Martha Washington’s Rum Punch

But Independence Day should perhaps be celebrated with a, somewhat, more domestic punch, using Martha Washington’s rum punch recipe. (Warning: the source given does not cite her sources, so while the punch is attributed to Mrs. Washington, the Internet has not offered up conclusive evidence of the same.) This recipe was made exactly as written, but served in a pitcher with crushed ice instead of in a punch bowl.

The recipe calls for 4 oz. each of orange and lemon juice. Assuming that Mrs. Washington didn’t just hop on over to the Piggly Wiggly, I squeezed some Florida juice oranges and domestic lemons. Each fruit produced about 2 oz. of juice.


  • 4 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 4 oz simple syrup
  • 3 lemons quartered
  • 1 orange quartered
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks broken
  • 6 cloves
  • 12 oz boiling water

In a container, mash the lemons, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add syrup, lemon and orange juice. Pour the boiling water over the mixture. Let it cool. Strain out the solids. Heat the juice mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let it cool and refrigerate overnight.

In a punch bowl, combine:

  • 3 parts juice mixture
  • 1 part light rum
  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1/2 part orange curaçao

Serve the punch over ice. Top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.