I finally got my hands on the key ingredient in a Medford Rum Punch, Medford Rum. Medford Rum is a very old rum from the Northern Colonies in the Americas. Specifically the colony of Massachusetts, more specifically town of Medford. There are several outstanding historical books on rum I have found, this cocktail comes from “And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the new World in 10 Cocktails” by Wayne Curtis. Around 1905 Medford Rum finally ceased production. However, to our fortune Grand Ten Distilling in Boston is once again meticulously producing this spirit. Here is a blurb from their website:
A NEW ENGLAND TRADITION SINCE 1715
“Medford Rum is a true heirloom spirit made in the bygone ways of old New England. We begin with pure blackstrap molasses, add a blend of wild New England yeast, and send it through our all-copper, small-batch still. The resulting spirit is matured in charred American white oak barrels, lending the rum a mild bourbon-like character.”
Why Medford Rum Punch Tastes So Old
While in in Boston last week and picked up a bottle. Surprisingly I can’t get this stuff in Florida, as you can imagine we have nearly every conceivable variant on West Indies rum here, but Boston rum is hard to find. Through rum research (yes that is maybe a thing, I hope) I learned that Boston Rum, for a long time, was the best in the world. So good that the colonies in the West Indies lobbied hard to reduce it’s export to England, took a little revolution and they got their wish. I have never had the original 1700’s stuff, but this current rum is good, all be it very different than its Caribbean counterparts.
This recipe for Medford Rum Punch is, as Bostonians say, “Wicked Strong”. It is almost all rum with a smitch of lemon juice. Real sugar would have been too expensive for the average person so berries were used. Lots of those growing about in that time I bet. All in all it tastes like a a cocktail from another era, its hard, and strong. Not bad at all, but not modern. To modernize it I made a 1234 version too. Not familiar with a 1234? take a look, its such a clever way to make cocktails.
Even this version I modified, I shook the berries in the cocktail, the pure original with berries as a garnish I found very hard to drink, this really helped.
Medford Rum Punch
Medford Rum, Lemon Juice, Seasonal Berries
Try our other historic Cocktails:
Daisy Cocktail | A Classic Circa 1866 |
Classic Swizzle | West Indies Cocktail c1830 |
Old Fashioned | The Ultimate Classic Cocktail |
Brown Derby Cocktail | Hollywood’s Golden Age
Medford Rum Punch | Early American Cocktail |
Medford Rum Punch is a very old cocktail from the Americas. The rum is from the colony of Massachusetts, specifically Boston, and thankfully is back in production!
- 2 oz Grand Ten Medford Rum
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Seasonal berries (A handful of whatever is in season a mix of a few is best, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blue berries, etc.)
Cut larger berries in half such as strawberries or large black berries.
Add all to cocktail shaker with 4-6 cubes of small ice.
Dump into a wine glass.
Run lime wedge around the glass rim, and leave on the edge as garnish.