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Drinks Special: Holiday Rum Punch

Mixing up rum punch

"Mixing up rum punch" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr

The first in an occasional series where we ask local bartenders, mixologists and other libation lovers to show us how to rustle up some specialty drinks. As I can’t fit you all in my kitchen, I’ll bring my kitchen to you.

In just a few weeks, many of us will be joining family and friends for a relaxing, low-key little gathering known as Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’ve been asked to contribute something, and you’re racking your brain for what to do. How about punch?

Ok, not that kind of punch – I’m not advocating holiday violence! Though I know many of us feel like pulling a punch over the holidays, let’s get happy instead. Punch by its communal nature is festive, like an alcoholic water-cooler bringing everyone together as you dip and pour. To help get us in the holiday mood, Dave McCabe tested out my kitchen one afternoon with a winter rum punch. He brought the punch ingredients, we provided the cheese, everyone got happy.

Formerly a manager at Oyamel, Dave is now co-owner of Punk’s Backyard Grill in Annapolis. He explained that the restaurant is dedicated to serving healthy food at reasonable prices, and as a member of the Maryland Green Registry is an avid believer in sustainability. Dave himself is clearly a passionate proponent of honest and simple ingredients, both in food and in cocktails. This punch recipe is both easy and approachable.

But wait, let’s kick up the classic champagne cocktail first. You’re going to need it while you squeeze all those grapefruits and lemons. Continue reading