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Barbados Rum Punch
By Jody Kurash
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Page 20
2008-10-24 12:54 AM
Caribbean islands evoke thoughts of exotic fruity drinks garnished with umbrellas. Many of the drinks are made with tropical juices, flavored brandies and cordials, and the result often is an overly-sweet concoction.

A refreshing alternative can be found in the Eastern Caribbean enclave of Barbados. The Bajan version of rum punch is a four-part mixture combining distinct flavors that mingle together for a crisp taste.

The cocktail is made with Mount Gay Eclipse rum, which is distilled in Barbados. Eclipse is a complex but full-flavored rum that mixes well or stands on its on. Bartender Chris Breedy prepared the drink for me at the Mount Gay Visitors' Center near Bridgetown. Like all the Bajans I meet, Breedy takes great pride in the rum produced in his country.

The drink is made by combining Mount Gay Eclipse rum, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker. Next a splash of Angostura bitters is added to the mixture shaken until it turns sunset color. The drink poured into a glass and sprinkled with nutmeg.

The result is a drink with just enough sweetness to bring out the nuances of the rum. The Angostura bitters and nutmeg highlight the complexity of the liquor while the tartness of lime gives the drink a brisk edge.

BARBADOS RUM PUNCH

2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum

1 oz Simple syrup

2 oz Fresh lime juice

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dash nutmeg

Mix the first three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and mix well.

Add three dashes of Angostura bitters and shake lightly.

Pour into a glass and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

Bajans mix the drink by the gallon to serve at parties.

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