capacity of a highball, and you’ll be golden.

So now that your whistle is ready to be wet, on to the recipe!

Yield: 1 cocktail

Planter’s Punch Cocktail Recipe

This Planter's Punch cocktail recipe is a variation on the classic drink featuring dark rum, grenadine, citrus juices and club soda. A fantastic cocktail!


  • Highball glass
  • Ice
  • 1 fluid ounce dark rum (like Myers's rum)
  • 1 fluid ounce club soda
  • 1/2 fluid ounce grenadine
  • 1/2 fluid ounce fresh satsuma juice (or orange juice)
  • 1/2 fluid ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup
  • Lime wheel


  1. Fill the highball glass with ice and remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix well by pouring the drink from one glass to another a couple of times.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel and drink promptly.

Prep:15 min

Total:15 min

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