The Rum Punch Report
by Tim Adams
Rum Punch on Shoal Bay at Sundown
As promised, our second vacation to Anguilla was to include a comprehensive report of Anguilla's signature cocktail... the rum punch. My wife and I discovered the heavenly beverage on our first trip, and returned six months later to revisit the island and do a little more "research." Although we didn't get to visit every place on the island that offers rum punches, we did cover quite a lot of ground. 19 establishments to be exact, three of which were in St. Martin on our stay over there.
Straw Hat - nice guava and grenadine, a bit sweet, no cinnamon or nutmeg, garnished with maraschino, amaretto, not very complex
Madeariman - no discernable guava, heavy lemon juice, bitters, a bit thin, cinnamon/nutmeg already mixed in, "unusual"
Elvis's Beach Bar - no guava, only pineapple and orange juice, no spices, not much complexity
Sammy's (between Elvis and Johnno) - not very complex, no spices, too sweet, malibu and meyers only, no Mt. Gay, Amaretto etc.
Smokey's - cherry and orange garnish, nice fruit juice blend, good guava, meyers dark rum "floater", no spices, good balance.
Gwen's Reggae Reef - very strong!!! and only $5 US, cinnamon and nutmeg garnish, lime slice, coconutty from malibu. Good guava. Very nice.
Barrel Stay - good guava, a bit light in body and low alcohol, lime garnish, mellow, like "hawaiian punch". Excellent dinner there too.
Tasty's - much like Barrel Stay with a Meyers dark rum "floater". "Hawaiian punchy," lemon garnish, no spices, good blend.
Roti Hut - heavy nutmeg garnish, heavy on the Amaretto, too sweet but tasty nonetheless, could not finish, too little ice, only $5
Ku Beach Bar - Amber's favorite, good balance, spices mixed in, lime and cherry garnish, smiling bartender. $8 US
Ferry Boat Inn - great hospitality, however rum punch was a little "off." Campari, lemon juice, bitters... unusual. Cinnamon and lime garnish. No fruit juice, too sweet and acidic. Couldn't finish.
Da'Vida - excellent balance, lemon lime and cherry garnish, guava present, no spices.
Mahi Mahi - strange whiskey taste (like barrel aged rum?), didn't work, no spices.
Mango's - nice balance, a bit strong, very nice, terrific with wahoo tartar and sesame oil. No spices.
Johnno's - nice fruit blend, orange garnish, no spices, strong at first sip but mellows nicely. Good guava.
Uncle Ernie's - Strong, not very complex.
(Closed during our visit) - Trattoria Tramonto, Bar at Mallihouna, Scilly Cay, Smoothies Water Sports
Driftwood Boat Bar (at the beginning of the airport runway at Maho bay) - made with peach schnapps, no guava, no spices, no garnish, not bad, Capt. Morgans, some complexity.
Bar at Holland House Beach Hotel - some guava, nice garnish of cherry, orange, lime. Made with Vodka.... yuck.
Jumbie bar at SXM airport - low alcohol, redominant orange juice, cherry garnish, no spices, guava, some amaretto.
Nori's Reply: WOW! Tim, thank you so much for the Rum Punch Report! Covering the rum punches in St. Martin, too? (I'm glad to see that we kind of "beat" the drinks over there, he he!) Talk about comprehensive - I don't think my Dad has even tried all of these rum punches! I will have to get his official rum punch report and see how the two match up.
In Anguilla my favorite rum punch is at da'Vida. I also found the "balance" just right, plus the ambiance is sublime. As for St. Martin, Tropicana, gets my vote every time. But hey, what do I know? I am no rum punch expert. I will leave the verdict to my Dad! ;-)
Thank you so much for taking the time to create and share such a great guide!
Update: We have started to create a "report" of our own, inspired by your guide, Tim :-) Focusing on our favorites, here's a little more on Anguilla rum punches.