Celebrate National Rum Day with a Curacao Punch: Brandy, Curacao, Rum

As a caveat, I tried to schedule this one to publish on Friday, August 15. It didn’t. For some reason. But here it is a day after National Rum Day. Hell, drink rum anyway.

This one comes from Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, a fantastic tome of everything good from the original bartender manuals. You know, the ones from the nineteenth century.

While I don’t generally get into the “national X spirit day” festivities, any excuse to drink a particular spirit is fine by me. Honestly, rum isn’t a spirit I play with very much, so looking up drinks featuring rum was a good exercise. This cocktail uses both rum and brandy, but curacao is actually the main ingredient. Weird, I know. Maybe it doesn’t celebrate rum quite as much as a National Rum Day drink should, but it’s still a fine drink, and I like the mixture of brandy and rum.

Curacao Punch: Brandy, Curacao, Rum

To make a Curacao Punch, combine in a large glass:

  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  •  2 or three dashes lemon juice (I used 1/4 ounce)
  • 1 ounce soda water

and stir until the sugar is all dissolved. Then fill the glass with crushed ice and add

  • 1 oz Martell cognac
  • 2 oz orange curacao
  • 1 oz Bacardi rum

and garnish with whatever fruit you want.

It’s a sweet drink, don’t get me wrong. I tried it without the sugar, and it’s good that way, too. What you taste the most here is the curacao. It’s like an orange Kool-Aid drink. I have never had a drink that actually featured curacao, so this one is good to have on hand when someone says they don’t know what to do with curacao.

By the way, I just read an anthology of short stories called Zombies Vs. Unicorns, where each story highlights either zombies or unicorns. One of the best stories of the bunch was by Carrie Ryan, and it took place on the island of Curacao. Every time they mentioned it, I thought of orange-y cocktails. Ah, zombies. I mean, ah, cocktails.


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