Rum research takes me to the north of Grenada for a rum punch with an unforgettable view. Read on.
One of the many things I enjoy about Grenada is the small town vibe of the whole island. Everyone knows each other. So, when I found myself sharing a drink and good conversation with two strangers a few months ago at Rocky’s Bar, it was no surprise that they turned out to be people I knew of. They were Kate and Uwe, owners of Almost Paradise Cottages, a green resort on the island’s north shore that everyone had been strongly recommending that I visit.
Sunday afternoon drinks at Rocky’s has become part of my routine and it’s always a pleasure to see Kate and Uwe sitting in their regular spot to the left of the bar. When I mentioned to them that I was writing a series about the rum punch culture in Grenada, Kate told me that she had a winning recipe that I had to try. Another few weeks went by and I found myself touring the north of the island and decided to stop in to see my friends at Almost Paradise and maybe sample that drink.
Upon arrival I knew I was in for something special. Almost Paradise sits on a quiet coastal road a short distance from the small town of Sauteurs. A pathway leads from the road into the property and down into a beautiful green space planted with fruit trees and flowering plants. The cottages are clustered strategically on the hillside ensuring that each room has privacy, but more importantly, a view of the sea and the Grenadines beyond. The scenery is as beautiful as anywhere on the island.
The restaurant and bar are at the top of the hill and might have the best view on the property. A strong sea breeze whistled through the trees and kept the sunny day from being hot as we sat and talked about their experience building the resort. When the conversation switched to food and drink, I decided to order up an Almost Paradise Punch to see how it measured up against the others I’ve had on the island.
I sat in anticipation as Kate skillfully and carefully built my drink with fresh ingredients. She delivered it, I took a long sip and my taste buds immediately lit up. It was delicious, exotic, balanced and I slurped it down in a matter of minutes.
The drink itself is simple – fruit juices, sugar syrup, bitters, nutmeg and rum. The secret is that the fruit is fresh, literally from a tree in their yard, and the generous pour of rum is not overproof, rather a high end local brand at 40% abv. It is topped with bitters and fresh grated nutmeg, of course, and makes a delightfully mellow sipper that I could have enjoyed over and over again all day long.
The combination of the delicious drink, beauty of the surrounding area and welcoming energy of my new friends made for a very special day. Kate’s take on the traditional rum punch is indeed a winner, but I think it needs a new name. You can forget the “Almost” this drink is strictly the Paradise Punch.