Some Planter’s punches seem to focus more on one element than another, though they all strive for balance. When they do err towards one flavor I find it tends to be sour. Infact most Tiki formulas as we discussed last time already go more sour than the original by meeting and usually exceeding the sweet aspect. With this in mind I set out to create a sour, citrusy, refreshing afternoon cocktail. And I decided to showcase my sheer love of oranges in as many forms as I could while retaining depth. My general idea was for a Golden south seas punch one could enjoy on a hot day on the river. This was the version that ended up hitting that perfect planter’s balance to me.


Sampan Punch

½ oz passion fruit syrup

½ oz Senior orange curacao

½ oz fresh lime

½ oz orange juice

1 oz Appleton Special

1 oz El Dorado 5 year

1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and pour into a chimney glass. Garnish with an orange wheel

This Cocktail plays more on the aspect of sour than the others. Passion fruit, lime, orange and orange bitters all aiding in that tartness upfront. This cocktail plays heavily on sour and bitter with playful notes of sweet orange and brown sugar popping up throughout. The brightness of passion fruit, fresh orange, and lime builds up at first and then fades to sweet orange and rum. The finish is one of slightly bitter green orange. The combination of the rums in this is superb lending the perfect balance of sweet, smokey and spicy while still staying light, and in theme with the drink. This is definitely a more refreshing cocktail for a hot afternoon.

Sampanpunch (1)

Originally I wasn’t going to present this “bonus” cocktail. When I set out to create a new drink usually I map out a flavor profile based on the tastes I want, then I tweak it based on the difference between vision and reality. Personally I felt the intense sour masked the depth of the cocktail. My tasters however really loved this as they both have quite the sour tooth. They liked it so much I decided to turn the thing blue and give it a name.


Sunken Sampan

½ oz passion fruit syrup

¾ oz Senior blue curacao

¾ oz fresh lime

¼ oz orange juice

1 oz Brugal White

1 oz El Dorado 5 year

1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and pour into a chimney glass. Garnish with an orange slice

A very tart green aroma highly bolstered by the bitters. There is an orangery sweetness from the curacao and tart light subtly smoky notes from the rum. It begins with a rather full tart orange and lime symphony with most of the curacao sweetness up front. The passion fruit play into the sourness and joins the rummyness in the center. The finish is very sour and dry with a subtle smokey almost saltiness. There is the mildest of sweet notes but this is a very bright tart cocktail.

So which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below. And until next time…

“You Get Hammered America” – JFL