The other day, we made a caramelized pineapple syrup by cooking chunks…
One of our Trader Vic’s cookbooks has a recipe for a drink called Cooper’s Ranch Punch, from the Cooper Ranch Inn in Hauula on Oahu. Along with the recipe, Vic said that “the version I give here stinks in comparison to the original” and notes that anyone visiting Oahu should stop in to try one for themselves. The drink sounded promising, with a blend of Puerto Rican rum, guava juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and grenadine, all topped with fizzy water. Unfortunately, the drink was flat and bland. The soda water topping the drink made it taste watered down instead of making it more refreshing. The Colonial style Cooper Ranch resort closed years ago, so we couldn’t head out to try the “real” thing to compare it to Vic’s.
Since a trip to taste the original was out of the question, we started playing around with the recipe we had to try and bring out its full potential. Our version probably nothing like the original, but is a great punch to have on a hot day. It’s light and refreshing, without being overly sweet or too tart, and it will remind you of a tropical lemonade. It’s also not a particularly strong drink, which means that you can have a few while catching up with friends without feeling any negative aftereffects. In light of this, we’ve designed the recipe so that it makes two – one for you, and one for a friend. You can also scale up the recipe to serve a crowd, if you want to turn this pretty drink into the house cocktail at your next brunch.
New Cooper’s Ranch Punch
2 oz Puerto Rican rum (Bacardi)
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz guava juice
2 oz honey syrup
1 tsp grenadine
4 oz soda water
In a shaker or mixing glass, combine rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, guava juice, honey syrup and grenadine. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into two tall collins glasses filled with ice. Top each drink with 2-oz soda water. Garnish with a cherry.