Planter’s Punch

by Pipo

Here I sit in the living room. The leather sofa is slowly getting glued to my skin while I watch water droplets condensate on the glass in my hand, uncertain if they synchronized to sweat dripping down my skin.

I’m in Ghana right now to visit Modupe. I’m blowing left over vacation days so I’m sitting here at home while she is at the office, indulging in the adult privilege of having a day job that sucks the life out of you. Nights are our common time but during the day I’m left to my own devices.

I needed a drink! Day drinking is an advantage of being filthy rich or hopelessly unemployed, with me sliding in somewhere between the margins. Most of the classics are just not what floats my boat when it comes to recreational drinking while doing nothing at home. A quick glance at the weather app on my phone tells me that it is 32°C but with an perceived 41°C thanks to all the humidity. Looks like it’s not only the human body that’s mostly water, the air is keeping up well.

I skimmed through the staples for inspiration. Difford’s Guide, the IBA cocktails, random Google searches… yes, stick what we like, stick what you know. We’re going to make a Planter’s Punch. While it will quickly carry me towards that blissful buzz of having a cocktail in the heat, it won’t straight up destroy me like having some Dry Martinis or Margaritas (another Summer favorite of mine).

The Planter’s Punch knows no fixed recipe. It is based on a rum punch which typically gets diluted with some fruit juice.  There are recipes which limit the juices to just some lime while others go full potato by adding multiple fruit juices such as pineapple (not welcome in our household because it tries to kill the Dups) or orange. We had some citrus fruits lounging on the dining room table, waiting to rot in peace without getting touched so instead of planning what to buy, we use what we got. That includes those tiny, nasty Ghanaian limes. I dread their existence because every time I’m here for vacation they destroy my cocktails. If your recipe says 1 shot of lime juice, you’re well served with 1/4 shot of those abominations. They pack a punch! Is there a measure for how sour something is? They would be clearly in the race for the pedestal!

Planter’s Punch

Planter's Punch

Planter’s Punch Print This
Rating: 5.0/5
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  • 2.5 parts aged rum
  • 3/4 parts fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 part Grenadine
  • 1/2 part sugar syrup
  • 2 parts fresh orange juice
  • (Optional) 2 parts soda water


Start by squeezing your limes and oranges. You don’t want seeds or fruit pieces in the juice so fine strain them.

Add the rum, juices, grenadine and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes and shake well.

Strain the content into a bowl or glass which is filled with ice cubes or crushed ice.

Optionally you can finish up with adding some soda water to further dilute the cocktail and make it a bit easier.

Decorate with a slice of orange.

I hope you enjoy this take on a classic. It resides towards the fruity and Tiki oriented side of the Planter’s Punch but it will be exactly what you need in this hot weather. I think I’ll now have another one before I get picked up for dinner.

If they are looking to cast people for “Real Housewives of Teshie Nungua”, they know where to find me!

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