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.


We had family and friends over tonight for the 1st Annual Firefly Catching Contest. It was a blast; we’ll certainly have the 2nd Annual one next year.

This was all D’s idea. She made some appetizers, and invited the other families to bring over a dessert around 19:30. I made a sangria based on the recipe from Tertulia Andaluza, and reproduce my modifications here. This is the first sangria I’ve made. The next one will probably avoid using as much citrus: it tasted a bit like grapefruit juice.

Peel one orange and one lemon, and cut them into small pieces. Soak the pieces in their own juice with 2 tsp. sugar. While they soak, squeeze the juice from two oranges, one lemon, and a lime. Mix the juices with a bottle of wine and 150 ml of rum in a wide-mouthed jug or pitcher able to hold about 2 liters. Add the mixed fruit and sugar that was left to soak earlier, and an additional 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. Mix using a wooden spoon, then dilute to taste with sparkling water. By this point the pitcher should be about three-quarters full. Let it sit in the refrigerator until your guests arrive, then add four scoops of ice, stir again, and serve.

A similar drink was made for the children. Instead of the wine, citrus juices and rum, the punch used 2 cups unfiltered apple juice and 1 cup pomegranate juice.