Friday Cocktails: Pawleys Rum Punch
Each year during the summer my family decamps to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, for our annual vacation. We all arrive slightly pale and bursting with excitement and leave a couple of weeks later blonder, browner, and a bit wistful. In the intervening days we swim, walk, and reminisce, waiting politely until after lunch for our first beer and until cocktail hour for our first mixed drink. Around five o’clock every day, my father collects me from whatever hammock or couch I’ve burrowed into to help him mix up his famous rum punch—a fruity combination of dark and gold rums, cranberry, orange, and pineapple juices, with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg on top. When I was little, my job was simply to keep him company and deliver the drink to my mom if she was upstairs resting or getting ready for dinner. Now, my sister and I take part in the ritual, squeezing oranges and taste-testing as we mix up a batch of the drink together. The recipe has changed slightly over the years, but the end result has always been the same: a balance of bright, fresh fruit to hold on to the sunny day and a healthy dose of light and dark rums to herald the coming sultry, humid night. It’s all my fond, nostalgic feelings of summer and family wrapped up in one boozy cup.