Latin Twist: Dominica Punch


Photo by Ellie Miller, for Calypso Coolers, ©2006, Arlen Gargagliano

“Sal de la vida es la amistad.”  The salt of life is friendship. Juan Luis Vives

Though Juan Luis Vives, the 16th century, Valencian-born humanist, said this close to 500 years ago, it speaks loud and clearly to me, and I’m sure to many of you, today. Friends enrich our lives in so many ways. This, mis queridos amigos, is a post dedicate to friends and friendship, without which I, for one, would be a sad, sad person. So, in light of this thinking, I’d like to share a Caribbean-born recipe that should be shared with friends: Dominica Lime Punch. Here comes sunshine and barbecues; this citrus-infused rum punch recipe is a great one to bring out this weekend! Salud —Cheers—to you all!

Dominica Punch

Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Perfect with your favorite grilled meat, fish--or veggies, this punch says, "spring is here!"


  • 12 ounces dark rum
  • Rind from 1 lime
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 16 ounces water
  • Rind from 1 orange
  • Rind from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice, plus 12 - 24 full moon lime slices for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Combine the rum and half the lime rind in a glass container.
  2. Soak for at least an hour, and up tto a day before removing the rind.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water.
  4. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat.
  5. Add the remaining lime rind, along with the other rinds.
  6. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  8. Once the sugar water has cooled, strain it and combine it with the rum, bitters, lime juice, and nutmeg.
  9. Pour over ice-filled glasses, garnish, and serve.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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