These days, which were originally ambitiously planned, turned into mornings snuggled up in bed for an extra hour or two, enjoying the sound of the rain and the lack of any sense of urgency. I didn’t accomplish much, cooking-wise (or should I say– truthfully– at all), on these days, because rain just has it’s way of soaking and weighing down your willpower like damp clothes. It’s simply too easy for us to blame lack of productivity on the weather.
But there was one day where the weather seemed to be on my side, when you could feel summer working its way in-between gaps in fence posts and floating through cracked windows with an agreeable warmth and sunniness that immediately made you get excited about something– anything really.
I happened to get excited about the bottle of Captain Morgan and the fresh fruits that I had stock-piled, patiently waiting for a beautiful day when I could turn them into something deliciously bright. I’ll tell you, it was a great thing to be excited about.
This citrus-filled punch is so perfect for warm weather that it practically calls out to me every time I see a clear, sunny sky. With it’s bright sherbert color and slices of lemon and lime bobbing in the glasses, it’s a gorgeous addition to a picnic table that tastes even better than it looks.
The secret here is to juice the fresh fruits (all you need is a reamer) and combine them with a citrus sugar you make out of granulated sugar and citrus zest. The orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec both work), Amaretto, and Captain Morgan create a buzzworthy base of alcohol that doesn’t need to be masked, rather, it mingles with the flavors of the citrus to create a punch that you’ll just have to have seconds of. And thirds. Go ahead and take a fourth cup; you know I did.
This summery Citrus Punch includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit juices, which turn into a tropical drink when combined with spiced rum, orange liqueur, and amaretto.
For the Citrus Sugar:
- 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Punch:
- 1/2 cup citrus sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 2 cups orange juice (about 8 oranges)*
- 2 cups grapefruit juice (about 2 grapefruits)*
- 1/2 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec)
- 1/4 cup Amaretto
- Sparkling water, to top
- Lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit slices
- Add the sugar to a large pitcher with ice and pour in the citrus juices. Stir with a long, wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour in the alcohol and taste– you may need to alter the amounts slightly based on how sweet your fruit juices are. Adjust if necessary.
- Add the ice and fruit slices. Serve with sparkling water to top off each glass, if desired.
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