When you have a great rum, you have a lot…
Puka Punch is a cocktail with a great name – a name that becomes more fun to say the more you drink them! The drink has been on the menu of LA’s Tiki Ti bar since the 1960s. The original recipe is a blend of three rums with orange, pineapple and lime juices, as well as a few different syrups. It’s complex, with a hint of spice, and it’s is still a local favorite.
There are so many ingredients in the Puka Punch that it is a great template to work off of when creating other drinks. You can bring some flavors forward or drop less dominant ingredients out, leaving you with a range of puka-inspired cocktails that will all make a fine addition to weekend festivities at home. In this puka punch variant, we decided to bring some pineapple juice in to the mix. The result is tropical and citrusy, with a hint of funk from the Jamaican rum and just the right touch of sweetness. Our spiced syrup was used as a sweetener, however honey syrup or a cinnamon-spiced simple syrup would both work well and give you slightly different results.
When you read the recipe, you’re going to notice that we used pineapple rum in this punch. Pineapple rum works wonderfully in conjunction with the other rums to ramp up the pineapple flavor without watering down the drink. The key is to choose a good pineapple rum – and there are quite a few out there. One that we happen to like right now is Captain Morgan Pineapple, which has an amazing pineapple aroma, an intense pineapple flavor and is not sweet on its own. Unlike some other pineapple-flavored rums, this one boasts 35% ABV and that means that you are getting less added sugar in your drink.
Puka Pineapple Punch
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz orange juice
3/4 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz spiced simple syrup
1 1/4 oz aged Jamaican rum (Appleton 12 year)
3/4 oz white rum (Angostura)
1/2 oz pineapple rum (Captain Morgan Pineapple)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a large glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and a slice of pineapple.
Drinking game idea: Try to say Puka Pineapple Punch ten times fast. Then drink one (or two) and see how you do.